montana trip 8/11 – 8/24 2016

Montana, a state I love. It was finally time to go on our extended vacation there. We would be making our way to Glacier National Park for a few days in the Two Medicine part of the park. Then we would go to the west side just a mile outside the park for the Montana Truck Camper Rally. We would stay an extra day past the rally, then make our way back home. It was going to be a great trip and it was indeed.

Our first day would start right after work. I would drive the truck and camper while Joanne and Cody were in the mini van. We would drive east on I-90 to St Regis then go north on highway 135. From there we would go east on highway 200 to Perma. Perma was our stop for the night. Perma, not much for a town, just a couple homes really but a great spot along the Flathead River. We would camp in a remote spot on the north side of the river about a mile from the bridge crossing. We had the area to ourselves and it was very peaceful. We enjoyed our views, had dinner and slept great.

our spot at the camp spot

our spot at the camp spot along the river

the hills nearby

the hills nearby camp

Flathead River

Flathead River

we watched the sunset

we watched the sunset

We got an early start the next morning. We had a great drive to Two Medicine in Glacier. The views along the drive were great with wide open valleys and mountains surrounding them. Lots of old buildings that we enjoying seeing as we drove by. We got to Glacier and the sign said the campground was full. Oh oh, you can not make reservations at Two Medicine campground. We decided to go look for a site anyway and we did find one that would work for our stay. While there are several sites that can handle a motorhome, having a truck camper gave us a much better option of site. There would be no way a motorhome or big trailer could fit in the one and only site we found open upon our arrival.

our site at two medicine

our site at two medicine

in a very treed site

in a very treed site

not the perfect site but pretty nice

not the perfect site but pretty nice

the mountains close by our site

the mountains close by our site

standing in the road access you could look at the mountain.

standing in the road access you could look at the mountain.

We got our camp set up by 11:30 and there would be plenty of time to look around the area. We went for a walk to look at our fantastic spot for the next few days. We visited the small store and cafe in Two Medicine. We even saw a bunch of Big Horn Sheep in the picnic area. They were eating the charcoal out of one of the fire pits. From what a Park Ranger told me later, they were going after the salts that occur when you burn wood. It was such a great feeling to be back in a park that is near and dear to my heart.

big horn sheep

big horn sheep

the picnic area

the picnic area

two medicine lake

two medicine lake

amazing views

amazing views

the historic two medince lodge

the historic two medicine lodge

yep, it is historic

yep, it is historic

Joanne and Cody loving the area

Joanne and Cody loving the area

We would relax back at camp and have our dinner. The next day was a big day. I would be doing a hike to Colbalt Lake with a Park Ranger leading the hike. Joanne and Cody would drive into East Glacier and St Maries to do some shopping and so on. We each had a great day. My hike to Colbalt Lake would be an 11.4 mile round trip hike. By the end of the hike I was pretty darn tired but fulfilled with a great feeling of getting there. I was having an issue with gout in my left foot and it did make the hike more painful than it should have been. I wanted to do the hike and I pushed the pain out of my mind. The views and just getting there was all very much worth it.

nearby the trail head

nearby the trail head

the ranger explaining things

the ranger explaining things

footbridge crossing

footbridge crossing

I love Glacier

I love Glacier

there were thimble berries and huckleberries to eat along the way

there were thimble berries and huckleberries to eat along the way

one of the waterfalls along the hike

one of the waterfalls along the hike

looking back at two medicine lake valley

looking back at two medicine lake valley, way back there

wow, just wow

wow, just wow

no grizzlies in sight but that is okay with me

no grizzlies in sight but that is okay with me

a short resting spot along the trail

a short resting spot along the trail

nearing colbalt lake

nearing colbalt lake

colbalt lake

colbalt lake

simply amazing

simply amazing

it was worth every step there and back

it was worth every step there and back

By the time I made it back to the trail head I was pretty tired. It would be another mile hike back to camp. Joanne and Cody knew about what time I would be back and they were waiting at the trail head to greet me. Most importantly, to give a ride to camp and skip the last extra mile. We ended the night telling each other about our day.

I had plans to do another hike the next day but my left foot just was not having it. So instead we all got in the van and drove up to Waterton National Park in Canada. We had a wonderful day for sure. We visited the famous Prince of Wales Hotel and then had lunch in town while waiting for our boat tour on Waterton Lake. The boat tour would take us south back into the U.S.A. and there would be about a half hour to walk around before getting back on the boat to return. It really is worth doing the boat tour if you have not done it. First though before heading to Canada would be a stop at Running Eagle Falls just east of the campground.

running eagle falls

running eagle falls, yep…it comes out of the rock, not over it

views along the highway to Canada

views along the highway to Canada

Cheif mountain to the right

Chief mountain to the right

waiting to enter Canada

waiting to enter Canada

hey, they let us in

hey, they let us in

good to see you Alberta

good to see you Alberta

a great rest stop not far into Canada

a great rest stop not far into Canada

prince of wales hotel

prince of wales hotel

inside the hotel

inside the hotel

a look out the hotel window

a look out the hotel window

waterton lake from the hotel bluff edge

waterton lake from the hotel bluff edge

in town looking back at the hotel

in town looking back at the hotel

the town is a fun place to walk around

the town is a fun place to walk around

having lunch before our boat tour

having lunch before our boat tour

tabout time to board the boat

about time to board the boat

joanne loving the views on the tour

joanne loving the views on the tour

crossing the boarder back into America

crossing the boarder back into America

at the customs station in goat haunt

at the customs station in goat haunt

the boarder clearing

the boarder clearing

We enjoyed ourselves completely on the side trip. In the evening we attended a Ranger Talk at the amphitheater about the history of Two Medicine. It was a great presentation.

