Friday, June 27, 2008

Glacier National Park

Gasoline summary:
Filled at Shelby - $4.09/gal average 23.25 mpg
Dick has figured these statistics:
Speed 75 mph - mileage=21 mpg
Speed 65 mph - mileage=22/23 mpg
Speed 55 mph - mileage=28 mpg

Montana wildlife seen on the way to Glacier National Park - well, not that much. Dick really wanted to see a coyote, and we saw one alongside the road. He was just standing still, watching the road. He looked quite healthy. We also saw a small herd of buffalo - not nearly as many as in T.C. These buffalo were running, though - don't know why, but they were all galloping along the fence line. Our hometown buffalo just stand around or plop down.
Too many pictures of Montana? Maybe - I have 20 more that I didn't publish - I just couldn't get over the beautiful scenery! We don't see many snow-covered mountains on River Road.

We were disappointed in Glacier Nat'l Park because Logan Pass was closed, and so we couldn't drive the whole Going to the Sun road. We did see spectacular views, though, and we even saw some snow still hanging in there along the road. The views are super - really different for lowlanders like we are.

Wildflowers were everywhere in the park - we saw so many different kinds! Alpine Sunflower (Old Man of the Mountain), larkspur, Indian paintbrush, bear grass, flea bane, and on and on.

I still can't believe the kind of road signs that we saw: Avalanche Area, Earthquake Area, Falling Rock, Fallen Rock, Wildlife in Road - that's how we know we're not in Michigan anymore.

After we drove as far as we could from the Eastern entrance, we backtracked, and followed the road along the Flathead River. We had a great picnic at the Izaak Walton picnic area, found a cache at Paolo Creek, saw snowsheds on the mountainside along the railroad tracks, and saw whitewater rafters on the river. It was a glorious drive.

We went in the Western entrance and drove as far as we could. This end is not as scenic at the other side - didn't get many pictures BUT! We had some real excitement when a bear crossed the road in front of us, and began grazing only about 20 feet from the road. I got a great picture! It was the highlight of the day!

We're staying tonight in Kalispell. This town is a little down at heel - with horrible traffic. We could live in Great Falls - we couldn't live in Kalispell.