Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another 2300 Miles - Part One

That's right, we love the van. This time we were headed to Glacier National Park in Montana. We started out the trip with a beautiful drive right down the winding Clearwater River. Sadly, I didn't see most of it because I was curled up in a ball with my jacket over my head trying to sleep off the car sickness. I was very grateful when we reached Missoula for the night.
While we were eating that night Mack was acting kind of odd. After a while he looked at me and said, "Can you just pull these teeth out." That night in the hotel room Greg plucked out both of Mack's extremely loose front teeth. We are still getting used to his new look.

The next afternoon we met up with Grandma Nani, Papa, and a bunch of Easton cousins. Kate, Marley, Mack, Andrew on a hike through a cedar forest.Most of the kids stayed and enjoyed swimming in Lake McDonald. Kate also enjoyed a nice nap on Papa's lap. Meanwhile, Greg, Mack, Beth, babies Emily and Piper and I went for a drive and hike. Greg offered Mack a dollar if he could sing the whole state song without help. Well much to Greg and my surprise Mack sung it all without a hitch and was thrilled to get another dollar to add the two the tooth fairy brought.

Glacier was gorgeous. We didn't see much wildlife but the scenery was incredible. The Going-to-the-Sun Road lived up to it's name. You drive right along the edge of the mountain up and up. I was glad I wasn't driving. At the top there is a place called Logan Pass. It is the starting point for a number of great hikes - but I have never seen a less effective parking lot. Basically, the lot was full so you have dozens of cars driving, fighting, glaring, honking, trying to get the next available spot. We drove around for about 25 minutes (Greg's sister was waiting even longer). We eventually got a spot because Greg got out of the van and walked around talking to people who were leaving - then using our walkie talkies he directed me to spot. It was exasperating.

Eventually, we got on our hike and it was so worth it. The three mile round trip hike went through a lot of snow, which thrilled the kids. Andrew discovered that there were ground squirrels running around everywhere. Every time he saw one he would yell, "Ground Squirrel!", like it was the most exciting thing he had seen all day. It reminded me of the dogs in the movie Up. It was pretty funny and it lasted our whole week long trip. The hike felt longer than it was and the kids started getting worn out but we were so near the top so we convinced them to press on - it was so amazing. There was this pristine lake in a gorgeous valley. In addition, there was a group of mountain goats right at the top. We got pretty close up. I could have just stayed there all day - but the baby was ready to keep moving so we headed back.
After a restful night refilling our air mattress only two times :) Greg woke up early and went on a long hike with Beth, Derrick, and Piper. I let the kids sleep in and play with cousins till it started pouring rain. So we loaded up and drove over to Many Glacier where Greg was hiking now in the pouring rain. The kids and I went into the beautiful lodge there and ate our lunch out on the balcony over looking the lake. This was the view.
It was so peaceful and beautiful. I loved the Many Glacier area and wished we would have camped over here -next time! Everyone eventually met up at the lodge and rented row boats. The kids loved the boat ride but I think Greg's arms got a little tired.
Kate refused to go one the boat -she is not a lover of boats - so she, Emily, and I sat at the lodge. There was a man playing a violin inside and Kate was mesmerised. She just danced, watched, jumped, and enjoyed the music. She and Emily received a lot of attention and comment. I loved just sitting in this beautiful place, with beautiful music, enjoying my little girls.

We managed to see 2 bears, went on some nice hikes, played with cousins, swam, row boated, and had snowball fights. We loved glacier.


Heather said...

Looks gorgeous! Does it remind Greg of Alaska?

So, there is potentially a job opportunity for Rick in Boise. What do you think? Would you choose this location if you had no family near?

(9 hour drive to each of our parents in opposite directions)

Janna said...

Hi Lisa. You guys have been traveling a lot!! I don't know how you do it. We travelled from Nebraska to Utah a bit this summer and it was sooooo painful. I bet your sister in Iowa (?) appreciated you coming all that way to see her. We recently moved to Lincoln, NE and my parents, sisters, and some of their kids drove out for a week. My kids had a blast!! Congrats to Natali and your new baby is so cute!