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Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh the difference a day can make…

The last two days were clear, warm and pretty. Today I wake up and sit on the porch and the lake is so still and the reflection is beautiful.


I get Bryce up and we head down for our 4 hour hike/boat tour. It starts with a 30 minute boat ride across the lake (actually two boat rides with a short walk between them) followed by a 3 hour hike and another boat ride back. As soon as we get on the boat it starts hailing! Little BB sized round hail balls. Bryce is thrilled – I am worried. We head on…. like soldiers heading into battle, as our comfy hotel gets further and further away.

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So we get off the boat and follow our Naturalist naively into the wilderness.

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But we are having fun even with the light rain. The hiking is fun and we can still see the great views. Our Naturalist Bren points out all sorts of interesting plants along the way and we take some pictures too.

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We take an extra side hike to Hidden Falls and then hike all the way back to the dock to wait for the boat. It is now raining freezing rain. I am ready for my bed and covers!

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On the boat on the way back the Naturalist points out a bear on the edge of the lake. I only have my little camera out – the SLR is tucked safely in my backpack and I am too frozen to get it out. So I don’t get a good zoomed in photo – but I did get a picture.

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Trust me – he is there!!

So we loved the hike, rain and all, but we were freezing!! So we took a LONG nap! Our evening consisted of a yummy Italian dinner. warming ourselves by the lodge fire, a ranger program on the park and then a David Walburn show. He is a story teller, song writer and put on a show about him and some friends building a cabin the the Alaskan Wilderness.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

East Glacier Park

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After a good nights sleep at Glacier Park Lodge – we got up early and headed out for a drink. He he – just kidding – they were not open yet! So we explored around town which took maybe 10 minutes – then headed out for our day of exploring the South East part of the park.

We pointed our hiking boots towards Trick Falls – an easy hike but very pretty. It is called trick falls because in the Spring the water comes from the top, but sometime later it changes and comes out of the middle like we saw. Cool! (OK – it is officially called Running Eagle Falls after an Indian – but referred to as trick falls)

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Then we drove from the Two Medicine Lake area (The southern entrance on the East side to St Mary, the beginning of the Going to the Sun Road and the middle entrance to the East side of the park.) The views were beautiful and we got all excited when we saw two black bear off in the distance – only to get close and realize they were not bears, but Black Angus. LOL So we were excitable.

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We hiked up to the Historic Ranger Station – from 1913. No one else was up there and we were pretty nervous about the bears!

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We decided to head on to the Many Glacier area where we were staying the next 4 days. We stopped at the Park Cafe thinking about the pie we had read about. But Bryce talked me into sharing Nachos and then we were too full for pie!

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The views into Many Glacier were beautiful, we even saw some Mountain Goats but they are on the other camera…But we were greeted with the horses by the parking lot and we had to say hello.

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Bryce loved the falls in front of the hotel and watching the guys diving in. He would have been right there with them had his mom not been right there!

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Our hotel is awesome and in the most beautiful setting. We are happy! Our room is charming in a historic way – but our balcony with it’s wonderful view is where we like to hang out.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Suns up – So rise an shine

We slept great on the train – but even so I was up at first light. Ready to watch the countryside go by. I didn’t want to waste my time sleeping! Next thing I know, sleepy head is climbing down to join me, he is too excited to sleep too, and he hates to get up early.

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So I quickly learn that photography out the window of an 80mph train isn't so easy. Since we are up – we might as well head to early breakfast.

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I tried to warn him, smile or not, I’m using it on my blog. I guess it isn’t cool to take pictures at breakfast, or so the face seems to indicate. He he, teens are fun.

We saw tons of deer – they are out all day and lots of little baby ones. But the train passes them in a flash, so no photos. We saw lots of small towns, imagine being a teen growing up there!

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I got to go to a Wine tasting party on the train, and we ate well. It was a great trip.

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We arrived to East Glacier park, got our car and room and then headed out to explore. We drove up to Two Medicine lake in the park for a bit and then back to town to get groceries and head to bed.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

A free day!

I love vacations – but I hate the part where you worry if your plans are straight in your head. When I booked the Amtrak from Minneapolis – I remember thinking (now I remember!) that we would be getting on right before bedtime. Somewhere along the way I forgot that little fact and started thinking we were getting on at 11:15AM not PM. Luckily we stayed at a great hotel in Minneapolis with a great staff. I had booked a shuttle to Amtrak at 10AM in the morning. They call our room at 7AM (and I am thinking – who calls this early?) and Don asks me if I am sure I want to go at 10AM. The only two trains he sees that day are at 7AM and 11:15PM. I pull the tickets and yep – we are at 11:15PM. So we have an extra day to explore Minneapolis. Luckily for us since I didn’t do any shopping at the Mall of America and we had been pretty rushed.

So we have a leisurely morning at the hotel and I repack all the bags. Then we head to the MOA for lunch. We then shop a bit and decide to see a Movie. Ice Age 3 – it is OK, but not as good as the others. We did get to see a cool preview of Harry Potter that opens next week – sitting in these cool chairs that move you with the movie. Too bad our theater doesn’t have that.

We shopped a bit more and found a putt-putt golf course on one of the upper levels. I didn’t want to play at first – but decided to since Bryce really wanted to. We had a blast – and I even won a free game for getting a hole-in-one on the 18th. I actually got 3 hole in one’s, I am thinking of going Pro!



After a light dinner – we headed back to our hotel for an evening of swimming. Even though we were technically checked out, they let us store our luggage there, use the pool and computer, and even shuttled us back and forth to the MOA and then to Amtrak at 10PM! If you are ever in Minneapolis – stay at the Fairfield Inn – They are great.

So we finally get on Amtrak – and we have to explore. Then we are too excited to sleep so we hang out on my lower bunk watching the world go by and happy to be starting part two of our vacation.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baseball, Amusement Park and NO SHOPPING!

We got up bright and early, had breakfast and caught the train to the Metro Dome to watch the Twins lose to the Yankees!  That isn’t what we paid for – we went to see them BEAT the Yankees!  But, we had a great time.  We sat next to 3 adorable boys who kept us entertained.  They all had baseball cards and they kept asking Bryce to sort them into the best to the worst.  He seemed to enjoy it.

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Back at the Mall of America we took another trip through the Aquarium – we were tired the night before and did it quickly – we wanted to go through more slowly. 

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Finally I bought us wristbands for the Amusement park – it is in the center of the Mall of America.  We rode some of the rides and had dinner at Johnny Rockets.  It is a fun place to spend a few hours.  Since I rode the rides with Bryce I didn’t get any ride photos – except the Ferris Wheel.

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Then back to the hotel to charge everything up and repack for the train tomorrow.  We are only taking the essentials to our tiny train room and the rest will be stowed.  Not sure when we will have Internet again – but I’ll blog as I go and update them to the Internet when I get a connection.