Today, we drove to Many Glacier, a valley in the northeast park of Glacier National Park. I assume it was named because at one time, there were many glaciers there. Today, many have disappeared although there are still some to see and to hike to. We didn't hike to any glaciers today because of the distance. We did hike to Redrock Falls, which were much closer and a hike we felt we could do. And we did. The trail takes you through a forest and past two lakes. Redrock Falls enters at the end of the second lake, strangely named Redrock Lake. Where did they get that name?
Actually, the layer of rocks that are at the top of the lake are red, hence the name of the falls and of the lake.
Along the way to the falls, we saw a moose and her calf, quietly munching in an open area. Fortunately, they weren't scared of us, although the mother moose kept a close watch on us, especially when my camera made noise.
There are two places to stay in rooms here, and one campground right across the street from the Manycurrent Motor Lodge, which looked nice but not nearly as nice as Many Glacier Hotel. It is a great Swiss style hotel on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake. The hotel is undergoing renovation this year, so it looked like only about half of the rooms were available. Still, it looked like a great place to stay.
We saw two hotels that looked great: The Many Glacier Hotel and the Lake McDonald Lodge, also a Swiss style hotel on Lake McDonald, way on the west side of the park. When Glacier National Park was being developed, even before it became a national park, there were a series of Swiss chalet style lodgings built about a day's journey by horseback apart. It must have been a fabulous time to ride between the chalets. About half of them still exist, although you must hike to the chalets that are not on a road. The hotels were two of the larger places to stay. You would take a railroad to a station near the park, then take a stage and/or boat and/or horse to get to your lodgings. Then the auto happened, and opened the park to many more people than could afford to travel by rail to these great locations, many of which became national parks.
After hiking and touring at Many Glacier, we decided to spend our last afternoon here revisiting the Going to the Sun Road, so we drove from St Mary to Logan Pass and more, stopping at some of the places we couldn't get parking at before as we went late in the afternoon. Since we were not planning to hike, the late time worked great. We made it as far as The Loop where we learned that the Going to the Sun Road was competitive between an experienced Civil Engineer and a young Landscape Architect. The Landscape Architect won, and the road was built so that it could be available for a longer season and would be much more pleasant to drive, as it was not as steep and had far fewer switchbacks. It is an experience driving along the Garden Wall with a rugged rock wall on your one side, and the minimal guard rain on the other. Fortunately, they have rebuilt the road over the last few years so we had a smooth surface to drive. The road into Many Glacier needs the same rebuilding. I hope it will get that soon.
Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house. And now I have gotten interested in ham radio so there goes any free time.