Glacier: our last day

Wednesday was our last day at Glacier. We were both a bit stiff from our hike on Tuesday so extra sleep and a loosening up were necessary in the morning. After some discussion, we decided to spend the day at the lower elevations of the park around McDonald Creek (we buzzed right past Tuesday) and some short hikes. Of course leaving the girls for the 3rd day in a row was not easy, so for that reason also it needed to be a short day.

The Going to the Sun Road follows McDonald Creek and McDonald Lake for about 20 miles into the park. Shielded by trees and sometimes stone it is difficult to view from your vehicle. Our plan was to drive past the point where the road diverges from the creek then turn back to stop at the various pull-offs. We were amazed by the clarity of the water as it rushed through the narrows, over rocks, down falls then spread out into a seemingly peaceful slow moving stream. The water, like we have seen in so many rivers out here, looks blue-green as it rushes along. The pull-offs along the road were well designed to provide great views of the rapids and waterfalls.

At Avalanche Creek, a popular rest area with picnic and camping, we walked along the Trail of the Cedars, a short walk through the giant cedars, hemlocks and giant cottonwood tree along Avalanche Creek. The trees were stunning. If you look carefully at the second picture you will see Tom giving a cedar a hug.

Lake McDonald, McDonald Creek and the Trail of the Cedars

Another wonderful day at the park was over, we returned to the RV to change for dinner. We could not resist having dinner at the Lake McDonald Lodge. We ever dressed up (sort of) for the occasion. You will remember from my earlier blog, the inn was built in 1913 in the rustic style using the huge trees of the area and decorated with huge animal mounts. The dining room, attached to the side of the inn is believed to pre-date the larger structure, the walls are log and stone with a beautiful stone fireplace at the end. The fireplace has a sad story, the original, decorated with Charles Russel paintings, was destroyed in a freak flood in the early 1960s. All the paintings were lost. Russell had been a frequent visitor in the early days. Our dinner was lovely, fish for Tom, steak for me, relaxing and very good. We finished with a Charlie’s Coffee (coffee with a little extra) then back to the RV to get ready to leave.

Thursday we leave for Missoula. We have a week and a half before our reservations at Yellowstone.