No, I haven’t been eaten by a grizzly bear. But I did reach a point where the motel room doesn’t have Internet service. Or phone service. Or a refrigerator. It does, however, have a TV and Dish network, broadcasting all the usual junk.
Wednesday morning we woke up to haze in the air and the smell of woodsmoke from a wildfire outside of Livingston. That day, we had our longest day of driving, without much in the way of sightseeing. However, we did pause in the Montana state capital, Helena, for a delicious snack from Montana Wheat.
That night, we rolled up to West Glacier. For those of you who have been asking, I’ll just tell you: yes, our “final” destination on this trip is Glacier National Park.
Yesterday we went on an all-day Red Bus tour that covered much of the navigable-by-car byways, including the Going to the Sun Road. At first, I was like, “Trees, lake, hills, river, nice… but what’s the big deal?” Then we started climbing into the mountains and Holy heck.
Most of the mountains I’ve seen in America were all kind of lumped on each other; as Mom put it, you can’t tell where one ends and the next begins. But the mountains in Glacier you can see from (what seems, anyway) the very bottom to the very top. And they are steep and pointy. They begin lush and green down in the glacial riverbeds, then transition to evergreens, then to bare rock, and then — some of them — snow fields and small glaciers near the top. Waterfalls spring from the rock, some in huge sprays, other in trickles.
Add some emerald green rivers (due to crushed iron-rich rock from the glacial melt) and sapphire blue lakes, and it all looks like something from a fantasy movie. I seriously would not have been surprised to see Gandalf leading a band of hobbits along the trails.
The immense scale of the scenery makes photographing it very difficult, not to mention that the sun was very bright most of the time we were out (lots of glare), not to mention that I’m not a skilled photographer to begin with. So my pictures in no way do Glacier justice. Just the same, here’s a taste.
Meanwhile, Dad’s beer tour continues.
I’m about out of time on my pay-for Internet ticket, so that’s all for now!