Archives for posts with tag: West Glacier National Park

While driving to Glacier National Park, Montana, I kept telling my “daughter,” Jenni, about a great steakhouse I’d visited in that area in 2003. We talked about having a great ribeye steak as we hiked all over the western half of the Park because it was closer to where we were staying and had more areas to hike for the day. The drive to the eastern half was quite a jaunt of 2-3 hours each way so we’d need to plan for a whole day and part of the night to get everything packed in before leaving.

On our last full day, we got up early and hit the road for the eastern part of Glacier where I was sure the restaurant had to be. Everything we planned got dumped (boat ride on that water? NO WAY!) but what we got was even better! I’d found St. Mary’s Lake and the hike I’d loved so much before with waterfalls (can’t get better than that) AND “THE” steakhouse! It was right there all along!

I’ve been pondering on my trip and that steakhouse these last weeks and I gotta say, if you ever find yourself even near there, go for it! It’s called Cattle Baron’s Supper Club at the turnoff to go into the upper region of the Park.

However, instead boring you with more details, I figured I’d share the pictures from that night of the insides of this gloriously decorated place and our experience. Dang! I wanna go back now!

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Cattle Barons Supper Club

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OMGosh! What a Ribeye! How are we going to eat all of it?

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Huckleberry pie? Well, we split it. It’s the delicacy of the area!

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Uhhhh…we both did!

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Not sure if you can see the the “story board” above the tables of the Blackfeet tribe and their pictographs of before and after white people came to their lands, but it’s so beautifully done with varying “western” motif colors for each period. I thought I’d caught those but, even though it appears I didn’t, I’ll have them imbedded in my brain forever.

I LOVE the West! I always felt I was born in the wrong state. And I was. I was born in a state of confusion about the state in which I was born. I’m no longer tied to one state. I can roam all the western ones I want and still love my cabin home. I know I said this year’s trip would be the last. I think I’m slowly taking that back!

HAPPY TALES & TRAILS…UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

My good friend, daughter-by-another-mother, confidant and outstanding travel companion just flew home to get back to work and her life. We almost cried at the airport but promised new adventures for another day and she’s already conjuring one up for next year! I miss my Jenni already.

However short in the greater picture, it was incredible in the amount of quality time, fun, laughter, insanity, states, cities, places we left our unique one-two-punch of us…two very confident, powerful, exciting women with great laughter and joy to share!

Today, we decided to go back to West Glacier to hike the one trail I wanted to revisit from my 2003 trip which was the Great Red Cedar trail.

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Where I come from, this AIN’T no creek!

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Western Red Cedar

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Along the Cedar Nature Trail

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Roaring water is a bit of an understatement!

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Temple of Hemlocks, Red Cedars and Cottonwoods

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My baby’s great great granddaddy! Too bad you can’t see how big the base of this Big Daddy is but figure two people can comfortably pass each other on this boardwalk and compare the width of that with the tree at the end. Four feet? 

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This HUGE boulder is covered in a lush carpet of moss. There again, tough to describe how big!

Tomorrow? Waterton Park and Prince of Wales National Historic site (just across the border of East Glacier) and then on to Medicine Hat, Alberta. Yeehaw!

Last but not least, some of Mother Nature’s art to ponder ’til we meet again!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK! PERSONALLY, I’LL TAKE ALL THREE!

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One bites the dust and leaves a most outstanding piece of art for us to love & enjoy…even if for a minute or two. Don’t you just love Mother Nature? If you don’t, try getting to know her before she’s been totally destroyed!

Yesterday, we explored West Glacier and today we spent the whole day exploring all the key areas in West Glacier we’d picked. I don’t know, but I think the photos will either get your exploring juices going or they won’t. My words won’t matter because this place is full of “gorgeousness” (as Jenni says) in so many ways that it feels archaic to try to reduce Mother Nature’s glory into words…or even photos for that matter…but that’s all I got!

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Snow capped mountain peeks

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St. Mary’s Lake

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Hiked Sun Ridge Point to Bering Falls

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Hike through a wonderland of wild flowers

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St. Mary’s Lake

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BLACK BEAR! AND…WAIT FOR IT…

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A GRIZZLY BEAR IN THE SAME MEADOW!!

