Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Day 18

Location: Missoula, Montana

Total miles traveled: 7,126

I managed to find a place to sleep out of the way (the blanket I bought at Wal-Mart earlier turned out to be a great idea), and I woke up around 5:30. I then headed out for the Going to the Sun road, which runs across the length of the park (I was on the western side). As I mentioned, it has been written that this road is one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., and I was anxious to see why. Going to the Sun road was definitely memorable, but the park itself as a whole was even more impressive.

I got on the road right before sunrise and was already treated to some nice views:
I continued on the road, as the sun was coming up...the road was getting higher and higher, snaking through the hills and mountains. I was one of just a handful of cars on the road that early, which meant whenever there was a scenic pull-off I had room for my car.
As you can see, Glacier National Park is absoluteley gorgeous. But like the other places, it's hard to express the feeling of actually being in a place like this. I had such a sense of humility before nature...these mountains and valleys that were carved by glaciers and erosion over thousands of years...seeing this place puts things in perspective, and all of a sudden your individual concerns aren't nearly as important as they once were.

I don't know what else to write about this place for now...let me just show you some pictures:

So those were all views from the Going to the Sun Road. After arriving at the Eastern side of the park, I headed North towards Many Glacier. There, I got out of my car to do some hiking, I headed towards a waterfall...and after doing a little bit of climbing, I was out on my own enjoying the view.

I eventually headed back West on the Going to the Sun road, thinking I'd do some more hiking along the nearby trails. However, it was discouraging as it was later in the day and the park was filled with people. Traffic was slow along the road was slow, which was fine considering the views, but all the pull-offs were crowded and the trails were packed.

Spoiled, as I had this place almost to myself earlier in the morning, I decided I'd head South and aim to get to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming by tomorrow. I was tired, too, and I decided I'd treat myself again as it's been a while since I slept in a bed...in other words, I'd find someplace to stay other than my car. I got to Missoula, about 150 miles away, and got a room at the "Ponderosa Lodge." This seems like a nice town...it's the home of the University of Montana...and next to this hotel is a Jiffy Lube and a laundromat. So I'll take it easy tomorrow (the 19th), get some stuff done, and then eventually head to Wyoming.



Blogger melissa said...

Amazing pics. Must've been cold near the mountain tops w/snow.
When will you get to Boulder?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 5:25:00 PM  

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