Back in the USA

Our time in Western Canada had come to an end, and it was time to cross border and head back into the US. We headed to the border crossing at Babb, and were soon in Montana. We stopped for a quick picture in front of a unique sculpture of horses made out of car parts, and sign for the Blackfoot Indian Nation. Hwy 89 would take us south through Babb and St. Mary, and the entrance to Glacier National Park, also called the Crown of the Continent. This would be the first time to Glacier for all of us, and the first time we went into a National Park this year, so it was time to buy our annual pass.  The good thing about the annual pass is it is good for two people (they make you both sign the card right then) and it gets both of us in, even if we are on separate bikes. The cost is currently $80, but if you are military you are free!

Off we went on the appropriately named Going to the Sun Road. We used an app called Gypsy Guide while we rode through Glacier National Park. I highly recommend this app. It uses GPS and tells you when you are coming up on important things to look at, what side of the road it is on, what the parking situation might be, and if there is a hike. It even tells you how far and how long it might take you. The app plays automatically while you drive, and it even has some neat historical facts and info about the area.
It didn’t take long for us to get some great views of Lake St Mary, more glaciers, and the Red Jammers. These are the red tour buses of Glacier Park. We stopped many times to take pictures of all the views, water falls, and more beautiful scenery.  The weather was fantastic and the sky was clear and blue.
Our first major stop was at the Logan Pass Visitor Center, so we could go on the hike to Hidden Lake.  Make sure you plan to do this when you visit Glacier Park.  It is a little over 5 miles round trip, but so worth it.  It is steep in some areas, with boardwalk steps and stairs, but the payoff is waterfalls, streams, beautiful scenery and there is still snow on the ground for parts of the hike.  Bonus was seeing many mountain goats and a Hoary Marmot. I had never heard of this type of marmot before, and he was quite a character. We got a great shot of him in action as he paralleled the trail for quite a while. I just need to learn how to photoshop a superhero cape on this photo!

It was slowly becoming a hot day, and we were in the sun for quite a while. We hadn’t planned well for lunch so all we had was some granola bars and some carrots. After the hike we continued the audio tour down the road, and worked our way down some more curves, and tight switchbacks. We learned that the road is closed until the end of June, and that Park employees have to spend the first month of summer telling visitors that the road is still closed.

We stopped at Lake McDonald Lodge, which is much lower in elevation, and suddenly I felt like I was burning up. Frank wanted to walk around Lake McDonald, but I called it quits. I realized I wasn’t sweating, and I just felt like I was on fire. So I called a time out and said we needed food and drinks now! We stopped and ordered food at Jammer Joes, and I poured water over my face and neck in the bathroom to help me cool off, along with three glasses of Lemonade.  Make sure you pay attention to your body and any signs of heat exhaustion. All four of us felt better after that meal, since we didn’t eat or drink enough on the hike.

We stopped for the night in Kalispell MT, and stayed a slightly sketchy motel.  I was pretty sure some of the people in the rooms next to ours were on an episode of COPS.  Fortunately the night passed without any gunfire or domestic drama. They had a swimming pool and hot tub, so we were happy campers after a long day of taking in the beautiful Glacier National Park.

  • Red Jammer Tour Car
  • Lake St Mary
  • Bear Grass Flowers
  • View from Visitor Center
  • Hoary Marmot
  • Super Hero Marmot
  • Goat Chillin in the snow
  • Hidden Lake
  • Weeping wall
  • The Loop
  • Lake McDonald Lodge
  • Lake McDonald Lodge

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