Kalispell, MT to Glacier National Park
We headed out of Kalispell too quickly without getting to enjoy their quaint, yet modern, downtown.
(Not quickly enough though, because I happened to eat a bad boiled egg at the Econo Lodge. I know you’re saying, “Why would you eat eggs at the Econo Lodge?” I’m still wondering that myself.) Of course, someone had to stop at Walmart and the bank… and y’all know it wasn’t me. We headed east to Glacier National Park where we planned to camp. We’d discussed getting a site at Apgar on the west side of the park as we’d be there earlier. After discussing it more, we decided we’d like to camp in the same place for our three nights in Glacier (on the east side). We drove down the Going to the Sun Road with its hairpin turns without guardrails at an elevation of 6,647 feet. I stress ate an entire box of white cheddar Cheez-Its. The drive is very beautiful though.
We rolled the dice and we all know luck is never on my side. Mom bothered God all the way to Rising Sun, but it wasn’t in the cards for us to camp tonight in Glacier. Its now 9:30 am and the next 3 days are up in the air. The average historic fill time for Rising Sun Campground is 11:30. After talking with the park ranger, she said that the historic fill times are not accurate. For planning purposes (especially during peak season), you should plan on being at the campgrounds several hours before those times because there is a waiting line. However, they aren't allowed to record as "full" until they've processed the last car. There was a lodge just outside of the park and as fate would have it, they had a room with one queen bed in the basement. Guess who is sleeping on the floor again? Our tentative plan is to be at Rising Sun by 7am tomorrow to secure our campsite for the next two days.
Once we secured a place to lay our heads, we decided to have some fun. We headed back into the park to grab our obligatory stickers and patch. Then we headed onto Sun Point Trailhead for a 4-mile jaunt where we saw the most beautiful waterfall. I did have to remind mom that a) this is not a hiking race; b) I do not want her to need another hip replacement on this trip; and c) enjoy the journey. Even thought the forest on this part of the trail recently suffered a fire, the views were still amazing. The glaciers are much smaller than in years past, but the alpine mountains and lake are a beautiful environment.
After our hike, we back to check into the lodge. After bringing in the the overnight necessities, I went to the bar for refreshments and met the coolest people. I even met the manager, Mark, who is a seasonal worker along with this wife who works for the NPS. I learned all about flaming Dr. Peppers and Cold Smoke Scotch Ale’s with vanilla vodka. While I didn’t partake in the vanilla vodka car bomb style, the Cold Smoke Scotch Ale is amazing. With dinner selections like Huckleberry Salmon and Bison Stroganoff, we had to stay for dinner. Mom had a Montana Mule and I had another Scotch Ale.
I forgot to get the mileage off of the car so I will have to do a post edit with the mileage.