All too soon, it’s time to say good-bye to the Many Glacier area of the park and head off toward my final destination: Glacier Park Lodge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Park_Lodge located at the foot of Dancing Lady Mountain in the small burg of East Glacier Park Village, MT. I wrote about this place in a previous post about lodging within the park:
Spending Your Nights In The Historic Lodges of Glacier National Park: http://wp.me/p1HB5W-o4
This would be the final stop in my quest to stay at most of the historic lodges within and immediately next to Glacier National Park.
After departing Many Glacier and passing Babb and the St. Mary entrance to the park, the climb up Hwy 89 begins. Along the way, one sees swathes of fire-dead forests; at one point, I stopped the car to photograph an area which - back in 1997 - was so covered with living, thriving trees that I couldn’t really see very far beyond where I stood. This time, I could gaze as far as my eye could see.
Life will find a way, though, and the area was and is still re-populating itself.
On the route back to Browning on Hwy 89, there is a turnoff to Hwy 49. The drive is narrow and somewhat circuitous, prone to rockfalls and winter closings. However, this road takes the driver to the Two Medicine portion of the park – a turnoff along the way to East Glacier.
After wandering around the nearby Two Medicine Lake for a bit, I stopped off in the camp store to purchase some huckleberry jam and syrup, before continuing on to my end destination.
The Glacier Park Lodge (aka Great Northern Hotel) is located across the road from the Amtrak train station. The lodge is huge, with a cavernous, picturesque lobby. No, I have no overall exterior images of the lodge – none of them looked good and I did the stupid thing and deleted what few shots I had, never even thinking that my editing skills might improve enough in the future to re-work those photos into something decent. Hindsight is 20-20 and a great reminder to you photographers out there to NEVER delete your images at first glance (unless they are horribly underexposed or overexposed or totally blurry), because you might be able to save them in the future.
Three things to know about this place:
- It’s the first (or last, if you are just entering the park) place within the park where cell phones work (well, my Verizon phone received a signal) – don’t know about internet service since the thought never crossed my mind to ask about WiFi when I was there in 2008.
- The only elevator in the lodge is a service elevator, which is how the valets get your luggage to your room – otherwise you must lug your stuff up the wide staircase.
- Remember to have a 3-prong electrical outlet adapter because this lodge is old (built in 1912), and unless they have done any recent remodeling, your room will probably only have a 2-prong outlet. I ran out the battery in my laptop because I didn’t have an adaptor, and the local hardware store in East Glacier was completely out of the things.
The restaurant within the lodge is quite large. The servings are large. The food is OK, as park fare goes. The huckleberry daiquiris need more huckleberries in them and a little less sweetener. If you are hungry for some different (and better, IMO) fare, go the short distance to East Glacier Village and visit the Mexican restaurant Serranos http://serranosmexican.com/ for some awesome food and huge margaritas. It’s attached to the Backpacker Inn hostel.
My room, while a little dark, sported a newly-remodeled HUGE bathroom, and a large balcony. I’m a balcony kind of girl.
So, that’s it for my Glacier Park photologues. I plan on returning to the park in the future, which means there will be more posts – in the future – about this stunningly beautiful place – a jewel in the crown of America’s national park system.