Well it appears that the heat wave has hit here and we are still without our front AC unit. The bed room will get cool but the front gets up to 90 like now late in the day. The saving grace is that it cools way down once the sun sets. The weather man also says it will be cool by next Monday.
We moved this morning into our regular site and should be here for the next couple of weeks. We came up here for the cooler temperatures but so far that has not worked out. Bonnie did wash today and the last load is in there now. She also went grocery shopping this afternoon and really stocked up, good bargains. So we should be set for a while.
We were hoping the AC would get fixed tonight, but I just talked to Andy and he could not find the part at any of his suppliers. So he thinks he has a work around and will come tomorrow and install it while we are on our tour in Glacier. Then we can test it when we get home and let him know if it works or not. Hopefully we will be in business.
Sun is down and it is finally cooling off. I grabbed the trash and walked down to the dumpsters. Its nice and quiet here and I am looking forward to a good nights sleep. Our Daughter had to make a trip to the emergency room last night and we got a couple of calls after midnight. Happy to say she is home and feeling better. Here is the view out the front door looking North.
The site is pretty nice also about 20 feet between rigs.
Before I get into today I have to tell on myself. When we got into our site yesterday I dumped the grey tank. I thought the tank drained a little slow so I decided to close it, planning to empty it after Bonnie did a load or two of wash. Since we did not have the AC working I knew I needed to take a shower before bed. So I jumped in the rain locker and took a nice shower. Problem one the shower is not draining very fast if at all. So I finished my shower and checked the drain for hair, its clear. I got out the plastic (bargain Amazon drain cleaner). I worked it in and out a couple times and then it broke off. So now I have about 16 inches of a plastic drain cleaner in the drain. Well its after 11 and the water did go down, we are getting up at 6am for our tour so I let it go and decided to go to bed. Well I got to thinking that Bonnie needed a shower in the morning and what if it did not drain. Then it hit me, did I open the gray tank? Bonnie has done 3 loads of wash and I took a long shower. By now Bonnie is in bed also. I got up and checked the tank gauge. You guessed it its full plus some. So I get dressed and go out and open the tank. The tank drained nice and fast and I headed back in for bed. Now I have to try and get the tool out of the drain. (Saturday update- I was able to use my hemostats to reach in and grab the end of the orange drain tool and carefully pull it out of the drain, End of Story)
Glacier Park and our Crown of the Continent Tour aboard the Red Bus. The Red Bus vehicles are 1938 White touring buses. The chassis is built from solid oak and covered in metal. The running gear and frame was replaced by FORD with their F-450 truck and RV chassis. There are 34 Buses. 33 are in daily service. The 34th is kept as it was built as a history piece. The buses originally had manual transmissions and thus the drivers were known as Jammers short for Gear Jammers.
We got up at 6:00am very early for us and left the CG for the 22 mile ride to the Apgar Visitor Center in the Park about 7:15. We listened to one of Pastor Pats sermons and it finished just as we got to the park. We were nice and early and had to wait for the Visitors Center to open its doors but there was already a line at the entrance gate and they opened a second lane. Bonnie checked out the signs while we waited.
After stamping my National Parks passport book and looking around a little we walked out to check in for our tour. Before long bus 111 pulled up and we met Glenn our Jammer. He turned out to be great and had plenty of stories and history to keep our attention on the trip. He has ten years of experience here and is a full time RVer at the moment.
We loaded up all 17 of us and headed for our first stop at Lake McDonald Lodge. First view of some snow on the mountain.
Visitors used to arrive at the lodge from the Lake and this was the front then and main entrance.
Glenn enlisted a helper to help roll back the top, he then passed out some blankets as it was still a bit chilly, but that would change as the day went on.
Leaving we caught a view of McDonald falls where the creek enters the lake. Most of the water is snow and glacier melt.
A view of the creek looking South
As we drove up through the Lodgepole Pine forrest we notice this Spanish Moss looking plant hanging from the Pine trees.
Glen explained it is not Spanish Moss but a relative and neither of us can remember the name.
Heading for the Sun. Did you know that the Heading For the Sun Road is actually heading for a Mountain called Heading for the Sun.
The views are just spectacular every where you look. These mountains are made up of sedimentary rock and which means they were once on the ocean bottom. They look so different than the other places we have visited. The are relatively soft and break easily. The mountain climbers do not come here to climb.
There are I think Glenn said 168 named peaks in the park, some over 11,000 feet and they have all be summited. Most are seldom climbed though. They have very steep sides and there are a lot of avalanches in the winter. You can see some of the chutes here.
Still along McDonald creek.
Lots of water falls to many to even name them all. The sun was never at the right angle so I did the best I could.
I enjoyed all the views. We made a few stops but most of the pictures were taken while we were moving. The tour went from 8:30am until about 5:30. Its 50 miles across the park on the road.
