We can see Glacier National Park from out rental cabin but after a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, it is time to actually go in. Twelve miles back down our dirt road is a lesser known, unattended entrance to the park, Camas Road. It was so nice to be able to get into the park without waiting in line.
Our first stop was at the Apgar Visitor Center. Clare and Sean signed up for the Junior Ranger Program and we got the park paper with a listing of Ranger Programs and available hikes. Going to the Sun Road is the most famous attraction at Glacier. It is an amazingly scenic road that crosses the center of the park, winding along rivers and climbing mountains. Unfortunately, the road was still closed due to avalanche activity and snow at Logan Pass. Did I mention that this was JULY 2nd?!?
It was a beautiful day so we found a parking place (easier said than done) near the Lake McDonald boat dock at Apgar Village. We unpacked our picnic lunch and found a large log to serve as our table/bench. The kids were less than excited about the prospect of yet another sandwich (day 11 in a row) but I had fixed a little bit of a surprise for them…chicken salad, cheese, lettuce and flour tortillas for wraps. Happy kids enjoyed their lunch with an amazing view!
It was sunny and warm so off came the shoes and feet went in the water. The water may have looked inviting but it was cold. I guess that makes sense since the lake was being fed by snow melt from the surrounding mountains. We met a couple who had recently moved from Massachusetts to the area near Glacier. We had fun chatting with them and then the kids helped them launch their oversized, motorized canoe.
We attended a ranger talk about the bears that live in the park. This was our second ranger presentation (we went to one in Grand Tetons earlier) about bears but despite the rangers’ assurances that there were large numbers of bears we had yet to see one.
The western National Parks are known for their grand old lodges. We didn’t stay in any of these (not exactly budget and family friendly) but I certainly wanted to see one. We drove a few miles up the road to the other end of the lake and went into Lake McDonald Lodge. Wow! It was massive, gorgeous and beyond impressive. Maybe, sometime when the kids are grown, I will get to stay in one of these masterpieces. In the meanwhile, I got a cookbook of recipes from the lodges to keep me dreaming…and cooking!