Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 8 & Day 9: Heading to Salt Lake City

Tuesday Day 8:

The day was LONG.  All we did was drive, and drive and drive.  We were staying in Salt Lake City, right by the airport.  We decided to drive to an In & Out burger in the city and then head downtown.

We were impressed by how pretty Salt Lake City is.

The Mormon Temple

The city is the headquarters of the Mormon church and they had some seriously beautiful buildings.

We headed back to our hotel and the kids took a swim in the indoor pool at 9 p.m. before heading to bed.

Wednesday was all about the flying.  No pictures of Day 9.  I will show you the patches we purchased for our patch blanket.

And that's our 9-day vacation tour de force!  Hope you weren't too bored.  :)  We had a blast!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 7: Glacier National Park and the City of East Glacier too

Day 7, Monday.

We woke up and got ready for a new day at Glacier National Park.

Coming back from the bathroom, behind us.

Our lovely cabin. 

We ate breakfast at the main house and checked out.  We only stayed at the Aspenwood Resort one night.

The lobby of the B&B, with the restaurant in the background

I made an origami fox out of the paper napkin rings.

Outside the restaurant.
We headed out to Glacier to walk some trails and see some amazing sites, including the well-known view of Goose Island, below.

We then headed towards the visitor's center we saw snow and the big-horned sheep yesterday.  The place was PACKED.  It took us several minutes of driving around and around and around the parking lot in order to find a parking spot.  We walked through the visitor's center and out the back towards a trail.  As we round a corner, we spot


Ok, not really.  It's just a blurry picture.  It's a mountain goat and she (someone said it was a she) was just sitting there, munching on the flowers an grass, ignoring the mass of people taking pictures of her.

We passed another of the many continental divides we passed on our trip.

Some of the trails were just to snowy and slushy for us to go on, so we headed back the way we came from. We drove out of another Glacier exit towards our next night's lodging.  It was some random motel in the small city of East Glacier Park.

This little town was actually pretty darned cute.  We decided to drive around town.  We went into Glacier Park Resort, this beautiful resort that we a) could not get booked into and b) could not afford anyway, and walked around.

What is this? This was the second time I saw this.
It's hand-made and not stuck with glue or anything.
Someone built this in front of the lodge.
After walking the resort that we were not staying in, we went through one area of East Glacier that made us laugh.

We HAD to stop here.

In honor of Prince and my sister's love of Prince.

The store was owned by an older couple who loved wood working.  The store was pretty full.

 Towards the back of the shop, we encountered this sign.

Besides making spoons, they make their own wands and are Harry Potter fans.  As I walked through this area, the shop owner was writing up an ownership card for an excited 10-ish year old boy.  The owner, Mrs. Wagner, was saying things like "Ash wand" and "double loop" something-something and was being very official in her filling out of the card for this boy.  Too cute.

Back to the motel we went. The motel was kind-of loud and no where near my favorite for the week, but thankfully it was only one night.  

Since we had made the trip heading north bit by bit every day, our last day, Tuesday day 8, before flying out on Wednesday day  9, was to be spent driving and driving from Montana to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 6 continued: The Beaverlodge (oh, and Glacier too)

....and enter into this.

A ginormous cabin.  Two beds, a couch that pulls out into a bed, a little kitchen area with fridge and microwave, a dining room table, a fake working fireplace, an exercise bike, a tv, stereo, etc. etc.

We were pleasantly surprised!  Of course, again, no AC, but they provided us with two fans, which were at opposite ends of the cabin, providing a cross breeze, and we also opened windows.

We unpacked the vehicle and decided we were hungry.  The main house, with the 3 rooms to let, also has a restaurant, open to the public.  The owners do all their own cooking.  We locked up and walked over to the main house to have ourselves some dinner at 5 p.m. 

Mmmmmmm, burger with a big ole onion ring on top
After dinner, we headed back to the cabin.  Two of the owners' five dogs followed us back.  Isabel was in love.  They were all amazingly sweet.

Since it gets dark so late here, almost near 10 p.m., we hopped in the car after dinner and headed towards Glacier National Park, only a few miles away.

We stopped at the first Visitor's Center for a bit.

"Carry me, daddy!"
We only stopped in for a few minutes because the centers were all about to close, and we'd be back tomorrow anyway.  We decided to drive around the park.

There was a second Visitor's Center, closed at this late time in the day, but still with snow.  Isabel was very excited to see it, so we took a little walk around the center's grounds.

This empty parking lot is only because the center is closed.
Tomorrow? COMPLETELY packed and crazy.

As we headed towards the parking lot, there was a flurry of excitement from everyone in the area.  Some big-horned sheep had decided to walk into the parking lot and slurp on a rivulet of melting snow that was heading down the sloped parking lot.

They pretty much ignored everyone taking pictures and video of them.   It was pretty neat!

We continued driving around, taking pictures and admiring the scenery and then decided to head back to the cabin. 

At the cabin, we walked through a small wooded area to use the locked restroom that belonged just to our cabin.  It was clean, well lit and nicely decorated.  We went to bed with the windows open and the fans going (again to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to close windows because it was freezing in the room).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 6: Leaving Yellowstone for Glacier

Day 6: Sunday

Time to leave our cabin in Yellowstone.  We left super-early, already on the road at 6:30 a.m.  What did that early travel time get us?

A glimpse of our first (and only) grizzly bear
You should have seen the excitement as cars and tour buses pulled over to get a look at him.  He ambled across the road, 4 cars ahead of us, without a care in the world.

This guy was just strutting his stuff.  He was literally prancing across the road, all "howdy do?"

We were leaving Yellowstone but still stopped at a few scenic spots to take a look.

Chilly morning!

The early morning lighting was gorgeous.

Looks like snow, but it's not.  It's calcified rocks.

Goodbye Yellowstone

We drove and drove.  We were heading for the east entrance of Glacier, near Browning, Montana, which is in the  Blackfoot Indian Reservation.  Now, we've seen other towns located right outside state parks.  Beautiful bustling towns like Jackson, WY and other small towns outside various exits of Yellowstone, so we're expecting a really nice town.  Browning...was not.  It was so very very sad.  The place was like a ghost town, with few buildings even open.  I was so sad.  They have all this potential, the reservation Indians, and they do nothing with it.  Could you imagine the amount of money they could bring in, to revitalize their town and make it gorgeous?? And yet the town was sad, abandoned and a bit scary.  After seeing a male resident strike his companion outside a Subway restaurant (I kid you not) Jacob asked "Please, tell me we're not staying here?!?"  We were not.  We were staying a few miles outside this city.

We're driving out of the city on this empty road and we eventually find where we are staying. And I'm like "What...has David done?"

We're in the middle of nowhere.  The house above? It's the main bed and breakfast, with 3 rooms and a restaurant.  This shot was taken while standing in front of the detached cabin that the owners own.  They own the B & B with the 3 rooms and the restaurant, our cabin, plus about 8 spots for people with RV's to hook up and camp.  They also have their personal home at the end of their property, by a pond.

I'm trying not to freak.  The door doesn't have a lock; or rather, it does. A padlock.  We get handed the keys to the padlock, plus a stand-alone bathroom for our use only, in a separate building.  There are 3 shower/bathroom stalls for use by the RV people, and one bathroom with a key that belongs to people renting the stand-alone cabin.  That would be us, the Beaverlodge residents.

We open the door........