montana days

posting tonight from vancouver, british columbia. oh yes, we’ve made it. when i regain my sense of humor, i am sure i will tell you all about today, most especially our new (temporary?) home in an RV park in the city, which i am pretty sure is bordered by a highway, a train track and an airport. wahoo! but they have wifi so here’s what i wrote yesterday on the long sad drive away from glacier…

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Driving from Glacier National Park to who knows where?

We all so enjoyed our time out of the van and in the forest at Glacier National Park. We biked, hiked and explored on the western side of the park. The other side is supposed to be beautiful as well, and we were excited to get over there and see it aboard the free shuttle that runs over the pass, but then we discovered that the shuttle doesn’t start running until July, and the pass is still under 80 feet of snow in some places. Oh well. The road is called Going to the Sun Road. It was built in the 30s to accommodate cars in the park and was such a feat of engineering that it is now a legendary historic landmark. My guidebook described it as a hair-raising, heart-in-your-mouth roller-coaster ride that climbs past weeping waterfalls and vertiginous drop-offs up to the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Needless to say, I am happy to have to tell my daddy that it was closed instead of that I was too much of a fraidy cat to go up it, even in an eco-friendly shuttle that runs on biodiesel. We drove up as much of it as was open and then walked a couple miles more up it just to see what we could see. The road passes Lake McDonald lodge which is one of three historical lodges in the park. They were open before the road was so in order to stay there before 1930, you had to hike or boat to them. One day I would love to see the other two because we loved seeing the one at Lake McDonald. It just feels like a part of the park. We also walked the Trail of the Cedars, which is beautiful. Then we drove back down and biked some more around our campground. Mary Polly and I went on a late afternoon horseback ride, which is something she has wanted to do for a long time. The boys won out over her last summer and we went white water rafting instead of horseback riding, both being insanely expensive, so she finally got her horseback ride through the forests of the park today. We were the only two people on the 4pm ride, which is one of the many advantages of being here before the park is fully open. Our guide’s name was Ashley and actually she’s only been here a little longer than us. She and a friend arrived three weeks ago from North Carolina to wrangle for the summer in the park. They are actually living over the barn at the Apgar Coral, which is fascinating to me. Most of the wranglers will live over the three different barns in the park, eating their meals together and leading tourists on horses throughout the day. I was thinking as she told us about it that I could definitely think of worse ways to spend a summer. I’m pretty sure Mary Polly was thinking the same thing. She went around and met every single horse when we got back from our ride, and then when we went back to our campsite, she pulled out her paper and drew pictures of horses until dinner was ready. We made cheddar potato soup, which tasted wonderful on our tummies as the temperatures dropped. It was still light when I crawled into bed with Simon and read More, More, More. We could hear the big kids giggling by the campfire, but only one of us knew they were having s’mores without us. Thankfully. Simon has become insanely aware of all times he is being left out of something. We were both worn out though, so we happily went on to sleep. I did heave a little sigh as I thought about leaving Glacier and spending the day back in the van again. But I was ready to go when Taido gave the wake-up call this morning. We took to the road bright and early, uncertain where we would stop again, but knowing that wherever it was, it would be our last night in the states. Lord willing, tomorrow we cross the border.

Credits:

Soundtracks for Montana driving were provided by Bobby and Amy Harrison and Bob Davidson. Thanks guys!

Snacks provided by Sarabeth, Whitney and my mama. We finished up all our treats in Montana. I washed all those tins out and they are sadly empty. Thank you so much for all the yummies!!

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