“Would you like some more coffee?” – Stephanie
“Yes, I would. I’m not addicted to coffee, it’s just a habit” – KK
Stephanie explored the path going from our rental house down to the Flathead River this morning. While walking down, she saw some ropes and wondered if maybe the homeowners were trying to rope off the path. After taking some pictures and walking back up to the house, she realized the ropes are there so you can pull yourself up the slope.
Prior to our trip, I had texted Scott and asked him if he was taking any jeans. He reminded me of the temperatures we’re going to experience on the trip and assured me he was bringing jeans. I told him that Stephanie was refusing to bring long pants. This turned out to be a major point of conversation with the rest of the family for the first few days of the trip. Every time the subject of cold weather came up, they would remind each other that Stephanie refuses to wear long pants.
When confronted by the family this morning, Stephanie said “I could not emotionally plan for cold weather when it was 90 at home”.
Our group was very excited to finally enter Glacier National Park this morning. We are staying on the west side of the park and made a beeline for the Apgar Visitor Center, which was maybe 15 minutes from our house. We were all EXTREMELY impressed with their gift shop selection. Good job, Glacier!
Outside the Visitor Center, a park ranger had laid an entire bear rug out on a table. We spent a few minutes checking it out, and then we were chatted up by the park ranger, Bill. Bill was an older gentleman, and he used his advanced abilities of perception to determine we were from Oklahoma and were Oklahoma State fans.
Our two-car caravan drove up the Going To The Sun Road as far as it was open. (A major chunk of the road is still closed because it has not been cleared of snow.) Fortunately, where the road was closed was at the trailhead for the Trail of the Cedars. All 9 of us walked this trail, as it was less than 1 mile long.
Throughout the trail, there were signs with haikus to help accelerate your enjoyment of the walk. After seeing the moss covered rock, Mallory and I came up with our own.
Moss on the mountain
Growing green and feeling soft
Do not touch the moss
At the end of the trail, we found a scenic place to take a group photo. Our intent was to take a selfie, which we did, but then a young lady came over and asked to take our photo. We let her and she ended up doing a great job. Her name was Eva, and we let her know that she was our honorary selfie stick. She was speechless.
On our walk back to our cars, we passed a parked Red Bus that is used in the Red Bus Tours. These are 1930s era vehicles, and is a very popular tour. We aren’t planning on taking the tour, so stopped for a minute to take a picture.
We drove back toward the entrance along Lake McDonald, and ended up at Lake McDonald Lodge. We checked out their gift shop, the back porch, and walked down to the water.
We had lunch at the restaurant inside the lodge. The most common menu selection BY FAR at our table was the elk burger with huckleberry aioli and organic goat cheese. It was a bit hit.
When we were ordering, Marissa said she wanted to get the turkey burger.
“Why are you getting a turkey burger?” – Stephanie
“Because that’s what I want.” – Marissa
“Okay, I was just worried you were trying to go vegan.” – Stephanie
This exchange caused quite a commotion at our table, since as far as we know vegans don’t eat turkey.
We drove on to a collection of souvenir shops that are inside the park. The number of gift shops we visited today may have set a King Family record. We also found a place that sold us huckleberry ice cream.
We finished the day at the park by visiting the Visitors Center again, and then hitting several souvenir shops right outside the park. After 1 day in the park, our ratio of shopping to hiking is about 4:1. We will fix that in the next few days!
Back at the house, we ate a wonderful meatloaf dinner prepared by Erin. During the dinner preparations, Mallory and Marissa made up a song on the guitar that told the story of the most common cause of death at Glacier. We’ll save the details on that for another day. After dinner, we spent some time learning Marissa’s new card game called Blink.
We had a fun a leisurely day. The intensity is bound to pick up tomorrow as everyone is going on more hikes. KK suggested we go out in the yard and forage for some pinion nuts for our energy needs tomorrow. Yeah, it’s going to be intense.