My goal is to raise $9,490 for breast cancer research - a dollar for every day my mother, Lorraine Raimondo, battled breast cancer. I'm driving across the country raising funds for every mile I drive.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Glacier National Park, MT

 
Montana is so beautiful it makes you cry.
I arrived in Glacier National Park around 5pm and it was still raining!!! I had made reservations at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. It's right in the park and I had a cute cabin. I inquired at the front desk about a guided hike which I was told about when I made my reservation. I was now told that they don't start until next week. Ugh, after driving all day in the rain I was so dissappointed to hear this and it showed. Joe at the front desk and his sidekick Leslie offered to take me on a hike the next day. This was great!! It's not really a place you should hike alone. 9AM sharp! Rain or shine! I'm in!! We met in the lobby the next morning, but I guess Leslie had a little too much to drink the previous night and couldn't make it. Joe and I headed out on the trail. The best part about Joe is that he comes with bear spray!
 
It had been raining so much over the past few days that many of the trails were flooded. Joe actually carried me across a particularly flooded part of the trail. Now you should know that it's still cold in northern Montana. It wasn't even 50, and the water was even colder! He went barefoot through the flooded path, once to check it out, once to come back, and once carrying me through it. And I'm not talking about walking a few feet, this was about a 30 ft stretch. Now that's service! I spent the afternoon driving down Going to the Sun Rd. This is beautiful. It's still early in the season (the lodges have only been open 10 days) and unfortunately I could only go up to Logan's Pass. The rest is still closed due to snow.
Well, I can't begin to explain the beauty of this park. Even these photos don't do it justice. You MUST come here and see it for yourself.
 
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I ended the evening with the best steak I've ever had at the Cattle Baron Supper Club located just outside the park.  
Legend has it that this saloon was a rough and tumble place back in the day with brawls and shootings and killings. Nothing like that happened when I was there. But if you ate those steaks every night eventually you'd probably die of a heart attack.
I left the park the next day and I must admit I was a little dissappointed I didn't see a bear. In the distance mind you, with Joe and his bear spray handy. I continued south over windy roads through breathtaking scenery - every inch of it. And then I saw this:
 
Great Bear Adventure - Your Car is your Cage!

This seemed like the perfect opportunity to acquaint myself with bears without any real danger. I paid my $6 and drove right in. Sure enough, there were some black bears. Here's a cute one playing with his feet.
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It was nice to see the bears up close but it was the same as seeing them in the zoo. It felt like I cheated. I can't really say I saw a bear yet. Not really.

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