Friday was spent driving from Coeur d’Alene to Columbia Falls, Montana, where we checked into the Bad Rock B&B. We have to say we are in awe of the beauty of Northern Idaho and Western Montana. Not sure what we expected, but our drives have been amazing. We really enjoyed the ride around Flathead Lake, Montana.
After a couple of loads of laundry at the Inn, we headed into town for chicken and ribs at the Back Room Restaurant, a favorite of the locals. So, in keeping with our tradition of displaying favorite meals, here is a look at a real Montana BBQ dinner complete with fry bread (tastes like a donut with half the sugar).
Today, after a delicious gourmet breakfast (some kind of egg dish wrapped in applewood smoked bacon) at the B&B, we packed a lunch, a can of bear spray, and headed to Glacier National Park. First stop was the visitor center where we attended a ranger presentation on what to do if you encounter a bear (over 1,200 grizzly and black bears roam the park), mountain lion, or moose while on a trail. We even got a nice demo on how to use the bear spray (don’t spray into the wind!). It was so comforting to learn that only a couple of maulings happen each year at Glacier…….. We decided to do a drive tour first and then hike a popular (meaning lots of people on the trail) trail.
Glacier is known for having one of the most scenic roads in all the national parks. The 53 mile Going-to-the-Sun-Road traverses the width of the park. The drive is not for the faint of heart as it is very narrow and winding with little or no shoulder. Sadly, due to a large forest fire in the eastern part of the park, we were only able to drive the western half of the road, but it was spectacular! Oh, and about half way up the mountain we actually encountered a bear! It was just feet from the Old Home munching on some berries. Sadly our picture is not very good but if you look closely (middle) you can see some brown fur in the berry bush.
Here are some more pictures from the Going-to-the-Sun-Road:
Once back down the mountain, we headed to the Avalanche Lake Trailhead. This 5 mile hike along Avalanche Creek and through old growth forest was really great and quite strenuous (or maybe we are just out of shape from our home routine). At the end of the trail is Avalanche Lake, a beautiful, picturesque, crystal clear glacial lake fed by 3 amazing waterfalls. It was well worth the walk. These pictures do not do the sight justice.
After a quick stop to glimpse Lake McDonald, we found a coffee shop, loaded up on caffeine and headed to the town of Whitefish for dinner. Exhausted, we needed some good ole comfort food, so a beer and a burger it was.
By the way, the beer was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. If you ever see Irresistible Amber Ale from Madison River Brewing (Belgrade, MT) on the beer list….try it!
Unfortunately we only had the one day to explore the park, but we fully intend to revisit this park again.
Tomorrow we are back on the road, headed for Canmore, Alberta Canada to visit Banff National Park.