My dad’s cousin volunteered to show us around Kalispell and Glacier Park. We went by the house that Grandma and Grandpa had been married in. Someone had moved it cross town and restored it, it looked real good. Then we stopped at Hungry Horse Dam. The story goes that there was a group of horses trapped up in the mountains one winter and when spring came there was only one starving horse that had survived, thus the name Hungry Horse. From there we went to Glacier Park.
There are three was to travel the park: by car, by tour bus, or by these old-time, red buses with these open roofs. We stopped at a Lodge built-in 1914, the inside looked like your typical old-time ski or hunting lodge. There were animal skins and heads along the balcony and staircase railings. The lodge had a restaurant and gift shop. It was really neat. We walked up the hill to a restaurant to eat lunch, it looked like a fifties style pizza parlor but we had burgers. The beef was 100% grass-fed cattle, which meant they were not fed any grain or vaccinated for anything. It was good, but tasted way different from our beef. I like our beef a lot better. We began driving up to the top but there was construction and delays so we didn’t quite make it to the top. We turned around just past “the weeping wall,” but let’s back up a little bit.
We saw a lot of wildflowers ranging from light purple to reddish-orange, to bright yellow. Lake McDonald was beautiful and blue. Heaven’s Peak was breathtaking and its sharp point was full of snow. McDonald Creek had some intense rapids and was running pretty strong. The Weeping Wall and Bird Woman Falls was going full force. There was another pretty strong water fall at what is called Big Bend, because it is a “big bend” in the road. The road was really narrow making hard for two cars to meet in some places. The weeping wall was so cool, it is this rock wall with water running down the side of it. As we were driving back down we had to scoot really close to the weeping wall and water came in through the open window, I rolled the window up fast and my sister thought it was funny I almost got wet. The brochure said that McDonald Creek carries trees and boulders in the early season, that would be really cool to see but at the same time really scary, too. Bird Woman Falls cascades 492 feet from the slopes of Mt. Oberlin. We drove through a 192 foot tunnel built-in 1926. Cousin N honked as we drove through and that thrilled my sister. As we were driving up the mountain we could see the damage left by a forest fire on 2003.
After we left the park we went by my Grandma’s old homestead. She got really excited and started pointing things out. She pointed to where the mailbox used to be and when we drove by the house she grew up in she started naming off all the changes that had been made and pointed out the old ice house, which is still standing as is the old barn. Then we went by the cemetery and found where my great grandparents are buried. Cousin N. took us by his place and showed us around his farm a little bit. We sat in his backyard and ate ice cream bars while visiting with his wife and daughter. We made it back to Aunt E and Uncle M’s in time for dinner. After dinner another one of dad’s cousins and her husband came to say good-bye. Aunt E. opened the rest of her cards from the party. We head home tomorrow.
Until another day,