Driving up

Posting on this blog wasn’t possible while we were on vacation because we had no Internet access. I’d forgotten there were places in the US that still had big gaps, but after trekking through the wilderness, the real, bonafide wilderness, I’m glad the gaps are there.

Last Monday we climbed in the car and headed out past Spokane, through the prettiness that is Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and into Montana, to Glacier National Park. The park is the site where the Pacific and Atlantic tectonic plates collided, hundreds of millions of years ago, forming the Rocky Mountain range and the Continental Divide. We paid the guard at the gate and drove through an evergreen forest, suddenly taken aback when the long McDonald Lake appeared on our left, sparkling like a blue sapphire in all of the greenery.

Mountains behind Lake McDonald

Mountains behind Lake McDonald

We found our lodge and checked in to our cabin. This was a more slow and cumbersome process than one would realize, because the lodge had just opened up for the season, it being Memorial Day Weekend, and the staff still trying to figure out the computer system. I hoped these weren’t actual Park Service employees.

We signed up for the last boat ride of the night on an 81-year-old wooden vessel, and cruised around the lake, listening to the guide tell us about the Robert fire of 2003 and how the mountains came by their monikers. The sun set slowly in the enormous sky, and we had dinner in the lodge’s restaurant, then settled in for some board games by the very large, 20-foot long fireplace, a popular spot, clearly, for the lodge guests.

Tour boat

Tour boat

The next morning, we drove back out of the park’s west entrance because the road through was shut down in the middle with an avanlanche and about 35 feet of snow and ice. In May. Two hours later we’d driven south around the bottom edge of the park and were on the other side of the Divide, at the East Glacier entrance. We hiked up an embankment to look at St. Mary’s Lake.

St. Mary Lake overlook

St. Mary Lake overlook

Wow. There were so many interesting stones, tree roots, animals, and waterfalls, we started to lose track in all of the beauty. It’s a spot I’ll have to see again, and I am now officially a fan of national parks. You can find more photos on my Flickr account, linked on the main page.

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Categories: driving, visiting

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One Comment on “Driving up”

  1. Karen Mc
    July 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    Ev, The pix are gorgeous, I wish that we could have been hiking with you. I confess that I’m just catching up with your blog, but it reads so great — why don’t you start pitching it as a book idea — or become a travel writer? Keep it up, it’s great!

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