Friday, August 9, 2013

West Glacier

Thursday came in with mostly blue skies with a few puffy white clouds.  The weather guessers forecast highs of 82, which is not too bad.  Our Jello plan for the day was to drive into Glacier National Park through the West Glacier Entrance and drive up to Lake MacDonald to take a hike up to MacDonald Falls.  From where we are it is about an hour's drive to the entrance so we got an early start around 10 am.  First up on our agenda was to verify that the local Conoco gas station did indeed have a dump site, because when we leave here on Sunday, or Monday we will need to dump for sure, and the Conoco is right on our way out US-2.....and as it turns out they DO have a dump station....perfect!

Our parking spot right next to Bailey Lake see below....not too bad for free.

The weather was so nice we decided to take the top off the car, and were on the road by 10 am.  The line at the West Glacier entrance was "glacial" in its movement.  It seemed every single car had multiple questions for the rangers.  It took so long I had time to get on the internet with my Kindle and buy two books to read later in the evening.  Anyway, finally we got to the kiosk, showed the nice ranger lady our Golden Age pass, and were waived through.

We arrived at MacDonald Lake Lodge around 11:20, found a parking spot in the same place we parked in the last time we were there when we drove the "Going to the Sun Highway" from the St. Mary entrance.   The trailhead was right across the street from the entrance to the lodge.  We were on the trail by 11:30, which we found out was also a heavily used horseback riding trail, so we were dodging horse dodo for a couple of miles.  The hike up to MacDonald Falls is about 2.5 miles, and it was mostly in the shade which we appreciated.

We arrived at the falls around 12:30 and just sat there for a while enjoying the cool air coming off the falling water.....TLE even took her sandals off to soak her dirty feet in the water.

As we crossed the bridge over MacDonald Creek at the north end of Lake MacDonald we got this great view looking south......

.....and this great view looking north to the falls.....

We arrived back at the lodge around 1:30 pm having covered a total of around 5 miles.....we decided to hike the highway back to avoid the horse dookey, and found two seats at the bar where we had lunch (a Rueben, which we split, and the Buffalo Quesadilla we had last time,which we also split), and a couple of Oatmeal Stout drafts.

We were back in the car around 2:15 and headed back toward Columbia Falls.  Our friend, Scott Smith had mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that we had to stop in and experience the Montana Vortex if we were in the area, and sure enough we saw it as we were driving back to Columbia Falls, so we pulled in and checked it out.  It is interesting, and they charge you $9 person to be interested.  In our group alone there were at least 20 people.  There are various optical illusions that makes it appear that one person is taller than another, then they switch positions and the tall person appears to be shorter.  It is very cleaver, but as far as I can tell it is just a way for some folks to get bored tourists to transfer some of their hard earned money to them.  At any rate, we were entertained, and enjoyed our time there......:D

As we were driving through Columbia Falls TLE noticed a thrift store, so we stopped and went in for about 20 minutes.....she found a couple of books to add to her growing, again, collection, and we were on our way back to Flathead Lake Winery.

We arrived back "home" around 5, and it was a little hot inside so I turned on the big generator, and then both air conditioners to cool it down inside quickly....once it cooled down I turned off the front A/C and we just enjoyed the coolness for a couple of hours.  Around 7 I turned off the big generator, and plugged in the had been cloudy much of the day, and our solar panels had not been able to bring our batteries back very far.  By the time I turned off the Honda we were back to 91%, so not too bad.

We both continued reading until after 10, and then I went to bed.....TLE followed about an hour later.

It was a very nice day, and we are really loving our current FREE location.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Clark can you ran your small A/C with the Honda.

  2. Sorry the vortex wasn't worth the visit. The optical illusions really aren't what I was talking about when I suggested you visit. It is the actual magnetic vortex there. Perhaps you didn't experience the energy shift while there. It was quite noticeable when we visited.

  3. Capt., can't run either A/C with the Honda.

    Scott....I think I did feel the energy shift....I was dizzy much of the time.


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