3500 Travels

Glacier NP & St Mary KOA

The drive/highway through Glacier is called Going-to-the-Sun. It was spectacular and almost harrowing at a few spots in the road – too narrow for two duallies to pass – and great drop offs. Before starting our crossing we stopped at Lake McDonald Resort and had a picnic lunch. As is often the case, the dogs attracted attention (good kind). Usually it is a person or couple that had to leave their dogs at home and want a dog fix. Our three oblige willingly.

Lake McDonald Lodge

Lake McDonald Lodge

There are length and width restrictions for vehicles using the Going-to-the-Sun highway, and for good reason. I hope the photos in the album below captured some of what we saw and experienced. The high point of the drive is Logon Pass, also the continental divide. I forgot to take a picture of the official sign so the one you see here is courtesy of Google Images.
LoganPass

The descent down the other side of the continental divide was not so dramatic but not to be taken too lightly. Our destination was the St Mary KOA. KOAs sure do vary. The one in Klamath was small and tucked into a corner of the city. The St Mary KOA is vast and very much in the open.

Looking south from St Mary KOA

Looking south from St Mary KOA

So far all KOAs have had wi-fi, and our site had a 110V outlet as well. To take advantage of KOA or RV park power I had picked up a 25’ extension cord after leaving Grand Coulee Dam. I had earlier picked up a 30amp 125v male to standard 110v female adapter, but have yet to use it. 30amp service is pretty common for RVers. I mention this (again) because getting access to wi-fi and AC power when I need them is an ongoing challenge. However, with these conveniences I was able to get some blog work done as well as download a free Microsoft photo stitching software called Image Composite Editor. It’s for dummies since it first arranges the individual photos to get them in the correct order and does not have any tweaks, or I haven’t found them yet.

It was cold that evening and during the night. My guess high 30s. But the restroom/shower area is heated so taking a shower was not an exercise in manliness.

Glacier National Park and St Mary KOA border the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Soon after leaving the KOA we were on the reservation. The first part was lovely as the panorama photo below attests to. Cattle and horse are free-range in this area. There was one funny scene where a small car coming from the other direction was stopped waiting for a cow to move. The cow just stood there looking at the car. Finally the driver eased the car onto the shoulder and slowing drove around the cow.

View shortly after entering reservation

View shortly after entering reservation

We came into Browning (on the res) looking for a hardware store. I needed a screwdriver to tighten the purge vent screw on the propane tank. We had it filled in the KOA and the man didn’t get it tight enough. I could faintly smell propane when I could not before this fill up. Browning is a little hard scrabble. The Ace Hardware was closed own, but the auto parts store had what I needed. We were going to stop at the ‘famous’ Teepee for coffee but it was closed. Cathie was reading about it using the Field Trip app on her tablet. It had quite a story going back to the 1930s, including being moved.

Espresso teepee

Espresso teepee

After Browning we drove on to Great Falls for a Subway lunch. The weather was rainy and cold so sitting outside with the dogs was not appealing. We ate in the truck and then were back on the road to our next campsite, which turned out to be Crystal Lake Campground in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. This national forest spans 13 counties, although I don’t know if it is all contiguous. More on Crystal Lake in the next post.