(L) Arriving June 19th, our longest stay so far has been in Great Falls, Montana and we had ample opportunities to see all the major sites, to rest, and to do some chores. Our good sailing friends, Terry and Peggy used to tell us that in this wandering life you will meet many new “Best Friends.” Just as we prepare to leave for Glacier, it was our fortune to get to know Rose, Paul, and Soso. We shared many stories, Sam and Soso ran and played like puppies, and we plan to meet up again in Nevada in the fall.
(G) July, 6 2019. Bordered by Canada to the north and the Blackfeet Nation to the east, Glacier National Park is the “Crown of the Continent.” The flags of these three sovereign nations proudly fly over the visitor centers. Not only a National Park, Glacier and its neighbor to the north, Waterton Lakes National Park (Canada) are recognized as a World Heritage Site, a Biosphere Reserve, the World’s first International Peace Park and the World’s first International Dark Sky Park. The park has thirty-five named glaciers and numerous smaller ones accessible only by hiking. Glacier was designated a National Park in 1910 and the park’s beginning is a story out of our history books. The Great Northern Railway connected St. Paul Minnesota with Seattle Washington and crosses the continental divide on the southern edge of the park. To promote travel on their railroad, they advertised Glacier as “America’s Switzerland.” The railroad built a number of chalets and lodges within the park to encourage easterners to “visit America first.” These majestic lodges still operate today.
This park is one of the most crowded of all the national parks. The spectacular beauty, the short tourist season (June 23rdto Sept 8th) and the sad fact that within ten years, all of the glaciers will be gone, make the park a must see.
Only one road connects the east and western edges of the park. The “Going to the Sun Road” winds its way up over Logan Pass, the Continental Divide, and back down. An engineering marvel, construction on the “Going to the Sun Road” began in 1921 and wasn’t completed until 1931. Going to the Sun Road is the first road in the U.S. to be designated a National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The extremely narrow two-lane mountain road restricts vehicles to only those that are less than 21ft long and no more than 8ft wide. Our Truck just made it at 20ft, 6in. To clear the eight feet wide part, we collapsed the side mirrors. If we actually looked behind at where we came from, we’d have been really scared. You will note, the road is not for the faint of heart, or folks prone to car sickness, motion sickness, or phobias of height or falling. As I suffer from all of these, I can’t wait to read this blog and see the pictures I took with my eyes closed. If you received this blog, we made it!