I couldn’t stay in Montana for very long before I was drawn to Glacier National Park’s famous Going To The Sun Road. I Think it only took me five days to visit Glacier after I had settled in to my new spot at the ranch in Bigfork, Mt.
Oddly enough I don’t feel the need to leave the ranch very much, it holds its own in the wildlife and natural beauty department. Turkey, deer, ground squirrels, birds, etc- they hold my attention and are acclimated to seeing humans so they aren’t very fearful of humans. Good for wildlife sightseeing…
The drive took only about 50 minutes to get to the West gate, which was the closest entrance. The drive to Glacier was very scenic with the forest covered Swan Mountain Range to my right, and about halfway there I began to get a glimpse of the heart of Glacier National Park. I loved the rocky faces of the mountains and their snow filled crevaces. It was such a wonderful little tease to see those stunning peaks through my windshield during the drive.
Hay fields, pastures birthing bright yellow Canola flowers and rolled hay bales encompassed my vision along the way.
I passed through a couple of small uneventful towns, then like an explosion, the Michelangelo of landscapes blinded me. I came around a bend just past Columbia Falls on Hwy 2, and BOOM there’s a river the color of turquoise flowing at the base of a tree filled mini mountain. There was even a train track running parallel to the road across the river.
I’ve been to Glacier National Park eight times since then, and on that first day the water was the most colorful of all. It’s truly hard to believe the color even though you are seeing it. (Though Banff is much more staggering, Glacer’s water is still gorgeous.)
After a quick stop at the west gate Apgar visitor center, I (we, if you count The Girls…) proceeded to hit the Going To The Sun road and it was instant eye-candy. The drive starts along the southwestern tip of Lake McDonald with Logan’s Pass’s peaks ahead and the drive is on a curvy wandering Christmas-tree lined road. You are afforded little glimpses of the peaks, and there are pull offs for picnics and photo opportunities, but one can see the lake and it’s color, and I think it is one of the most scenic spots in the entire park. Stop and smell the flowers if you get there…
I made a couple of stops for photos along the way, and I had to stop just before Logan’s Pass, since the entire stretch of road from Logan’s Pass to the East gate wouldn’t open until two days later. It’s the earliest opening of the Going To The Sun Road in the history of Glacier Park. I suppose I brought a little too much of Florida with me.
However, I finally got to see and touch some SNOW!!!! It’s been so long since I have had the chance to enjoy it. Of course, I had to put Trixie and Gizmo up on that little bit of snow to capture their first experience with it. They didn’t appreciate it much (at all). But the background scenery was beautiful for the shots, and they forgave me.
It’s now November, and the road from the West gate is only open to Avalanche Falls. The rest of the road is closed for the Winter. Peace to you for the Winter, Glacier… you had a hard year with the fires!
The photos speak for themselves, let’s take a look.
Thank you for checking in, I will be launching again very soon (within a week) and will have much more to report, so look for more posts asap! I feel like I will be ‘re-launching’ my original plan! Southwestern USA, here I come!