I loved the jagged tops.
Look closely on top of the peak on the right and you can see a maned fire lookout. Many of them now just have electronic lookouts.
This shows some of the debris that comes down the mountain in an avalanche.
These two are a closer look at some of the rock that was an ocean bottom at one time.
Looking back we could seem a section of the road we came up. There is only one switchback on the entire road.
More great views
Notice that there is a stream in the bottom of this valley and it is almost V shaped.
There are 26 glaciers left in the park, we saw 10. To be classified as a glacier the ice/snow field has to be 100ft thick, 25 acres in size and be moving. I believe this is just a snow field.
This is called a Cirque and is formed by a glacier
This is Bird Mother Falls just West of the Continental Divide, fed by the snowfield. There used to be a Glacier here.
The layers of rock are pretty visible here. We are still climbing.
This is Bear Grass in bloom. Each plant only blooms every 7 years. We were at the right time and saw a lot of it but the bus was moving to fast for good pictures.
Thats our road way over there
Wish we could have stopped here
We made it to the divide at Logan Pass. Short break to visit the visitors center and stamp my passport.
Out back of the visitors center.
View from the front.
We started our decent headed for St Marys. Notice how this valley floor is rounded, it was formed by a glacier.
I love the falls. Some ran better in the afternoon as more snow melted.
That bicycle rode up the hill so he could go down.
Snow is melt fast.
Could that be a glacier
I believe Glenn said it was the largest in the park. However they all are receding and may all be gone by 2018.
We are arriving at St Mary Lake and Our first view of Wild Goose Island
This is the iconic view of Wild Goose Island that one usually sees. Only one way to improve this view.
Not me but add Bonnie to the picture.
Glenn said there are three Glaciers in this picture.
The big one in the center is called the Salamander Glacier. There is one down to the left, don’t remember the name
Not sure of this ones name either.
More nice formations. We saw these after we left the park and entered the Blackfoot Reservation. Then we re-entered the park at the Many Glacier entrance.
We stopped for a lunch break at the Swiftcurrent Cafe. We had a very good lunch and enjoyed talking to our seat mates from the bus. Pat and Margaret are both adjunct professors at a college in Queens NY. There are several trail heads in this area plus a motor lodge and a lodge. After lunch we headed back. Since I am writing this on Saturday I will put the return trip under Saturday.
So I forgot to mention that Andy came Friday while we were on our tour and put the parts in the roof AC unit to fix it. He did not have access so we turned it on when we got home and it worked. The coach was soon cooling down. Today it is in the low 90s so it is very nice to have the two ACs working together to keep us cool. Forecast is for cooler temps starting tomorrow. That will be welcome, we would rather have the windows open. So today was a DDR (designated day of rest) I spent most of the day working on pictures for the blog and trying to catch up on the blog. Bonnie is nursing sunburn from yesterday but she did make a batch of 15 bean soup and boy was it good.
Here is the rest of yesterdays tour. We left the cafe and started retracing our route back to the Apgar Visitors center. The Many Glacier road is supposed to be a good place to spot bear. We did not see any on the way in but we did on the way out. It was a tan black bear. Once again hard to get pictures out of the bus but I tried.
Colored like a Grizzly but no hump and big rounded ears
Swift water creek
Those white bands are a low grade marble rock. Once on a sea floor.
Love the falls.
Lots to enjoy.
A nice fast flow here
Left over snow drift from this year. The road did not open until June 17th this year.
Glen announced that we were entering Mountain Goat territory again and soon someone said there they are. Can you spot them?
Here is one.
This guy must have gotten to eat first. He seems to enjoy posing for the people and watching the cars go by.
This formation is called the Bishops Hat
One last water fall. This one is fed by a melting glacier.
Last look at Lake McDonald
I sure wish we were younger and able to hike the trails that are all over this park. We can only imagine what the backcountry views are like. So if you can’t hike the trails.
We recommend the Red Bus tour.
We woke up on our own this morning and we had plenty of time to get ready for church. Once ready we headed North up to Whitefish, MT to the First Baptist Church of Whitefish. There is a beautiful view there of the ski slopes and a couple other mountains.
The pastor is on vacation but Don is retired pastor and his sermon was interesting. They sang all hymns today that we knew so it was a nice service.
As you can see it appears quite a few of the members are on vacation also.
After church we went a little more South to Best Buy to pick up a micro SD card for my RV GPS. Then we came up a back road and picked out all the good building sites that would have fantastic views of the mountains. Bonnie made nice salads for lunch and then we took it easy. Its only 80 out but the sun really made the coach hot so we ran the AC to keep cool. Almost time to open the windows now though. We took it easy today and I watched a little golf and caught up on the show Below Zero on Hulu.
Well we hope to visit other areas of the park this week and to check out more of the area. We have had a full, busy and wonderful week.
Thanks for Checking In!