Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This doesn't suck! Part Deux...

Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful, and clearly most majestic of the national parks. Today we'll get a chance to see for ourselves.

You can see, they really do have a love of eagles in this part of the country. Here's another one of those twenty foot iron sculptures of one.

Whitefish isn't very far from Glacier, so we got to the park in no time...

Just inside the park is Lake McDonald Lodge, this old rustic hotel just on the lake.

Jill spotted this butterfly on the grass outside, and I managed to get this picture of it.

We made our way through the lodge to the lake behind. The lakes in this part of the country are amazing. The water is crystal, and often perfectly clear and reflect like a mirror.

Here we are! And thanks to the kindness of a passing stranger, I'm actually in this picture.

At the Lake McDonald Lodge, they clearly use antlers in all of their decorating.

Can you imagine being here in winter, curled up in front of the fire. Works for me!

There are also a lot of totem poles in this part of the country.

Well there is a huge park to explore, so it's time to hit the road. But before we do, I see this three wheel Honda Gold Wing with a side car. Two wheels is a motorcycle. Three is training wheels. Once a motorcycle has four wheels, it's a car!

One other thing of interest. We keep seeing these tour buses with the word "Lamers" on them. Is this a tour company for people who feel really bad about themselves? How insecure do you have to be to buy a ticket on this bus?

Now back to our regularly scheduled road trip.

At Glacier, they have these cool old cars they use for tours. The strange thing is that every time I see one, a question pops into my head. Where do they get tires for a 1920's roadster?

As we climb the mountain, we start to see some spectacular views.

It was about this point that Paul said, "You may have to call this blog entry, 'This doesn't suck, part II'."

These places we visit definitely help put things into perspective. Years ago, I went scuba diving off the great barrier reef...

When I came up for air, all I could see for as far as the eye could see, was sky and ocean. At the time I felt remarkably small.

Looking at these massive mountains, cliffs and waterfalls, it makes me realize how small we are compared to the world around us.

For obvious reasons, this section of the road is called the Weeping Wall.

Some of these views you normally would only see from an airplane or helicopter.

Looks a bit like Switzerland, doesn't it?

It's a long way down from here!

As we approach the summit, the snow is becoming more and more prevalent.

Sometimes it took a lot of effort to keep my eye on the road.


After climbing constantly for so long, we get over the summit and head down the other side.

Not surprisingly, there are a few mountain goats around.

Having had my brake line burst while coming down Mt. Washington earlier in the trip, I try to take the decent as slowly as possible.

And this road may be less steep than Mount Washington, but its a lot higher!

As we approach the bottom, we take a break from our ride to take a quick hike along the lake.

Don't they make such a nice couple?

We're almost out of the park, so we stop for one final rest stop. Paul and I try the Huckleberry Cream Soda. It's really quite tasty. Paul is a bit taken back by the complete lack of huckleberries on the ingredient list, but it doesn't put too much of a damper on it. After all, a cold drink on a warm day is always welcome.

After a long and enjoyable visit to Glacier National Park, it's time for us to leave. We'll take the road up a little bit, then reenter the park on the Canadian side.

Doesn't this mountain look like the perfect place for an evil lair? Maybe Dr. Evil can carve his image into the stone.

Yay! Canada!

I know, all these trees, its hard to believe we're in Canada.

We're getting pretty close to our final destination for the day, the Prince of Wales Hotel

It really does look like a Swiss ski lodge. This was built back in the days when it was all wooden craftsmanship, and it really shows.

Because of the age of the building, the elevator was added decades later. It only goes to the fourth floor, and the hotel is seven stories tall. As luck would have it, I was up on the sixth floor. And the room was so small, I had to step out of the room to take this picture!

I did have this nice balcony though. Each room has either a view of the mountain or the lake.

Mine has the mountain view.

It was a long, but pretty remarkable day. Tomorrow we head deeper into the exciting country we know as Canada!

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