There is nothing quite like going home, especially when it is as beautiful as the Flathead Valley in northwest Montana. I grew up just outside the town of Bigfork, a “picturesque and charming place”–Chamber of Commerce words, not mine–on the shores of Flathead Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. With well over 10,000 miles logged in the last three months, it was time for some much needed rest and relaxation, time off the highways, and time away from the “ExxonMobils/BPs/Shells/Flying Js” of the world. I have filled up with gas exactly once since I got here over two weeks ago!
For a few weeks, I was able to play tourist in my own hometown. I made it out on the kayak several times; lounged at the lake; hit the golf course; strolled down Main Street at the Bigfork Festival of the Arts; ate fresh crab, elk, bison, cherries, huckleberries; and visited Glacier National Park. And, yes, I still had to work. I just got to do it from my parents’ front yard with views of the Rocky Mountains.
So, Glacier National Park. I am glad I visited while the images of Yosemite were fresh in my mind. Both have incredible views around every corner. Yosemite has famous landmarks like El Capitan and Half Dome that are easily spotted from the main road. Glacier Park has glaciers (well, until 2030 when scientists predict all the glaciers will have melted), lakes, and rivers that are often only accessible by hiking trails. Almost twice the size of Yosemite, I definitely had forgotten just how enormous Glacier Park feels. Both are absolutely amazing areas of the U.S. that every person should visit at least once. Instead of spending time at Disney, head on over to Glacier Park in Montana for your next vacation. You can stay at the “Bolstad B&B”. Tell my parents I sent you!
I am heading back to the Pacific Northwest with plans to visit Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Any suggestions, anyone? Then, in mid-August, I will leave my home behind in Oregon, hop on a plane, and stay in Chicago all week. Get ready, gang, I am coming back to town!