Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 7 - Friday, September 4 - Medicine Hat to Glacier National Park

Starting mileage: 2439  Starting time: 7:00am
Ending mileage: 2707  Ending time: 3:45pm
Travel mileage: 268 Travel time: 8:45

This morning when we left, it was 52, the high for the day, going down to 42 by the afternoon. It rained most of the day, making it feel pretty chilly. This area has been in severe drought and today was the first rain since July - Good for them, not so good for us.

Our first stop was at the Red Rock Coulee, interesting rock formations in the Badlands. It was exceptionally slippery, with the rain turning the clay soil to muck - our shoes picked up several pounds!

Much of the area is rolling rangeland of grass and low scrub brush belonging to huge ranches. Cattle grazing were scattered across the countryside. Sometimes a house was visible in the distance, but often nothing was in sight. Further south there were grain fields stretching off into the distance.

We entered back into the US as a small border crossing at Piegan, Montana and travelled to the Many Glacier Hotel.  The hotel is a grand facility built by the Canada Pacific railroad in 1915 to bring in tourists - the hotel is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It is reminiscent of the Mohonk Mountain House near us in NY. It is situated on the edge of a lake and on the far side are the Rocky Mountains. Due to the rain, clouds covered the tops of the mountains but the views were still spectacular. Due to its remoteness, all the guests eat in the large dining room and the wait to get in was almost an hour. The wait was worth it as we were rewarded by a table next to the picture windows looking out at the mountains. Carmen had Montana trout and I had Bison tenderloin, both of which were delicious.

Day 7 route

Red Rock Coulee boulders - Alberta Badlands

Many Glacier Hotel

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