The plan for today was to visit the small town of Polebridge and then spend some time exploring Glacier National Park. When we woke up this morning the sky was mostly cloudy, but looked like it might break up later. We were anxious to get going, but we didn’t get on the road until around 9:30.
Polebridge is a very small town just 20 miles south of the Canadian Border. It is a small collection of buildings with the centerpiece being Polebridge Mercantile. The Mercantile has a few groceries, t-shirts and other memorabilia, but is most known for its bakery. Every day they make an assortment of bake goods that attracts people from all over. Polebridge is about 35 miles north of Whitefish and accessible by a sometimes dirt and sometimes paved road. It was a long, but beautiful drive with fall color in abundance and well worth it. When we ate the cinnamon rolls we bought we really knew it was worth it; now we know why they have such a good reputation. We had samples of some of their other offerings and they were equally good; I wished I was hungry enough to eat more. We thought they must be baking all the time as new items kept coming out fresh from the kitchen.
We saw on the map that there was a unimproved back road that would take us into Glacier and all the way down to the west entrance and some people we talked to said it was a beautiful drive so we decided to take that. We got about a mile down the road and suddenly there was a sign that said “Road Closed 7 Miles Ahead”, that ended that. We back-tracked and started back south on our original route until we got to another side road that led to Glacier, so we took that one. This was a paved road that led to McDonald Lake and the west entrance.
We stopped at the Visitors Center and found
that today would be the last day before they closed Logan Pass on the Going to
the Sun Road for the season. The Going to the Sun Road is the only road that goes all the way through the park and
Logan Pass is the highest point on the road.
With this information we decide to take the road all the way through the
park and return to Whitefish by looping around the bottom of the park. This would make for a long day, but it is a
very scenic drive.
|A back way into Glacier; unfortunately we didn't get very far.|
|The west end of Lake McDonald.|
The temperatures had been in the 40's all day, but it didn’t seem that cold as the cloudy day had turned to partly cloudy and we had plenty of sun to warm us. I won’t detail our journey, but will show it through some of the pictures we took. The highlights were Lake McDonald, seeing two bears and a couple of mountain goats, the abundant fall color and of course the continuous beauty of the drive itself.
|The east end of Lake McDonald.|
|We spotted a bear high up the side of the canyon.|
|And near the same spot we saw the bear, there was a mountain goat.|
|The final leg of our day's journey; we travel back to Whitefish on Highway 2, south of the park.|
We didn’t get back to the hotel until 7:00 and were pretty tired so we opted for a room service dinner in the room. Dinner was very good and it felt good to just be able to relax in front of the fireplace in our room after a long drive. Tomorrow we are not quite sure what we will do. We definitely have to do some laundry to get us through the rest of the trip and we’re going to check out the town of Whitefish, but otherwise we’ll just see what happens.