We left Steve and Diana at Lewis and Clark and traveled together with David and Dottie to West Glacier where we met up with the third leg of our little convoy, David’s brother Bill and his wife Connie. We will now all travel together, with David and Bill going all the way up and around Alaska and us not sure how far we’ll go. We’ve been to Alaska 3 times before so we don’t want to drive all that way, but we will go to northern BC and probably the Yukon, so that I can see the homestead where I was raised as a young girl and haven’t seen since I was 15.
We spent 3 days at West Glacier KOA prior to crossing the border and while the rest of the country has been suffering from excessive heat and forest fires, the Rocky Mountains have been unseasonably cool and rainy, due we’re told to the jet stream being camped out over the region. Glacier NP was quite cool when we got there and the eagerly anticipated Going to the Sun Road had just opened for the season a few days before we got there. It would have been really disappointing if it was still closed. It was a cold rainy day when we headed out and we thought perhaps we would either see snow flurries or get above the clouds at the top, but it didn’t really clear until we got over to the other side of the mountain.
Glacier Park Lodge
The weather was warm and sunny on the east side of the park where Glacier Park Lodge is located just outside the Glacier NP boundaries in the small village of East Glacier. We’ve been to this hotel before and admired it so much that we thought it would be the perfect place to stop for lunch mid-way through our Glacier park tour. The hotel is a marvel, constructed in 1913 by the Great Northern Railroad and has an adjacent railroad station next to it, which is now used by Amtrak. The lobby is constructed of enormous Douglas firs brought in from the Pacific Northwest because the trees in Montana didn’t grow big enough.
It’s nice to see the touring wagons are still around. Do they use them on Going to the Sun Road?
Yes they’re very popular but most of them are newer. They also have canvas tops and fold them back as soon as the sun comes out and people bundle up with blankets. We did it a few years ago and it was fun.