On the Red Bus Tour we stopped for lunch at the Many Glacier Hotel, another of the historical lodgings inside the park. There was a display in the hallway about how the glaciers are shrinking. I had heard this before, but it was pretty dismaying to see pictures and data about it.
We stopped on the way back down the mountain at this great overlook, where you were looking straight down at this rushing creek. As with just about everything else we saw, it was amazing. Just such a good, good day.
On Day 4 in Montana, we spent the day whitewater rafting down the middle fork of the Flathead River, right in the middle of the mountains. Absolutely breathtaking, but no pictures, of course. Then on Day 5 – Tuesday – the old people went back to the park for a Red Bus Tour. It was great. The scenery was just breathtaking. Unfortunately it was a rainy, cold day, so we didn’t get to spend much time on the bus without the top, but it was still just lovely. This first picture is one I took at our stop at McDonald Lodge. It was a lovely building, and this was taken from the deck out back. Gorgeous.
Even with the clouds and fog, the scenery was pretty amazing. Just another great, great day.
It took us til almost the end of the loop before we saw what we’d really been expecting, but there were the buffalo in all their glory – an entire herd by the watering hole, and several right up close to the road. Very cool.
We left the Refuge, and headed over to check out the Garden of a Thousand Buddhas. It was pretty crazy. I wouldn’t have thought Montana was a real mecca for the Buddhist faith, but that just shows how wrong you can be. This was down just this country road. Pretty impressive. It was a good way to end our day.
Sunday morning in Montana Liz headed to Missoula to pick Olivia up at the airport. The rest of us headed in the same direction, but made a stop at a park on Flathead Lake that Meg & I didn’t have time to visit when we were there Friday. The views were still just so, so pretty. Meg & I walked up to what was supposed to be a scenic overlook, but the trees had pretty much taken it over. Still, it was lovely.
From there we headed to the National Bison Range in Dixon, Montana, just outside Missoula. It was great. There was a 17 mile driving loop through the area, and we saw buffalo, antelope, bear, mule deer, big horned sheep = just very cool. These are the first buffalo we spotted. We were fired UP!
Saturday, our second vacation day, we headed up across the border to Canada. Liz had arrived at suppertime the night before, and we picked Teresa up at the airport at midnight, so now we were four. We’d all planned for this & had taken our passports, so there were no problems at all. The Enterprise guy had told us about a little town named Fernie, not too far across the border, so we headed there to spend the day. Among other things, there was a chocolate factory right downtown that we visited. It wasn’t a tour like we went on in Seattle, but they did have a big glass wall you could look through to see the chocolate being made. We did some souvenir shopping for folks back home, and enjoyed their cute signs in the windows 🙂
We were a little concerned about getting back across the border without a big wait, because we’d read on the computer that this was a very popular crossing with truckers going to and from Canada, so we asked at the border. The man there told us before 5 pm and after 8 pm would be our best bet, and since we had to be at the airport to pick Sher up at 7:45, we headed back before too late, and sure enough, had no trouble at all. On our way out of town, though, we did have to stop by the Ancient Cottonwood Grove, where a trail goes through the oldest cottonwood trees in the world. It was raining by this time, but needless to say this was something I wanted to check out, so the others waited in the car while I went to check it out. The trail was so nice – you can barely see the first cottonwood trees in this picture – the tree with the moss on its trunk in the distance, right in the middle of the picture. I just thought the trail was so pretty, even in the rain, that I was really glad I’d checked it out.
When we got back to the condo that evening, I took a picture of the view from our balcony. Beautiful. Another good, good vacation day.
After lots of time in the air, Meg & I arrived in Kalispell, Montana, just after midnight Thursday night – or Friday morning, I guess I should say. Took a taxi to the motel – Meg had made reservations and arrangements for both, thank goodness, and then got up Friday morning & were ready to start our vacation . We had breakfast at the motel, and the Enterprise guy was there to pick us up before we’d gotten everything put back together. On the last leg of our flight the night before from Seattle, a guy sat next to Meg who was from Kalispell, and told her all kinds of places we could check out while we were in town. And then the Enterprise man did the same thing as he was taking us back to their office. Both recommended we check out the town of Big Fork, MT, so that’s where we headed as soon as we got the car. It was SO cute. Just a restored little village maybe three blocks long, with all kinds of craft shops and other interesting places. Everything was made by local artisans. I loved it. This was in one of the first shops we stopped in. I loved it :-).
After we had our first huckleberry ice cream of the trip – but definitely not our last – we went down and drove around Flathead Lake. It’s a 55 mile long lake not too far south of Kalispell, and was just absolutely gorgeous. It took us the rest of the day to drive around the lake, because we kept stopping to take pictures. We walked out on this dock, which was at one of the six state parks around the lake, and no matter how far out we went – we didn’t go all the way to the very end, because the water was pretty choppy and the dock was definitely rocking – the water was so clear we could see all the way to the bottom of the lake, just as clear as could be. It was a beautiful way to kick off our vacation.
Just now getting home from Montana, and downloading a few pictures while Jeff has gone to get us some supper. After that I plan to crash big time. Jeff took this picture just as we were leaving last Thursday for him to take Meg and me to the airport. We knew the week would be great – we just didn’t know HOW great. Good, good times…
Today the kids & I headed to the Museum of York County to spend the day. Every summer they have a different theme for their Wednesday programs, and this year it’s Dinosaurs. Such fun. This was a station at the dinosaur maze with a zip line, about flying dinosaurs. The kids LOVED it 🙂
Another station, where the kids could uncover dino bones like a paleontologist. Just such a good day.
Mason has gotten to be such a big kid himself that, when his sister and all his cousins were chopping veggies while we were cooking today, he insisted that he could, too. I handed him a sharp knife with a little bit of trepidation, I don’t mind telling you, but sure enough, he handled it like a pro!