My rush to finish painting my kitchen was because we were leaving for a 16-day cross-country trip to some of the most beautiful national parks in the US. I never got the grate put back up on the wall because there is plaster damage where we took it down and the wood it was screwed into was damaged and wouldn’t hold the weight. I think we were lucky it never fell off the wall all this time, it’s heavy. We just left it off and I wasn’t going to let it bother me on my vacation but I’ll have to get back at it now.
We stayed in the historic Many Glacier Hotel, built in 1914, in Glacier National Park. The lobby and fireplace were awesome as well as the alpine views out the glass wall facing the lake and glaciers. Next we headed down, via the Going to the Sun Road, to Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park and visited the Lake McDonald Lodge built in 1914. The grounds were beautiful, the lobby smaller than Many Glacier’s but still wonderful and decorated with all sorts of animal skins and rustic charm. We didn’t stay there as I choose the Village Inn at Apgar, built in 1956, only because of the huge picture-window view every room had looking out over Lake McDonald. It was breath-taking! Then on to Yellowstone National Park where we stayed a few days at the Mammoth Hotel in the Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone. The wing of the hotel we stayed in was built in 1913. We visited that area of the park and then stayed at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins where we stayed another 4 days. Before we left, we stopped in at the Old Faithful Inn, built in 1904. The best, best, best lodge ever! I couldn’t believe the lobby inside! We also stopped in at the newly completed “green” Old Faithful Visitors Center that cost 27 million. The A-frame wall of windows faced Old Faithful Geyser. It’s a beautiful building but I wasn’t blown away by the displays. We were at the old center 9 years ago and I found that more interesting.
English speaking visitors seemed to be close to a minority while we were in Yellowstone. It appeared most people were Asian or German. There were lots of tour buses and you had to hope they wouldn’t be in the area you happened to be visiting as those areas got pretty crowded. I was surprised there were so many in Yellowstone because the main lodges were in their last week of operation for the year and children were back in school. Most lodges were closing for the winter. Still, I’m sure there were less people than were there in the summer. We visited Yellowstone 9 years ago and my husband and I were often the only people around when we saw the sights. We came in the first week the lodges open back then and it was pretty cold but worth not having the crowds.
We left Yellowstone and headed down to the Grand Tetons. Just beautiful! We stopped in at the Jackson Lodge while visiting. The view from the lobby’s wall of windows is just beautiful. Someday I’d like to spend a few days in that lodge! There are often moose hanging out in the meadow not far from the lodge. In this perfectly gorgeous, serene setting there were people talking loudly on their cellphones, doing business instead of drinking in the views. We were thankful that for most of our trip there wasn’t cell-phone service, TV nor internet. We had to actually look out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the national parks.
We drove about 5,600 miles on this trip and the car purred along without a hiccup. We listened to audio books through the more boring states (and there were quite a few.) Of all the states we went through, Montana wins as being our favorite state hands down. We traveled through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska (would we ever get through it?) Iowa and back through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and back to Pennsylvania on this trip. We’ll have to go back someday. I’d like to see Glacier National Park again as the weather hindered some of the sight-seeing while we were there, though it was still breath-taking. I’d like to go up to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Canada which is part of the International Peace Park which Glacier is a part of. We don’t have our passports yet so we couldn’t drive the few miles north to see it. Next time!
I’ll be sharing some of the lodge photos I took in some up-coming posts in between some more of my house projects.