Well the kids and I just settled in at the East Glacier Amtrak station. Watching some Fantasia 2000. Its 900 pm and we have until 1100 pm to wait to catch our 645 pm train. Excellent. I actually appreciated a bit of that extra time. We got to visit a few more sites, but now that the sun has set I’m ready to hop aboard and snuggle into our Roomette. I guess this way we can sleep in and not rush to
get off in the morning. In fact, we will likely enjoy lunch… Maybe even dinner… On the train between here and Seattle.
Anyway…. Today was nice. Not as crazy amazing and glorious as yesterday but still quite lovely. We slept in, which with the time change means we got up at 730. Watched some TV, packed up the car and checked out of our lovely little cabin. The weather was noticeably cooler with a bit of broken overcast sky. We drove a few miles up the road to the Two Medicine part of the park where we road the 45 boat tour around the lake. The boat driver was funny, told us a bit of history (the little wooden boat was hand built for the park 88 years ago), and then he opened it up to questions. There were many good ones. Then Zoe got into the act and asked when the lake froze could she ice skate on it and do animals fall through the ice and get cut. You could ice skate, he said, if you cross country skied in about 8 rough miles and then braved the 100 mph winds across the lake. “most people don’t” he said. Avi liked the first part of the boat ride and even went out on the bow with me. He got antsy after a bit so I needed to bust out the carrots to keep him seated. The clouds grew and the temp dropped but we braved another short hike to Running Eagle Falls. Avi loved it and ran the whole way- even across the log bridge. It’s not far but was enjoyable and the waterfall is super cool coming through the cliff at the bottom.
After that we were hungry and I wanted to go up to the Many Glacier northern section of the park, so I took the indirect but less winding road to Browning. This is a pretty slow (im being nice) town in the heart of the Blackfoot reservation that is adjacent to the park. There was a Taco Johns drive through which became necessary since both children were asleep. The 40 mile drive from there to Many Glacier was incredible. I thoroughly enjoy the high prairie with the mountains in the background. It is simply gorgeous to me: my favorite landscape. Don’t think the kids would have been as impressed.
They woke as we arrived at Many Glacier just as a torrential downpour began. We ate what was supposed to be a picnic in the car and then the rain stopped! It was wonderful. Cool. Overcast. Moist. So we walked a good bit of the Swiftcurrent trail across from the big old chalet lodge. The kids then just wanted to play in the picnic area. Having checked the train prior I knew we already had two extra hours so it was fun to just chill out. The weather seemed at the verge of raining but didn’t drizzle until we left. The clouds looked like smoke coming from inside the mountain. Zoe picked a bouquet of wildflowers and kindly distributed one to each prairie dog hole. Avi kicked dirt and threw rocks into the holes. Adding to our wildlife count was a big mama deer and two babies that wandered very near to us, plus a bear the size of a penny sighted up the mountain. There were also lots of squirrels and chippys. Many Glacier proved to be the location for animals.
With our days plans in the bag we began our drive back to East Glacier, however, the train schedule now showed 3 hours late so we stopped at the visitor center in St Mary again to watch the video and listen to more of the animal sounds. As a bonus we got to Skype with Bryan from my phone in the car. Another side trip found us down the most beautiful valley EVAR – Cut Bank . It was open and green, forested along the river and had huge cliffs and mountains rising up around it. Plus, there were horses and cows. Avi loves cows… In a crazy way. He Squeals “cows” at the sight of any! This is mostly on the reservation with a tiny campground and trial access to Glacier. Back in East Glacier town we checked our bags in at the train station … An hour after our train should have left. And then we spent a while looking around the lodge and town before grabbing hotdogs to go from the gas station. The rental car lady dropped us off back at the train station and here we sit…. Waiting. Ugh. Well, a huge thunderstorm started so that is cool. We will be snug in our bunks soon enough. Tomorrow- Seattle.