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ONE OF THE LAST GLACIERS. NO!

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St. Mary’s Lake just keeps getting more beautiful!

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Bering Falls

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Snow capped mountains on way out.

Jenni and I have been talking about getting a good Montana grass fed Ribeye all week and I remembered this place my ex and I went to in 2003. It’s at the end of Hwy. 49 at Hwy. 89 and it is a MUST if you’re in the neighborhood! Best Steak…bar none!

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Cattle Barons Supper Club

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OMGosh! What a Ribeye! How are we going to eat all of it?

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Uhhhh…we both did!

And, in the same building, they serve HUCKLEBERRY PIE! It’s got a little bit of a bite to it just the way I like my berries!

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Huckleberry pie? Well, we split it. It’s the delicacy of the area!

Tomorrow? West Glacier to hike the Giant Red Cedar trail before Jenni flies home…boohoo.

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

 

Today’s post is dedicated to (West) Glacier National Park via  Kalispell, MT! As before, a thousand pictures is worth a million words! This is amazing country and too much dialogue just diminishes the view! Enjoy! I sure did!

I’m staying in Kalispell, MT to enjoy getting to know a new town but to drive back and forth to Glacier. I know, that sounds crazy but when I travel a back road, I get a different perspective of the views depending on the direction I’m taking. For example, traveling East to West through Zion National Park looks more remarkable to me than West to East. The difference to me is that dramatic and I love experiencing this when I go anywhere.

I started my day with breakfast at the Montana Club and Casino. No, I didn’t gamble on anything other than their California Omelet & I won!

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The inside decor was so awesome! I sat there enjoying the view as much as I did meeting another southerner who had moved to Kalispell 17 years ago as I did my breakfast. I’m going to get back before I leave, for sure.

The Main Street area of Kalispell is adorable! Check this out!

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Leaving Kalispell up Hwy. 93 to Hwy 35 to Hwy 2 (about 35 miles toward West Glacier (western entrance to the Park) was a culmination of thirteen years of dreams of getting back here. Yeah, you could say I was excited!

With the rain forecast, I really didn’t expect to take over 250 pictures today but Mother Nature provided me such great beauty in the clouds sitting on top of the glacier capped mountains. With each twist and turn of the road, I got a different perspective of the clouds and the mountains they were snuggling.

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One of the Forks of the Flathead River.

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Then, we entered Glacier from the West entrance where you’ll find Lake McDonald and the Lodge built on it in 1913. I couldn’t go inside because they were getting it ready for inspection for their season opening tomorrow. Go online and check it out.

Where’s Montana? Montana is in Montana sitting near Lake McDonald!

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Lake McDonald

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Lake McDonald Lodge original renovated Tour Buses. I took these in 2003 to tour the Going-To-The-Sun Road when I was here before and it was so awesome.

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This creek is one of the many that feed Lake McDonald and it runs right beside the lodge and some of the cabins for rent there.

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Who is that standing by the rear of the Lodge where it overlooks Lake McDonald?

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And here too! It looks a great deal like Montana!

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Rear view of the Lodge from the boat dock.

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One of the cabins for rent by the creek at Lake McDonald Lodge.

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The next video and photos are near the end of the stretch of road open today.

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Because only sixteen miles of the Going-To-The-Sun Road was open today, I explored the only other road available. One is called Camas Road. The next photos are views from it.

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North Fork of the Flathead River.

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And the scary cool part of my journey today was taking a rock road into an area not named nor generally travelled especially this time of the year. I wasn’t sure why I kept going on this one lane road because the views weren’t spectacular and Montana was signaling with her funny little wince that she wanted me to turn around. I did because she was insistent and she’s got a better sense of smell than I do and she sure didn’t like something.

It took me a few minutes to even find a spot to turn around and found this “money shot!”

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Tomorrow, we’ll be driving past the West entrance going east on Hwy. 2 hugging the southern portions of the Park to get to the East entrance. Not sure how many miles are open on that side tomorrow but I heard that Going-To-The-Sun Road will be open on Saturday, the day I leave.

HAPPY TAILS!