Glacier National Park

Trip Start Aug 12, 2008
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Trip End Aug 21, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Glacier National Park (a world heritage site) is majestic, fabulous and gorgeous.  We were only 40 miles from Canada - hard to believe!  We came to the Park from the east at Rising Sun, we boarded the 1930s-era red busses called "jammers" (from the original drivers jamming the gears, all of whom were male, pre-med or pre-law and "pre-madonnas", according to our wonderfully knowledgeable female guide and driver Anne).  The buses are open-topped.  It turns out that one spends the 3-hour drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road looking up, with an occasional stop to look or get out, so they were wonderful.  We stopped many times, one of which was to look carefully at Jackson Glacier in the distance - one of the remaining 26 glaciers (down from 150 when first counted), and were told to "Look now, they're melting even faster than we thought a few years ago."

The most surprising part of the ride was passing so many bicyclists (lots of vans with lots of bikes on top, but lots of people actually riding through the mountains, too!).  We were impressed.

We took lots of pictures of the incredible views, including a few at the McDonald Lake Lodge where Linda had a delicious dinner of Idaho Trout (Ron had duck) and later actually put her feet into the Lake.  The water here is very cold, and as clear as a swimming pool.  We were lucky to have Ed Bearrs as our table-mate, so the conversation was lively.

Glacire National Park has long been a sacred place to the Blackfoot Indians, who live nearby.  On the way to Glacier, we visited the Plains Indian Museum in Browning, which was small but wonderfully done.  I learned more there in 30 minutes than I did at Washington DC's  American Indian museum in hours.  On our way in to the Park, we passed the site of Lewis & Clark's "Camp Disappointment" and "Two Medicine Fight Site."  We stopped for pictures and were greeted by a dozen or so horses.

What seemed on the itinerary as a long day of driving went by like a flash.  The beauty of this area makes the the bus ride a pleasure!
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