Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19: Sunny and warm. Cook a little oatmeal today as we are planning on doing a little hiking. Good shoes, hats, pants and long sleeves, sunscreen, bear spray, walking sticks with bell, and a picnic/cook-out lunch and we are on our way up Many Glacier’s Road into Glacier Park. It’s 11 miles of beautiful wooded valleys between huge peaks to the entrance of the park to get our lifetime, Senior Pass to all the US parks—there are some benefits to aging. Our first stop is Many Glacier Lodge to get the skinny on the available hikes. The lodge was built by James J. Hill as a destination for travelers on his Northern Pacific Railway (remember, they call it the “high line” in Montana?); it’s situated on Lake Swiftcurrent, bordered on three sides by huge mountain peaks—beautiful! We find out about a Nature Hike at 2pm, walk a little around the grounds of the lodge, down to the lake and over a little falls, then find a place to cook our picnic lunch. We show up for Ranger Bob’s hour and a half walk and talk about the special things in Glacier Park. He really knows his rocks and flowers, so Ron and I have a great time. A white-tailed deer joins our group as a special treat. Then, at 4pm, we get a tour of the historic lodge, three stories supported by 50+’ Douglas fir, decorated in the Swiss Chalet style with rock quarried from behind the lodge for the fireplaces and chimneys. It’s really grand! Ron treats me to dinner in the newly restored dining room; the open beam ceiling is put together like a railway trestle and the hearth of the huge fireplace is black, rippled stone from ancient beaches. The food is marvelous, and a great plenty; we feel like a couple of bears ready to sleep all winter and it’s not long before lights out in the Hendrickson Den.(Remember, you can click the picures to make them larger!)

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