BootsnAll Travel Network

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

Montana thoughts

Often, when driving around Portland, I’ll see license plates from Montana that say “Big Sky Country.”  Well, no foolin’.  This place definitely IS Big Sky Country, where the posted Interstate speed limit is 75 and the sky draws the eyes because, well, it’s so dang big. 

Traffic in Montana?  Yep, at 1:00pm no less.  Try to stay off Reserve Road south of the Interstate.  It sucked to be ‘stuck’ in traffic when the car’s air conditioner is nonexistant and the mercury is over 100.  Other than Reserve Road, traffic was what I expected, which wasn’t much.

What was up with that Heat Wave?  Apparently the whole Northwest was affected in higher than normal temps.  The big news story of the day in Missoula was the weather, with the typical tips and warning signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Missoula has Arctic Circle!  That was my favorite fast-food burger joint when I was a kid.  They were known for their fry sauce, Ranch Burger, Lime Rickey and for putting lettuce on even their lowly hamburgers.  There used to be a spot around 35th and Hawthorne, as well as downtown and Sandy Blvd.  Today, they are all gone from the Portland area.  I know there’s still one in Salem, Woodburn and Newport.  Now, add Missoula to the list!  Yay for Arctic Circle!



Here’s a photo especially for Amy and Sarah R (hint, it’s the home of the Grizzlies)



We stopped into Arlee, MT for the annual 4th of July weekend Pow-Wow.  Here are festivities as part of the Grand Entrance.



We also stopped at the Mission de St. Ignatius, built in 1854 and the second Catholic mission in Montana.  The adjoining church, the interior shown here, was built in 1891.



I took this picture of a painting that was for sale at one of the numerous art galleries in Big Fork, MT.  We almost made it to the Art Festival in Whitefish, but were only a few minutes too late before all the vendors closed up shop for the night.


Glacier National Park is considered the ‘Crown Jewel’ of the continent, and with good reason.  The park is famous for the 50-mile ‘Going-to-Sun’ road, as well as the lodges, hiking and backcountry opportunities, and for bears (we only saw mountain goats, deer and a snake during our visit).  We camped for two nights and got in three hikes, four if you count the short jaunt to Lake McDonald from our nearby campsite.



Lake McDonald, one the western edge of the park.



McDonald Creek.



Driving up the Going-to-Sun road. View from the car.



One of our hikes originated from Logan Pass, which crosses the Continental Divide at 6,646 feet.  Hiking through the snow in sandals is not a good idea!



But ah, the view to the Hidden Lake overlook was well worth it…



Our second hike took us to Avalanche Lake.



Another shot from the car; you can trace the Going-to-Sun road in the photo.



The heart of the park is at Many Glacier, on the northeastern end.  This is a shot of Lake Sherburne.



View from the top of Many Glacier Hotel, where rates start at $160 a night.   The popular 6-mile hike to Grinnel Glacier begins just past the hotel.


That’s all I have time for now.  I should be able to update in a few days with my thoughts about Calgary and Canada, our next stop as we journey north to Alaska.  One more thing too–Happy Birthday a few days late to my tag team partner, The Bomb from Vietnam, aka John Le!



3 responses to “Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park”

  1. The Bomb says:

    You will be happy to know that there is now an Arctic Circle on the way to my house from yours. It is located just west on Division Street from SE 162nd Ave. Miss the fry sauce, don’t you?

  2. Amy says:

    Hey Edwin,
    Try flying pies pizza if you two pass back through Missoula again. Those Glacier pictures makes me want to move back to Montana. Cheers and have a great trip!

  3. Amy says:

    Also, did you check out the shore lines on the mountain tops from Great Lake Missoula during the ice age?

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