Route 2 - Day 11 - Saturday, July 03, 2004

 Today's Narrative 

WARNING: Lots of pictures today. Sorry if the download takes awhile.

Today was a wonderful day. I camped in the WMT parking lot last night so I WAS the first in line for the oil change, etc. A special thanks to Steve and the guyz for doing a great job. While they were attending to the van I went grocery shopping. And I had time to check out the store layout. I know this is really weird, but I enjoy comparing the ways WMT lays out their stores. They are all a little different.

You may be saying, "But Charlie, didn't you worry about your van left in the Service Department?" The answer is absolutely not as I left the Navigator in charge. He keeps the guyz straight. And I insisted on getting his report before I paid. He said they did a super job. So, Steve, thanks!!

Then we jumped on I 15 for a quick 80 mile trip north to rejoin Route 2. Route 2 west again. To the town of Browning, where, for those of you following along on a map, we took Route 464 north. It parallels the Rocky Mountains as you can see in the pix below. Then it turns west, gets closer to the mountains and then deadends into Route 89 which runs south to St. Mary, the entrance to Glacier National Park. It costs $20 to enter the park, a definite bargain.

The main road through the park is named Going To The Sun and it runs, roughly, east/west. Driving this 49 mile road is one of the most awesome things I have ever done. It goes up over the Continental Divide and then back down. At the top, you're very close to the tree line. Not much vegetation above.

The mountains are so huge and beautiful I wanted to stop every 100 feet and take a picture. But this beauty can't be captured on film. If you were the best nature photographer in the world and had the finest photographic equipment available, you couldn't capture this on film. The scene is just too big and too beautiful. The pix below are the best I could do and they are truly puny.

We spent almost five hours in the park. Drove the road three times (west, then east and then west again) and hiked a couple of trails. Wish I was 10-20 years younger; there are some wonderful trails.

We then got back on Route 2 west again and are currently camped in a WMT parking lot in Kalispell, MT.

I'm trying to decide if I want to go into Canada. It's about 60 miles north of here. Probably not.

Gonna finish up this page, watch a DVD and hit the sack. Tomorrow night we may stay in a motel. Depends on what I can find, this being the Fourth of July weekend, etc.

Today we traveled from Great Falls, MT to Kailspell, MT.

 Today's Pictures 
Click on a pix for a larger view

This pic taken from Route 464. You can see the Rockies in the distance. Now Route 464 has turned west and the mountains are getting closer. Hard to believe they are still about 30 miles away. This was taken from Route 89 near the park entrance.
Yes, that white stuff is snow. The ranger told me they run the snow making machines all summer just to impress the tourists. Magnificant, isn't it? The Navigator has been complaining for the last few days that I haven't posted any pix of him. So, here's his 15 seconds of fame. Yes, more snow behind him. Vertical snow. The ranger told me they have a special machine to create vertical snow.
This simple monument marks the Continental Divide. Closeup of the sign.
Ya didn't miss nuthin'...
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 Today's Stats 

Beginning time: 9:00am
Ending time: 7:00pm
Net driving time (includes stops, etc.): 10.0
Begining odometer: 104980
Ending odometer: 105279
Net miles today: 299
Average MPH: 29.9
Total trip mileage: 3227

Gasoline: $0
Food, ice, etc.: $8
Oil change, rotate and balance tires: $16
Grocery: $11 (FWIW, WMT prices in Great Falls, MT are pretty much the same as in Aiken.)
Lodging: $0
Other: $20 - Entry fee to Glacier National Park.

 Thought For The Day 

A positive attitude may not solve problems, but it'll annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
 Joke Of The Day 

More Cards You'll Never See At Hallmark

"Sorry things didn't work out.
But I can't handle guys with breasts that are bigger than mine."

"I just want you to know that I'm sorry for what happened.
Especially since you survived."

"Happy Birthday! You look great for your age... Almost Lifelike!

"Congratulations on getting married! It's not every day you decide to ruin your life!"

"I always wanted to be rich, powerful, and well respected.
While I'm dreaming, I wish you weren't so damn ugly."

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