Keep in mind I do NOT camp.
The scenery was simply spectacular. It only takes 4-5 hours to reach Glacier from Coeur d’Alene, depending on whether you take the scenic route or not. Actually, Freeway 90 going east is beautiful itself, but we went north, then took Highway 2 out of Sandpoint.
We were gone two nights. First night—spent at the Lake McDonald Lodge, on the west end of the park. Second night—Many Glacier Hotel on the east end. So why did I mention camping in the header? Let’s take the Lake McDonald Lodge…
1. The beds were old, hard and most uncomfortable (gimme my Select Comfort!)
2. A little bottle of detergent shampoo was provided, but no conditioner.
3. A sink the size of a postage stamp. I’m not kidding. You wash your face, your feet get wet.
4. A shower not much bigger than the sink.
5. No cell phone service.
6. No Internet service.
7. No hair dryer.
Yes, the setting is gorgeous. Beautiful lake, mountains, trees. And yes, I know it’s a historical place. Built around 1930.
I think the mattresses were bought that year, too.
Did I mention no hair dryer?
Traversing the park (the part that’s road traversable anyway) is the Road to the Sun, stretching 50 miles. We did the west-to-east trek on Monday, headed away from Lake McDonald Lodge (and sore backs) and toward the Many Glacier Hotel. You have to leave the park, drive north a little ways and head back into the park to reach Many Glacier. What a beautiful setting! Lovely lake. We took a walk around it through the woods on a beautiful path—2.6 miles. Oh, and in the morning, near Lake McDonald (as we got the kinks out of our backs) we ran the Avalanche Lake trail. It was just four miles round trip, but climbed quite a bit. At the top is a pretty little lake with waterfalls in the distance.
At any rate, back to the camping part. Actually, Many Glacier Hotel was better. Well, the beds were as bad. No conditioner, no hair dryer, no cell phone service, no Internet. However, the sink and shower were both bigger.
(Guess what--I discovered I could ask for a hair dryer at the front desk at both hotels--and they gave me one to use! Hot diggedy. Man, that was a close call.)
Coming back on Tuesday, we took the Road to the Sun doing the east-to-west trek. This way was a little easier on the ol’ ticker. I don’t like heights, see. And part of that road you’re hanging off a cliff. Going west to east, you’re on the cliff side far more of the time. I oohed and aahed at the glacier mountains and all the scenery while hugging the car console. Could actually sit up straight on the east-to-west trek.
The scenery brought to mind the beginning of Psalm 19 many a time:
The heavens are telling of the glory of God,
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
Night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are their words,
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out to all the world,
And their utterance to the ends of the earth.
Yup. Who needs words when all creation shouts God’s glory?
I loved the scenery. Loved the hiking and jogging through forest. The lakes, trees, mountains, wildlife. We got some dynamite pictures. Yes, we had a splendid time.
I just don’t do camping very well.