Glacier National Park – the ultimate destination of my amazing adventure. I’d been looking forward to visiting this park since I circled the entire state of Montana on my map in mid-February. My expectations were huge, and after my semi-letdown at Flathead Lake, I hoped that they were not unrealistic.
YOU HAVE TO SEE GOING TO THE SUN ROAD IF YOU GO TO GLACIER was the advice everyone gave me. So, my plan was to drive the entire length back and forth. A few days before the big day, I was doing some research on the park and the drive, and just happened to stumble onto a link for the Red Bus Tours of Glacier. I read all about the tours, some of which do just a portion of the famous highway and a couple that do the entire length. It sounded like the PERFECT way to experience it – I wouldn’t have to drive the scary roads, and since I wouldn’t be driving I’d be able to see everything! I contacted them and made a reservation for the Mountain Majesty tour for that Friday – a 6 ½ to 7 hour tour that would take me the entire length of Going To The Sun Road and back. I could sit back and relax.
Thursday night I stayed in Kalispell, about 30 miles from West Glacier. I woke early that morning, excited about the day. It was quite cool, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It would be a glorious day. Wanting to give myself plenty of time, I left about 7:15 and started my drive to Glacier. The sun was shinging brightly in my eyes the whole way, but when I got to Columbia Falls, a pine covered mountain appeared before me, so large that it blackened the sky! I continued to drive alongside it, with the Flathead River sparkling on the other side of me. Deeper and deeper I drove into the pine covered mountains. I arrived at the admission gate, showed my pass to the Ranger, got my map and entered the park! As soon as I did, a doe bounded across the road – I looked to my left and along with her were two little white spotted fawns! So beautiful!
I arrived at the Apgar Visitors Center right at 8am. My pickup time wasn’t until 8:45, so I took that time to walk a bit around the center. It was so quiet and awe inspiring that I felt a reverence, not unlike being in a beautiful cathedral.
At 8:45am I checked in for my Red Bus Tour! My driver’s name was Bill, and he’d been driving these tours on and off for the past 20 years. Here’s a Red Bus. The tops are made out of canvas so that they can roll back and everyone can see all of the park out of the top!
The tour took about 7 hours, with a one hour break for lunch. We drove the entire length of Going To The Sun Road and then back. Folks, I really just can’t find the words to describe the awe inspiring, absolute MAJESTY of Glacier National Park, and I won’t even try. What I will do is post many of the 200 pictures I took on the tour. I hope you enjoy them. I will say that my visit to Glacier exceeded BY FAR every expectation I had. It is truly the most amazing place I have EVER been in my life.