Roadtrip: Glacier National Park, Montana

Growing up in the Midwest, you learn all about glaciers and how they carved out the land, and were responsible for all the weird bumps (as well as the Great Lakes).  But it’s kind of hard to picture a “river” of ice–I always ended up imagining something like a giant line of toothpaste squeezing out.  So when I hit Montana, I put Glacier National Park on my to-see list, so I could clear things up.

Unfortunately, my timing was off.  The Going to the Sun road (excellent name) isn’t fully plowed of snow until mid-June, and the part that was clear when I showed up didn’t stretch that far.  I did, however, get to drive by the very beautiful, very cerulean Flathead Lake, and also to stop at a ridiculously pristine alpine lake in the park.  I’ve had Swarovski jewelry that was less clear.  Flip side, however, is that the lake is also kind of sterile, with very little aquatic life in it.  Bears weren’t around either, so no significant animals to report.

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Next stop was Coeur D’Alene and my GPS, unprompted, took me through the wonderfully-named Lolo National Forest, which looked just like the movie A River Runs Through It.  Wish I could post photos, but I did not get a good photo op since the turn-offs and scenic overlooks were all unpaved gravel, and my car was having a hard enough time with the inclines (spent much of the day driving in second gear).  I decided to save the tires; proof that the roads here are rough on them was that the car right, right in front of me blew out its back tire as I was driving into Coeur D’Alene.  I saw it go, and strips of the tire went flying right over my windshield.  Luckily, I was well back and the other driver steered the car smoothly onto the shoulder, so my car’s automatic brake alert–which kicks in if I get closer than a certain distance to another car–didn’t even go off.