I love mountains and our Glacier National Park experience is no exception. But there comes a time when I must question the love of my life as she plots pure evil in our drives around these majestic beauties. Perhaps Donetta is testing my sanity or simply trying to kill me.
It's no secret I'm extremely fearful of heights. Especially after the near death experience at Pikes Peak a few years ago. Since that fateful day I've encountered moments of complete horror and PTSD from mountain driving. Even riding a ferris wheel conjures up pure terror for me these days, triggering the need to soil my pants and shed some tears. You might laugh but it's absolutely true.
Despite being an infantry soldier who loved throwing hand grenades and sending rounds down range, this old fart doesn't like living on the edge anymore. Give me my rocking chair please!
Our Glacier National Park experience was good. For the most part.
The beginning and the end of our Glacier National Park experience was fantastic. It was the middle that became the nightmare, but more on that in a minute.
Driving through Montana from Helena to our "base camp" in Kalispell was just mesmerizing. Cruising along Highway 83 past Seeley Lake, Swan Lake and the Flathead National Forest is something you don't want to miss out on. Whitefish and Columbia Falls are also nice places to visit. Montana is filled with wondrous places and outdoor spaces. I can't wait to go back because it just has a nice and relaxed feeling, plus there's so much to see.
I have to say thanks to My Place Hotels and Bryce for the sweet deal and accommodations. And if you ever stay there please say howdy to Holly Donald because she absolutely rocks.
Heading into the Glacier National Park was a treat as well. Literally!
We grabbed some world famous huckleberry pie from The Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse, Montana. OMG it was lip-smacking delicious! Since we've been eating the keto lifestyle for over a year now, it truly almost caused a sugar induced coma but was well worth it. I washed it down with a Dark Horse, a combination of black coffee and espresso. This guy took off like a fighter jet from the caffeine and sugar injection. WHOOOOOOO!!!
The next stop was West Glacier and the Apgar Visitor Center. This is the entrance to Glacier National Park where there's a few restaurants and stores to shop.
What was the actual Glacier National Park like though?
As you roll along Going to the Sun Road you'll be treated to a plethora of magical moments. You'll cruise along Lake McDonald and enjoy wildlife crossing the road to towering trees to many inspiring pull-outs along the lake. The mountains in the background are breathtaking and you'll groove to the variety of colored rocks close to the water. It's nature and the outdoors at its finest display.
It's difficult to put into words the entire Glacier National Park experience. That is until you get close to Logan Pass. Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands.
A Nightmare on Some Street
Life was good until we got to some certain place on Going to the Sun Road where it felt like I was heading into hell. Yep, you got it -- another mountain road pass experience. As my knuckles went into the grip of death on the steering wheel and my anxiety burst through the roof, I could only pray in tongues which happened to sound a LOT like cussing.
Honestly I'd rather face Freddy Krueger than drive that nightmare of a road again.
The harrowing turns and narrow streets so far up in the mountain still causes me to lose bowel control when I think about it. I pissed many people off by driving in the middle of the road while snaking my way towards the Logan Pass Visitor Center. And by the way, if you don't beat all the traffic up there, you'll spend days trying to get a parking space. In the 45 minutes we drove around, we were never able to park.
Unfortunately we never reached the end of the trail, but frankly my darling, I don't give a damn. I love my wife and it sucked to see the gravity of disappointment on her face, yet the gravity of the horror was worse for me.
Thank God going back down the mountain was a much happier moment. We even managed to create a video that helped pass the time and reduce the anxiety.
The end of the GNP journey.
Donetta and I finally had a good laugh as we wrapped up our field trip and our Glacier National Park experience. We drove around the other side of the lake, spent some time hiking a trail without bear spray, and finished our time celebrating the accomplishment with some food and adult beverages.
We grabbed a bite to eat in Whitefish at the Great Northern Bar and Grill, but the food and vibe sucked, despite it being a neat place. Donetta and I left disappointed but then I remembered a place we passed several times in route to GNP.
The Sacred Waters Brewing Company is a must for beer lovers.
Their Little Salman Fire and Beautiful Disaster was like liquid mana from heaven and it was relaxing to sit out back in the Adirondack chairs while enjoying the live entertainment. It was such a cool vibe and way to destress. We both agreed this was the perfect place to end the day.
There's so much more to our Montana visit than I can write in this post. You'll have to wait for those. But if you're considering visiting Glacier National Park, you'll love it. Just bring an adult diaper if you're scared of heights.