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Such a beautiful morning, heading out early from Yellowstone before anyone else was stirring. The roads out of Yellowstone and through Montana are so smooth and straight, one couldn’t help but go way too fast. We headed straight through Butte (well, after a breakfast stop) and a quick gas/photo stop in the state capital of Helena. Helena is such a small plain town and almost missable if you sneeze going through it. Still, the gas was cheap and the cool drink very welcome but without wanting to waste too much time, we jumped back on the road toward Great Falls and finally to our destination for the day of Glacier National Park.

The park itself is surrounded by the Blackfeet tribe and a pleasing change to see they have a thriving casino-less community, without the usual tourist magnets. I’d like to go back again to check out some of the actual stores but doubt I’ll get the chance before next year. Just before leaving the gas station for the park, we saw a recently killed mountain lion in the back of some guy’s truck (allegedly it got too close to him). Not a happy sight but still amazing to see an animal I’d never seen before, up close.

First stop in Glacier was St Mary’s lake, although this was purely by accident. After taking the wrong turn we ended up at this little visited vista, of peace and beauty. This is another place I’d like to hit up again and maybe next time, take a boat ride on the lake.

Back to the main entrance and man, what a view. This place doesn’t seem to suffer from the ‘living zoo’ tourist trap that Yellowstone did and you had more of a sense of being in the wilds as a result. Although I never got to see any more bears, I did get a better close-up with a moose on our way out for the evening. There’s so much to say about this place but it has to be experienced rather than written about. So beautiful, so old and so very, very inspiring.

Possibly one of the reasons not many people come to Glacier, is the access roads from the west. As the crow flies, it’s a 30min drive to the freeway but here we were, 2 hours later, only just getting to the main drag. We could have made it back to Seattle if the winding detour had not taken so long, so we ended up grabbing a motel in Coeur D’Alene instead, to finish up the last night on the road.

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