Saturday, August 10, 2013

Camas Creek Entrance

On a lark we decided to drive further north on US - 486 (aka: North Fork Road) to check out a campground 13 miles up the road called Big Creek Campground, a USFS facility, so we departed the coach around 10 am thinking it would take us around 15 minutes to get there.  

It was another very clear day with almost no breeze as we cruised at close to 70 mph going north.  About 3 miles into our jaunt we suddenly see a yellow sign which says "Pavement Ends"......and it ended about 30 feet past the sign.  The road went on, but it was just a dirt and gravel affair.  I suggested we continue on hoping we would get pavement back at some point......well "at some point" came 8.5 miles later just as we came abreast the campground.  It only took us 50 minutes to cover that 8.5 miles.......I think Mr. Jello is lurking around here somewhere!

We drove through the campground and decided it would not work for us on several levels......too many trees, very narrow interior roads, and 8.5 miles of washboard dirt road to get to it.  Its big plus is that it is on the North Fork of the Flathead River, and the views were great.  It is possible to get to this campground by entering through the West Glacier entrance and driving up to the Camas Creek Entrance where you only have to drive 2.5 miles of dirt road to get to the campground, but then it becomes a 60 mile drive for us, not the 13 mile drive we had though it would be if we decided to move up the road.

 Dirty 'Bird

This is the final U.S. entrance to the park, and even though we were bummed at driving 8.5 miles on the dirt road, we have the satisfaction of knowing we have seen Glacier National Park from pretty much every single angle except coming in from the Canadian side through Waterton Lakes Provincial Park.

Camas Creek Bridge - internet photo

This part of the park was heavily damaged by a forest fire back in the early 90's, and it will be decades before the forest returns here.  In this picture you can see all the dead trees, and even though this picture is taken from the internet, this is exactly how it looks today, except for all the snow on the distant mountains.

We arrived at Apgar Village around 11 am after a delightful drive down from the Camas Creek entrance.  Apgar Village is just a mile inside the West Glacier Entrance, and it is a cute place with several expresso bars, and motels.  We walked down to the beach area which gave us this great shot looking north along Lake MacDonald toward Logan Pass.

Beautiful Lake MacDonald looking north to Logan Pass

From there we exited through the West Glacier entrance.......the line of cars coming in on this Friday stretched for about a quarter mile.....whew.....I'm glad we came in this way on Thursday!!  We knew there were a couple of antique shops in Columbia Falls we wanted to visit, as well as one more thrift store so TLE set the 'Bird on cruise control and we cruised for 15 miles back to the city limits, and the first antique shop.  It was very nicely laid out, but there was nothing that caught out collective eye, so we headed further west to Eagle's Nest Antiques where I found a couple of license plates to add to my collection.....Montana and Utah are now crossed off my list.  They had some other plates I would have been interested in if they had not been priced at $75 each......I got the Utah one for $12, and the Montana one for $15.  The thrift store yielded no treasures, so we continued back north toward our "home"

As we were driving back up US-486 through the old town area I suddenly spied a sign for "Desert Mountain Brewery & Draughthaus".....we quickly circled the block and found a shady spot in which to park.  I hadn't seen the sign the first two times we had driven through the old town area, but there it was.  This is a micro brewery, food, just some pretzels, which is fine....we weren't really hungry anyway.

I had a pint of the Chinese Wall Wheat, and I'm at a total loss as to what TLE had as I write....she is still asleep, otherwise I would ask her......shhhhh....don't want to wake her up!  Yelp gives this tap room 5 stars....I would have it closer to 4, but we enjoyed our brews, and are glad we stopped in!

We arrived back "home" around 1 pm, and whilst TLE made a sandwich, I got out the lounge chairs so we could sit outside and read away the afternoon heat....and it did get hot Friday.....88 degrees hot.....obviously not the 100+ with humidity some of my friends in Texas are experiencing, but hot by our recent standards.

The forecast is for 90+ temps the next couple of days so we are thinking we are going to move back down the hill and try and find a place to plug in so we can run the A/C without worrying about how much propane we are using.  That's the beauty of having wheels on your can move it whenever you wish.  

We spent the night reading, and were both in bed by 10:30 enjoying the very cool breezes coming in the windows.

Thanks for stopping by!

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