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Glacier Park 2016

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The Gang of Eight, aka The Saltines, aka Crackers gathered once again with trailers in tow to convene in yet another national landmark! Traveling from varied parts of the western United States to gather together for friendship, carousing, and reconnecting with the beauty of Nature that surrounds us all! Our home camp was at North American RV Park in the small town of Coram, MT north of Kalispell. The RV park was very nice and very clean and the staff were friendly and helpful. They put us all together in the back of the campground (very strategic to other campers nearby, wink wink).

Our adventures started by visiting the city of Kalispell. Unfortunately, like many small towns we visit on a Sunday, most of the stores and shops were closed. That made the visit short and we headed up the road to Whitefish. It didn’t take us long to find a food and beverage establishment that was well suited to the gang. We headed over to Casey’s and went to their rooftop area. The food was great, but even better was their Mule drinks, oh my gawd!!! Those sent us on a quest to find the exact ginger beer they used for them. After our quest found the elixir, back to camp we went to concoct mules of our own!

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Ruger

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Ursie and Ruger

Yes we ate a lot and of course we drank a lot, but we did manage to get some hiking, sightseeing, and the obligatory shopping in while we were there. Glacier Park rivals Yellowstone in it’s beauty and we were very impressed. Our first foray into the backwoods territory was to travel up the Going-to-the-Sun-Road to Logan Pass. Bob, our travel advisor, had warned us before hand that the winds would be howling up top so we didn’t really prepare to do any serious hiking. We were enthralled with the scenery and a bit nervous with the narrow road. When we got to the pass, we stopped at the visitor center and had a look then decided to venture out into the wind and cold and hike a bit up the trail to Hidden Lake. Well, we just kept going all the way to the lake, wind and all. See, that’s just how we roll! During the week we did other hikes and saw other areas of the park. Another hike took us to Avalanche Lake along the Avalanche River. It was a magical place although very crowded. Had it not been for the car disabled passes our two old and decrepit men of the Saltines possess, we would not have found parking. There, in the parking lot, we tested our bear spray. It worked, especially when the breeze blew some of it back in our faces!!! Not so smart! We also took a trek around the park to the east and through the town of Browning in the heart of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, uhhhh ok, enough said. We entered the Many Glacier entrance to the trailhead of the Apikuni Falls and hiked that trail. There were some tough spots, but the reward was incredible!! Another hike was on the Lake Stanton Trail to Lake Stanton, a very quiet and secluded hike just as beautiful as any other. The Ruger dog came on that hike with us and just bounded with the youth of a pup. It was on this hike a few of us sustained minor injuries with Ursie taking a fall and getting cut up, and Debbie getting multiple sting bites from a crazed wasp. Luckily she is not allergic. Ruger gave us all a scare when he started acting lethargic at camp one day and refused to eat. He then threw up bile and started shaking. Rob and Ursie had to take him on an emergency vet visit. They found one that could take him in and he had an infection and fever. With some meds and rest, he was back too himself in no time!!

Glacier Park and Montana is abundant with wildlife, right??? Well it wasn’t on this trip for us. We hardly saw anything much in the way of animals. We caught glimpses of mountain goats, one was very close to us, a few deer in the far distance, many dead skunks on the roads, a couple of squirrels having a love moment, the sound of a moose or loons, and ONE bear. FB_IMG_1472342636646The bear was seen by Bob, Patti, Rob, and Ursie. We were in the second truck and when we pulled up, I opened the door to turn around to get a good picture or video perhaps, and Pam screamed as she does often, bear disappeared and photo is courtesy of Ursie……sigh!
The week sadly flew by and it was time to leave. We took a more scenic route back that just didn’t have us on I90 the whole time. We drove through never seen towns of Sand Point and Bonners Ferry, Idaho which we thought were gorgeous! I think they are both even prettier than Coeur D’Alene and that is saying quite a bit! Our last spot on the way home was at Sprague Lake Resort. It is just a tiny fishing campground on the lake run by a sweet German lady named Monica. It was crazy windy and the bugs were a bit overwhelming, but a quaint place for an overnight stop. We had our last hurrah and sadly returned to the reality of the working world!

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Our Last Night!

Thanks for reading our adventures and you can find all the photos in the photo gallery here! Until next time!!!

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Mt. Bachelor

We have done some very good vacation planning this year, just like the last year! With my job, I have to pick my vacations in January for the complete year. Sometimes it is hard to know what plans to make in advance and what weeks to pick. But last year we did great and this year is all laid out. We have never done a week ski vacation before. Usually it is just a long weekend or possibly an anniversary trip that we do some skiing! This year we decided to plan one! Debbie looked and looked for a place to go. Colorado was a thought, but we found it to be on the spendy side. Tahoe was another target, but again proved to be to pricey. Another factor was Cordell. We planned on taking him with us and just couldn’t justify the expense. On of our friends suggested we check out Mt. Bachelor just outside of Bend, Or. We could drive down and plus we had friends there we could visit! Debbie found a great place to stay so off we went with Cordell in the back seat. Now people always ask, what about Patience (the cat). Have you ever travelled with a cat? They don’t do well and she is happy at home just fine. We have very good friends that take good care of her.

The drive to Bend isn’t a bad one and we had great tunes to listen to whilst on the way from SnoJoRadio my music podcast! Debbie had found us a condo to stay at the Seventh Mountain Resort for the week and our unit was dog friendly! It was a very nice place and just twenty minutes at the most to the slopes at the mountain. It also had a kitchen so we could cook there when we wanted. A very cozy place. Cordell loved walking the grounds and exploring. Both of us had been to Bend a few years back, but had never been to Mt Bachelor to ski and only vaguely remembered anything about the town itself! It is a really cool, hip town and the downtown section is very vibrant and alive. There are many restaurants for a town that size, so when we did decide to venture out for dinner, we had plenty of choices. We ate at the Pine Tavern Restaurant, McMenamins, and also the Brickhouse Restaurant. Each of the were fantastic! When we weren’t on the slopes, we drove around and explored. We took a drive down to Sunriver, and also headed out to Sisters, Or. It was a bit quiet at both places, but we did find a lively and enjoyable place to have dinner in Sisters at a place called Bronco Billys Ranch Grill and Saloon. Dinner was filling, tasty, and cheap. Check out my salad that I had to take part of back to the condo:

My Huge Cobb Salad

Now the real reason we went down to Bend was to ski and ski we did! The only snafu was my feet, especially the left one. I have very flat feet and also pronate somewhat. I have to wear special orthotics in my street and running shoes and the rental boots on the mountain just killed my left foot. After the first day, I was in severe pain. I was hoping not to spoil the rest of the week for Debbie because she was looking forward to doing a lot of sking. We spent a whole day looking at ski boots and thought we had found a pair for me, but hesitated. Then I decided to rent some demo boots skis at the mountain. I explained my situation to the boot fitter there and he came up with a pair of Tecnica Mega 12’s and I was in heaven. It was the first time in my life I could ski for hours and have no foot pain. I scored on a new pair, and as well fitted as they were, they still needed to be punched out for my left foot. Then Debbie wanted to also demo boots and skis and by the time we left, we each had a pair of brand new boots! I guess we will be skiing more often now! We’ll demo skis for a while until we decide to buy, but we need to save money for the next big vacation adventure coming in May! I also put up some pictures of our trip in a new album on our Flickr Photo Page, so go have a look!

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