Hi, Steven here. After a great visit to the Seattle area, we had one more place to stay in our beloved, Washington State: Wenatchee. Our planned 2-day stay at Wenatchee River RV Park was really a place to just decompress. Our site was right by the river and I think the most exciting thing we did while we were there was go to Walmart and Home Depot :)
After that, we were bound for Glacier National Park. We stopped for an overnighter at the Elks Lodge in Coeur D'Alene in Idaho and left early the next morning.
We stayed at North American RV Park in Coram, just a few miles outside of the west entrance of Glacier National Park. We were there for seven whole days. Linda prefers shorter stops, in general, whereas I like to really take the time to absorb a place and figure out optimal places to photograph. In this instance, I think we were both happy to be there for a week.
This was our third time to visit Glacier together and it seems that every time we go there is some kind of construction going on or the weather does not cooperate. We have rarely seen any wildlife more exotic than a few deer, even though others have seen mountain goats and bears and moose. Go figure. So, for me at least, my expectations were to capture the majesty of the landscape and not try to find the elusive wildlife.
We were disappointed to learn that Going to the Sun Road, a highlight of the park, was closed due to snow. This meant that more than half the park was inaccessible to us. Still, there was plenty to see regardless.
One of my favorite scenic views in the park is of McDonald Lake from Apgar Village, a little touristy area with gift shops and cafes. There are benches right by the water's edge with absolutely wonderful views of the lake and distant mountains. I spent quite a bit of time there on my solo trips to the park. I find it to be quite meditative.
In my quest to visit sites were Ansel Adams made some of his more well known photographs, I wanted to find out where he had captured one of McDonald Lake. After doing some research and accidentally stumbling upon the place which turned out to be the Ranger's Station, I made plans to come back one evening and take the shot. After two attempts which had me sitting in my car for over an hour waiting for a thunder storm to pass over, I gave up. The lake needed to be glassy smooth for a reflection and the water was just not cooperating. Oh well, it was still cool to stand where the master did and ponder the original photo instead.
Linda and I have a love/hate relationship with all things touristy. Mostly, we try to avoid them and, although our friends say "you should see this or you should see that", we mostly don't. There are some clear exceptions to this rule. When we were in Seattle, for example, we did the Argosy Cruise and we really enjoyed that. There is a lake cruise in Glacier and we decided that would be our touristy thing for this trip. Although the weather had been pretty changeable, we lucked out for the cruise. The water was dead calm and the sun shone the entire time. It ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.
While we (and mostly I) spent the majority of our time at Glacier, we ventured north to see the little ski town of Whitefish. We toyed with the idea of going up on the ski lift for the views but, remember our aversion to touristy things?, yeah, that fell into that particular category. But we did visit the historic train depot back in town.
We learned late on the day before we were to leave, that Going to the Sun Road had reopened. We knew we had to do it so we got up early on our departure day and made the trip. Our initial excitement didn't last when we drove into a soupy fog for what seemed like an eternity. When we got to the top of the pass, we could barely see our hand in front of our face. We were going to turn back but decided to continue to the eastern side of the park. And, man, I'm so glad we did. Within minutes of our descent, the fog disappeared and the views of the mountains and surrounding valleys were just mind -blowing. Our visit to Glacier was now complete.
As usual, we saw no wildlife during our stay but the vistas easily made up for that. Maybe one of these fine days when we return, we'll get a photo of a bear, a moose and a mountain goat doing the can-can together. Is that too much to ask??
Up next: Wonderful Highway 2!