a great show back at camp

a great show back at camp

We slept well after a busy day. The next day we would leave and go to the campground where the Truck Camper Rally would be a day early. Since my foot was not up to hiking I simply could not stay to do a hike. We will return again though at some point to get my hikes in. We arrived at Glacier Campground mid day. We stopped at a neat roadside art display outside East Glacier and then a stop at Marias Pass.

roadside art

roadside art

very cool

very cool

cody at marias pass

cody at marias pass

We would check into the campground then get camp set up. We would stay here for the next 8 nights. We drove into town to do a bit of shopping then relaxed at camp. The next day we would drive into Glacier for a stop at a spot I wanted to see. We then drove back into town to get groceries. At the store we would cross paths with friends who were going to attend the rally.

in glacier

in glacier

cody doing what cody does

cody doing what cody does

The next few days were all about the Montana Truck Camper Rally. Here is a link to that blog post:

https://thetclife.com/2016/08/27/montana-truck-camper-rally-817-821-2016/

After the farewell breakfast for the rally we picked up things and then drove to Whitefish. We would stop at a brewery and do some shopping. Whitefish is a neat little town to spend some time in. After a day of wandering around we returned to camp and visited with friends who stayed an extra day from the rally.

at a brewery enjoying great beer

at a brewery enjoying great beer

neat brewery building

neat brewery building

The next day was a big and great day. We would do a horseback ride to Sperry Chalet. It is a 13.5 mile ride round trip all day ride. So instead of my foot being sore some other parts were. We were so glad we did this ride.

the trail map to the chalet

the trail map to the chalet

the three amigos

the three amigos

There are no pictures of the ride up or down. The wranglers rules are that no picture taking while riding, for safety. The views were incredible. The arrival to the chalet was terrific. We saw Mountain Goats and had lunch at the chalet. Great food way up in a place with only foot or horse access. More outstanding views from way up there as well.

inside the dinning hall

inside the dinning hall

a nice kitchen for hungry hikers and riders

a nice kitchen for hungry hikers and riders

a neat place for sure

a neat place for sure

the dinning hall

the dinning hall

the chalet

the chalet

basic but nice rooms

basic but nice rooms

mountain goats

mountain goats

chalet views

chalet views

amazing

amazing

what a great place

what a great place

nestled in to the tree and on the cliffs

nestled in to the tree and on the cliffs

the trail coming up

the trail coming up

After the ride that will have lifelong memories we returned to camp for the rest of the night. It was a peaceful evening and a little sad to see all the rally friends were now gone and on towards whatever travels they had ahead of them.

The next morning we broke camp fairly early and made our way halfway home. Our stop would be in Libby Montana and our stay would be at Woodland RV Park. Before we made it to the RV park we made a stop at the heritage museum. I have wanted to stop before but never had time. This time, it was a plan to go there. WOW! What a museum, one of the best heritage museums I have ever been to. If you can, I highly suggest going there.

the main museum building

the main museum building

inside the main building

inside the main building

more of the inside

more of the inside

more outside displays

more outside displays

After a visit at the great museum it was on to Woodland RV Park. We have stayed there a few years ago and it is a nice place right on the edge of town. We got the hookups set then made our way into town to explore, do geocaching and find the brewery. All of that was accomplished.

our spot for the night

our spot for the night

a great spot for the night

a great spot for the night

lots of eagle sculptures in town

lots of eagle sculptures in town

some are smaller and some are huge sculptures like this one

some are smaller and some are huge sculptures like this one

brewery stop at Cabinet Mountain Brewery, great food and beer

brewery stop at Cabinet Mountain Brewery, great food and beer

After all of our excursions were done it was a return to camp and let the night slip by evening.

Our last day of vacation, We had to make a stop at the Libby Café for breakfast. They always have the best breakfast there. We still could not finish the huge portions and the food was still fantastic.

libby cafe

libby cafe

It was now time though to head home, about a 3 hour drive. We needed to get back home to go a look at a new truck to haul the camper around. More about that in another blog post to soon follow. The trip was amazing to say the least. We wished it could continue but no lottery winning ticket yet so back to work we must go. Back to work for a short time to pay for the next trip that is!

 

montana trip 8/11 – 8/24 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “montana trip 8/11 – 8/24 2016

  1. Rich,

    That brewery you stopped at in Whitefish used to be the location of the Cadillac Hotel. Right next to it was the Hanging Tree Bar. Right across the street was the Great Northern Bar. When I was a young fellow I use to play in a back and over the high school years we played in both of them. I was born and raised in Whitefish. My best friend through HS still lives there. We leave tomorrow morning heading up to Whitefish for my High School reunion.

    Glad you had fun in my old stomping grounds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s