Going-to-the-Sun Road, are we?

Glacier – Part 3 … Sunday, September 13 – our second full day in Whitefish. Our friend, Scott, had arrived Saturday evening so now we are a group of 11 with 3 vehicles. Of course we’re driving back into the park today! Eric had the map out and was presenting several options. Drive up the west end of the park to the Lakes and do a hike! Or drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan pass and do a hike! Megan is coming with us – she can do the Trail of the Cedars Hike! Wait a minute – What? The Green Bay Packers play football today? Who do they play? The Bears? Of course they do – you expect Adam to miss a Packer’s game?

Okay … So seven of us enter the Park in two cars – David, Eric, and Scott leading in David’s truck, followed by Aaron driving my car with Kelly up front, Megan and me in the back. We had just entered the park, when suddenly Megan and I both feel car sick. No big deal. Just suck on these cherry menthol cough drops, Megan. Okay, let’s open the windows and suck fresh air into our lungs, wind-whip our faces to cool down. Uh, so, that’s not working … oh boy, no cell phone coverage to alert David ahead, ‘Houston we have a problem…’ I grope around in my pack, jerk out an Albertson’s grocery bag, shove my head into it just as I start heaving, violently. Luckily the bag didn’t have a hole in it. The contents of my stomach pooled into a balloon shape in the bottom of the bag. I pinched it closed with my fingers so as to contain the smell, but now Megan is gagging violently and casting me looks of terror and disgust. Aaron and Kelly remain dead silent in the front as Aaron continues driving, staying right on whatever route David’s truck was leading us on.

Miraculously, David pulled over at McDonald Lodge. I had puked about four times by now, surely my stomach was empty! So I get out and greet the group with a big smile. I’ll be fine. You bet I will. I want to do that Trail of the Cedars hike with Megan and drive to the Logan Pass summit! Uh, I’ll just make a quick trip to the bathroom … and meet you all in the gift shop! Okay, well, there’s nothing in the gift shop we want to buy but do you have a plastic bag, Miss, perchance?

The group congregates out front. (Scott took the picture.)

Kelly, Aaron, David, Megan, Eric in front of McDonald Lodge ... Time to regroup!

Kelly, Aaron, David, Megan, Eric in front of McDonald Lodge … Time to regroup!

Okay, so you all go ahead (Scott, Eric, Aaron and Kelly) … David teams up with Megan and me – we’ll be along shortly – you know, probably meet up with them at the summit. I just need to sit for a bit in the Lobby – gaze around… I look up at the (now familiar) chandelier…

Does that enormous dangling light fixture make you dizzy?

Does that enormous dangling light fixture make you dizzy?

I’ll just settle my stomach with a coke …. uh, oh no, better skee-daddle back to the ladies room right quick, uh, maybe walk faster…fly into the ladies room… oh no! Stalls are full! No problem (as I lean over and hurl in the sink, sickening the kind lady next to me washing her hands…)

Okay, so we’re going back to the condo …

Turned out not to be such a hardship for David, going back to Whitefish – he just joined Adam and Meredith, Ben and Rhonda downtown for some Packers football and beer and a few pool matches against Ben.

My stomach did settle finally – so about mid-afternoon Megan and I stretched ourselves out on lounge chairs by the pool.

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Sipping cokes. Watching the clouds. Feeling the wind on our faces. Laughing at the two young kids commanding their mother’s constant attention while they jumped and frolicked in hyperactivity in and around the pool, one inevitably hurting himself with a big whale of a cry, sending the mother flying out of her chair to investigate the ‘boo-boo’ and to comfort. I remember those days when our kids were little. Sweet. Busy!

Meanwhile, Aaron, Kelly, Scott, and Eric drove the Road-to-the-Sun to Logan Pass. I hear it’s not the easiest drive even on healthy stomachs. Aaron drove – clenching the wheel, maneuvering the car around deeply ascending hairpin curves along the outer shoulder of the road against oncoming cars, imagining how far down you’d roll if you slid off the edge, and how you don’t want one distracted moment where you send your whole carload tumbling …

I’m just saying … my stomach situation probably wasn’t ideal for the drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass. I do have photos of their trip, though. Scott took them …

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The week after we were there, one of my Facebook friends drove to Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road and posted her photos on her FB page and, what the heck, they were mine for the vicarious experiencing. Thank you Josara Grosshans. I’m totally there!

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Driving

Driving up Logan Pass

Looks a bit chillier than when we were there a week earlier, but what the heck. Open the window and let the cool air caress your face!

Getting back to our group of four on Logan pass, there was no parking the truck to get out and hike. The lots were not only full, there was a line of cars waiting for spaces to open up. Our group circled around thinking they might find parking in another spot, only to return to their original place further back in line. We read in our Park literature after we got back that parking at the popular hikes in the Park is very difficult between 10:30 am and mid-afternoon (if you can’t park, you can’t hike!). How lucky we were yesterday to find two open spaces to park for our hike to Avalanche Lake! There is a free park shuttle service that provides access for visitors to visitor centers, trailheads, campgrounds and lodges along the Going-to-the Sun Road. What shuttle? Yeah, well this year the shuttle service started July 1 and ended a week ago, September 7. So, unable to park, and out of patience to wait in line for a spot to open up, our group of four ultimately turned around at the pass and drove on back. No problem! Aaron and Kelly joined the rest of the clan downtown, while David, Eric and Scott met Megan and me at the poolside restaurant/bar where I was now able to choke down part of a hamburger.

All in all, it was a great day. Four of the group made it up to Logan Pass. Megan and I relaxed and enjoyed resting by the pool. David held his own against Ben at pool. And the Packers trounced the Bears 31-13.

For an added bonus, David had thrown his ‘Cheesehead’ in the back of the truck when we were packing. Now to celebrate the Packer’s win!

Do

Do Green Bay Packer fans really wear cheeseheads?

The sunset was beautiful too.

Sunset over Whitefish Lake

Sunset over Whitefish Lake

One full day left! Big plans for us all tomorrow too, you know it.

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