Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 11

The Two Old Buzzards got an earlier start today after having their continental breakfast at the Cheap Sleep with some nice people from Arkansas and Ohio. Linda had carrot juice and raw bits twang twang. John had Shredded Wheat and a Svenhardt pastry. Both had the excellent coffee.

Getting to the park before 9:00 was a great idea. It was less crowded by far. But even later at the peak of traffic at Logan's Pass, it was nothing like Yellowstone (skirt season). And the congestion problem is 98% less than at Yosemite. Most of today was spent on the Going to the Sun Road which takes you completely through the park (road runs east-west) and past the park's largest lake which is McDonald Lake. There were many streams, waterfalls, glaciers and wildflowers. The old buzzards also saw a few wild animals. There was a coyote that seemed to enjoy loping along first on one side of the road and then crossing over to the other. His contract must specify giving equal opportunity to photographers on both sides of the street. Also viewed today were mountain goats (see photo contest below), a robin, an otter and a duckling. The duckling was gradually making his way down the edge of a river where the rapids were very swift. Tourists were cheering for the little guy from the viewing platform about 50 feet above the water. The McDonald Lodge has a beautiful view of the lake. Linda was taking a photo of the lake when she noticed something swimming towards her. As it came closer she could tell that it was a river otter.

Photo contest (between Linda and John)....which of the two photos of mountain goats do you like the best..... top or bottom???

OK, now on with the days activities. Roaming around the lodge area, John and Linda came to a building labeled Reading Room. It was a beautiful place with leather chairs and sofas and books and cookies. Alas, no on was in reading in the Reading Room. Then, just outside we spied a young couple walking toward the lodge. They had to walk right past us. Linda did a marvelous job of getting them to volunteer to be our reader(s) for our Photo Scavengter Hunt item. They were a friendly young couple from Indiana. That provided another one of the items on the Mercury News  Scavenger Hunt. Fannie Mae stayed in Wilma while the buzzards were exploring the hotel. When they returned it appeared as if she had found a napkin to shred (a favorite activity on Planet Fannie). Then Linda noticed a blue stain and remembered that there had been a blueberry muffin wrapped in a napkin and tucked into one of the cup holders. So Fannie had just as good a time in the parking lot as the buzzards had at McDonald Lodge. Her new nickname is Muffin. While inside the lodge in the rest area, Linda was accosted by a lady who really wanted her hat (it shades your whole head and your neck too). “Oh, I got it at Costco” Linda cheerily told her. “Well, there's no Costco here and I need it now” she whined. She just had a dinky visor held on by an elastic band and must have been on one of the tour buses that are open on the top in nice weather like today. So Linda generously gave away her nice pink hooded hat and has a new best friend. Oops, I guess that story won't be too believable when that pink hat keeps showing up in future photos. Oh, well, Linda could have had another star in her crown and blew it.  Way to pay it forward, Buzzard #1!

Right about noon (still on Going-to-the-Sun Road) the old buzzards came to the St. Mary entrance on the east side of the park. They left through that entrance and went to the little town of St. Mary for lunch at Johnson Cafe which was highly recommended by our Ohio breakfast companion. It was 78 degrees and there was no shade in which to park the buzzards' Fannie, so John went in to get huckleberry pie to go. When he came out he said “It was so big, I just got one piece and it is huckleberry ice cream pie so we need to eat it now.” No problem. With the windows rolled down we had a nice breeze and did exactly what Marie Callender always advised: “Eat dessert first”. It was yummy and refreshing and ended up being our entire lunchtime meal, graham cracker crust and all!

After re-entering the park, the trip back had fewer stops than this morning and the old buzzards and their Fannie were back at the Cheap Sleep by 3:30 to look at their treasure trove of today's photos. Speaking of Cheap, it's a good thing that film is so cheap nowadays!

Dinner was at Buffalo Grill again. No Hot Date (sandwich) for John this time. He had the "Snow Ghost" a broiled chicken sandwich on a Kaiser roll with blue cheese and crunchy onion strings. And it came with beer-battered French fries. Linda had "Sweet Chili Salmon Tacos" with that special secret purple sauce and rice and black beans.

After dinner it was time to stop at Safeway for gas and milk and ice before going home for the evening.

The SONG O' THE DAY is I'll Follow the Sun by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (1964) . It's on page 122 in The Daily Ukelele Songbook.

It seemed the obvious choice since we were on the Going-to-the-Sun Road for almost all our time in the park today. There was so much spectacular scenery that Linda did not make it past songs that begin with the letter “M” yet.  It was pretty much a two or three song day. But that's not a bad thing. She seems to be in no danger of losing the callouses that have been building up on the finger tips of her left hand ever since Fearless Leader Jo started our AAUkeW interest group in January.

It has certainly been a wonderful Road Trip so far and we welcome any comments you would care to make: the good, the bad and the wiggly.

The photo gallery for today has 117 images and can be viewed by clicking here.

Happy trails!

No comments:

Post a Comment