Sunday, June 25, 2017

WY to MT

Yesterday evening, we had a lovely dinner at the Yellowstone Garage Restaurant, which is just a couple of miles from P&J's house, and a very nice restaurant - considered the best in Star Valley. Thanks, Julie! It was ostensibly a birthday dinner for Ellen (whose birthday is in November, but Julie hadn't been able to do it then). Ellen got a free dessert from the restaurant as the "birthday girl."

Dinner at the Yellowstone Garage

Today, Sunday, we drove from Alpine, WY to West  Glacier, MT. By we, I mean Ellen and myself in our car, the Feinlands in their rental car, and Paul and Max in Paul's pickup. We wanted to carpool, but the Feinlands are going directly back to Salt Lake City, Paul is going home early, and so we had to take three cars. : ( 

One advantage in this arrangement was that Ellen and I traveled as we enjoy traveling. We listened to a Guilford Church tape of a service from 1993, featuring the music of Hildegard of Bingen by a women's group called Anima, and Shirley preaching on Hildegard's nature mysticism. We listened to lectures on The American Mind dealing with the Whigs and the Transcendentalists, we snacked out of our food box, and just toodled along enjoying the scenery. It was nice, but of course it would have been fun to carpool too. And also more efficient.

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive. We drove west on U.S. 26, picked up I-15 north of Idaho Falls, drove north about 190 miles and connected with I-90 and then drove west about 120 miles past Missoula, turned north on U.S. 93 through the Indian reservation up to Flathead Lake, then took MT 35 and Rte 2 up to West Glacier, well over 400 miles altogether. The scenery was varied, with long stretches of austere vistas, beautiful in their own way, then low hills, then mountains, and a long stretch along the shore of Flathead Lake (197 sq. miles surface area - the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. I had no idea). We stopped at a very nice rest area along I-90 to eat some lunch out of our food supply, and another stop along U.S. 93 where there were information posters about wildlife crossings built into the construction of the highway which have been very successful in dramatically reducing the incidence of collisions with animals of many species. We remarked on the bi-lingual signs in the reservation, in Salish (?) and English. 

View out the window

Rest area picnic stop

wildlife crossings that avoid deadly collisions

Bi-lingual sign in the reservation

Flathead Lake

The Feinlands got to the motel first at about 6:30, we got there at 7 and Paul and Max at 7:30. There was a nice restaurant next to the motel. Ben will share our room on a fold-out bed, JJMT are in a cabin and P&M in another room. We are gathering at 8a.m. to make our first foray into Glacier National Park! I'm psyched!

The vista from our room at the Vista Motel

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