One less trip to do on my Bucket List. :- )
I went on a road trip to find out what attracted people to Glacier National Park. Was it the horse back trail adventure's, was it the Red Bus Tours, was it the Swiss Chalets built long ago, was it the food, or the glaciers awesome size still full of mysteries that each year a little more of the past is exposed because of the glaciers melting. Students' working there applied for studies at the park and got the jobs working there while at Universities they attend from all over the planet Earth.
After seeing all of the most amazing views I visited West Glacier's shops. I talked with the cashiers. (young women from universities planning careers in forestry and archaeology etc., etc. working there. They were from universities all around the world.
Forestry was one of the main reasons they signed up to work at the park. That kind of work would wear me out quickly in a day at my age? Well, being on my own raised suspicions about my being at the park. I bought food, drinks, stickers to put on the car to show I had been there. My bucket list with one less place to go. They asked me about myself and I them, as I stood there to pay them for my purchases. If I were in my twenties I would have likely found myself inspired to learn more about them, their homelands, and learn their languages.
I was careful even though I knew my old bones and sockets for arms and legs were well worn.
Instead of the other ideas of youthful passions I wanted to make sure the conversation didn't strain our comprehension of English UK they spoke so well. Enough so, so we didn't have to speak Italian, Spanish, Ukraine, or any other of their languages.
Now that I have been there again... When I was twelve I had been there hiking. By selling bags of fresh oranges door to door I earned a week long backpacking hiking trip.
The group I was with hiked to camp ground just north of West Glacier Village. We hiked to several interesting sites and camped each night out in the wild. We didn't have a tent among us. Even the adults leading the way and keeping us safe didn't have a tent between them. We stopped several times along the trails until we got far north to the Ptarmigan Tunnel. No one I talked to knew when or why Ptarmigan Tunnel was made. I fancied it was a drainage system for when it rained and snow melted in Spring. It was so mysterious I thought they must have had planned a huge Swiss Castle or a Chalet up on top that was scrapped because other chalets built there were damaged, even totally destroyed by mountain collapses and slides.
I saw it and walked through it when I was twelve with other lads only in their teens with two guides and a cook. The guides were more of a security team, as I have little memory of them telling us much about the histories of the park.
No wonder I have such grand (and some times wild) imagination when I write. ;- D
After seeing the tunnel our journey turned south east to visit two of the gigantic Swiss lodges still standing only reachable on horse back or hiking trails. (I see they have advanced trails made for wheel chair hikers now too)
Then continuing south to another lodge before ending the trip. We never really saw East Glaciers Hotel area that time. The bus picked us up at a parking lot northeast near Babb, Montana northeast of the exit from Many Glaciers Hotel.
Now that I have had my eyes opened again, learned history lessons that cleared up clouds with my imagined Castles in the Sky, so my aged mind has sound wisdom, I never would have gotten if I didn't experience it again and then write this post.
I won't be needing to go on any of the Glacier National Park exciting tours again.
Bucket list... Next! I wonder if I would survive a trip to Australia.