Up bright and early - cool morning - blue sky - few clouds - warm afternoon. We were on our way by 8AM. The drive to "Many Glacier" (east side of Glacier National Park) takes 2 to 3 hours depending on traffic and number of photo stops along the way. Since it was Saturday we did not have to stop for road work on the Road-to-the-Sun. The first photo stop was for "Wild Goose Island". This stop is always congested, but today we were early enough it wasn't a problem. It is a definite photo moment - unfortunately pictures do not do justice. The 2 pics below are from the early morning and late evening.
Photos along the way - prior to the Park entrance. As usual the first stop you think "this is it", then a bit further up the road its "no this is it" and on and on.
The Many Glacier area is known as the "American Alps". The Many Glacier Hotel opened in 1915 and resembles a true chalet atmosphere for the décor and the alpine beauty surrounding it. It is now a registered Historic Landmark. The hotel has a large wrap-around lakeside balcony offering 180 degree views of Swiftcurrent Lake, surrounding rugged hillsides, three glaciers and incredible serrated peaks. It is a great place to just sit in one of the many chairs and take in the scenery, which is what we did while having lunch.
Later we took a trip to Grinnell Lake, which consists of two wooden boat rides(the first on Swiftcurrent Lake) with a short hike from one boat (Chief Two Guns) to the next boat (Morning Eagle) which crosses Lake Josephine. Then another 2 mile hike in the woods which includes crossing a suspension bridge to Lake Grinnell, with an optional short uphill climb to "Hidden Falls.
This is Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounding area.
Hidden Falls: These butterflies are friendly - they land on you and visit for a while. These were the only ones I saw in Montana.
Waiting for the boat for the return trip:
We stopped at "Two Sisters Café" for dinner. The place was packed, excellent food and enough memorabilia, stickers, and a solitaire game on the table to keep you amused while waiting for dinner. I did not take a picture of the building, but it cannot be missed - it is painted purple and pink.
The ride back to Columbia Falls was uneventful and we were never in the right location to get a picture of a sunset. The drive in the dark on the Road-to-the-Sun is a bit scary to say the least.
Day 7: Slow day - relax and enjoy the last day. Went shopping in Whitefish for a bit and snapped a couple of pics - then hot tub and dinner.
Welcome to Whitefish: This is ski resort area, has a beach, performing Arts Center, historic shopping area with lots of boutiques complete with an ACE Hardware.
These art mosaics were on the side of a building. I thought they were quite unique.
Flower baskets in Montana:
Day 8: Home: Kalispell - Denver- Dulles - Damascus. Very LONG day.