Another early start (out of the hotel before six, fortified with their free coffee) and arrived in time to catch the sunrise at Lake McDonald :
After that, basically we followed the ‘Going to the Sun Road’ which cuts through the main part of the park, going round lakes, falls, mountains and passes, dipping in and out as and when something took our fancy.
The road up to the main part of the park was buttock-clenchingly scary to drive – a narrow and winding road with a sheer drop. I’m sure it’s safe (and there were barriers) but whilst the view was lovely, I could feel the vertigo whenever I looked over the edge.
A good way to see everything was by a boat tour. It was pretty relaxing and certainly less stressful than auditioning for a terrible American remake of The Italian Job (and besides, someone else has done that one before me).
At the start of the boat journey, the safety announcement included, as well as the usual ‘no smoking or jumping overboard etc’ that there was ‘no guns allowed on board the boat’ – throughout the rest of the park, guns are fine, apparently, just not on the boat.
The reason for the ‘no guns’ rule became clear when the ranger providing the guided tour started singing a few religious songs, about the majesty of the park, seemingly of his own composition.
Anyway, a couple of photos of the several hundred I ended up taking :
Highlight – Avalanche Lake
We set off for a four mile hike to this glacial lake. There was a mum and daughter team starting at the same time, armed with bear spray. There were semi-natives and their various bear tales sparked a bit of a mini-panic that we might come a cropper.
The views were pretty lovely though :
Low Point – Logan Pass
Americans are great at many things, but queuing ain’t one of them. Logan Pass had a small car park and a lot of people trying to get in. Instead of forming an orderly line and operating a ‘first in, first park’ policy, everyone circled angrily, like birds of prey, jumping in where possible.
Yes, that’s right – pushing in when it’s not their turn. I wanted to be parking monitor and teach the Americans the joys of queuing properly. But in a park where bear spray and guns are legal, I just tutted. Quietly. Under my breath. Whilst locked in the car.
Drive thru diner food was supper – allowing me to chalk up another American experience and us to have an early night before going to Canada tomorrow.