Sunday, July 09, 2006
Yellowstone/Glacier National Park, Part I
I took a 9-day trip to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park from June 29, 2006 to July 7, 2006. I kept a journal of most of the days' happenings. I didn't have time every day to write in it, especially on the travel days, as I was driving 14-17 hours on those days and didn't do anything else. In all I covered over 4,000 miles, traveled through 7 states, and saw enough beautiful landscape to last me a long while.
I'll probably jump around quite a bit in the re-telling of my journeys, as I sometimes backtracked in the journal to describe events of previous days. And I'll have to remember the last day and the 2-day journey home as best as I can since I didn't write anything at all about them yet. I traveled with one of my good friends, but I noticed that sometimes I say 'we' and sometimes I say 'I' when referring to things I/we did while on the trip. I'm not going to worry about editing all of that.
I will also place photos and mini-movies throughout the posts when they are relevant. ...and we're off...
July 2, 2006 1:30 mountain daylight time (is that MDT?)
Well here we are finally at Glacier. After 3 days of traveling, a couple of rain showers, and a side trip through Yellowstone, we have arrived.
Our motel, the Circle R Motel, is right across the street from the Amtrak station where a train is currently passing by. The funny thing is that I can't even hear the train...well, barely can hear it.
We're unpacking now, then we'll rest a bit before returning to the car to drive into the park. We've already been to Glacier Park Lodge and had lunch and looked at the gift shop. The lodge is beautiful -- everything made of wood, with brilliant architecture. I had a bison burger for lunch. It was overcooked.
It is now about 3:15 pm. I had laid down to rest a bit and drifted off to a short nap. We listened to the 6th Harry Potter book on audio on the drive up here, only just finishing this morning. Jim Dale is a brilliant narrator. There is one guy on the platform over at the train station. I've only seen a multitude of freight trains pass by, not yet a passenger train.
Earlier we made reservations for the 1pm red 'jammer' 3-hour bus tour for tomorrow. That should be lots of fun. We're also looking at the rafting pamphlets, the boat tours, and I'm looking at the horseback riding information. I can't decide between a 2-hour ride and a 3-hour ride. I'll probably end up doing the longer one...perhaps tomorrow morning. I'm going now to check exactly where to go for the rides.
Same Day 10pm
It is still light outside. I love it. A couple of days ago in Thermopolis, Wyoming, it was light at 5:30am. I wonder what time the sun rises around here, even further north.
I've decided to take a 2 hour horseback ride that starts at 9:30am tomorrow. That'll give me enough time to get all situated for the 1pm red 'jammer' bus tour. I really only have 3 full days in Glacier, and I want to be sure that I get to do everything I want to.
The Empire Builder train pulled into the station a few hours ago. Empire Builder is an Amtrak train that has been servicing East Glacier since Louis Hill, then president of the Great Northern Railway, had the Glacier Park Lodge built in the early part of the last century. I took a couple of pictures of the train.