Friday, July 8, 1994
- From Executive Motor Inn [now the Days Inn Missoula University], Missoula, Montana
- To Fish Creek Campground, loop c, Glacier National Park
- 87.5 miles
- 1 brew pub visited
Quote of the day: “It’s the old geological cream pie in the face.”
Yesterday: Day 6 – Leavenworth to Missoula
To start at the beginning of this series, go to Day 1
We awake in our motel room after dreaming of glaciers. No, not the ones in Glacier National Park, but the ones whose meltwater is feeding the “hot” water lines. Cold water. Not a drop of hot water. I think the taps should be re-labeled cold and face-slap cold. Maybe it’s just colder because we’re indoors. If this were water from yet another forest service campground well, would it feel so cold?
Anyway. Ahem. A short drive ahead makes for a late start today. Lunch at the Iron Horse Brew Pub. Okay, maybe it’s brunch. Nice place. We stop in Columbia Falls for groceries, and ask the cashier (who looks like she keeps this job so she can hike in Glacier whenever she wants) what the scoop is. Like any good Oracle (or good joke) her advice came in threes:
- It’s going to be great weather all weekend.
- The nectarines are delicious.
- At Fish Creek, camp in the loop by the lake.
Off we go with groceries and free advice, and make our approach to Glacier National Park. The view gets very mountainous on the approach. You can just tell something big/important/majestic is up ahead. The anticipation is building.
Wow, here we are. This is a tough place to keep your eyes on the road. The beauty of this park is beyond description, but I’ll try anyway. Wait… no I won’t. Wow.
As instructed by the Oracle Cashier, we quickly move to Fish Creek Campground and find that it is mostly full. We have to settle for a small site next to a trailer. Nonetheless, we are in Glacier National Park. This place gets to you fast. Within five or ten minutes, you never want to leave.
Our campsite is not very private, and we want to spend as little time as possible listening to the neighbors’ gas generator. So we take a short walk to the shore of Lake MacDonald. Now this is such a pleasing place to be. There are other parts of this park – and others I’ve been to – where nature can be frightening. Lake MacDonald is the most inviting lake. We fish, swim and skip rocks. I begin to think we could stay here forever.
But the cocktail hour beckons. We head to the Lake MacDonald Lodge and have a drink at the bar. Then back to camp where we prepare dinner. While we prep, I inaugurate my Tupperware® martini shaker and mix up a batch of camp martinis.
Dinner and then sleeping bags await. We only have a couple days here, and we want to make the most of our time.