Day Four will forever be remembered as The Day When Kathy Got Sick. We’re hoping there isn’t a corresponding Day When Brad Gets Sick yet to come on this vacation. Unfortunately, we have no idea what made Kathy quite so sick, but we have a strong inclination it was something she ate. It struck with a fury just after we got up in the morning and never really went away all day. Despite her sometimes violent illness, we tried to make the most of the day while touring Glacier National Park.
Speaking of Glacier, our trip through the park made this the most spectacular day of the trip so far. Kathy’s illness, while spectacular in its own way, is nothing to celebrate. Anyway, we started the day with a stop at a breakfast place that was highly rated by the same guidebook that recommended the hotel. When we walked in, we were the only ones in the place, but took a couple seats at the counter anyway. We happily accepted the coffee we were offered, then realized something wasn’t quite right… they no longer serve breakfast. C’est la vie. At least the coffee was good. Plan B - a stop at the grocery store - was a success and we hit the road for Glacier.
We’d been warned by Kathy’s sister about the huge crowds in Glacier, but that didn’t turn out to be a problem. Pretty much everything in Glacier closed for the season last week, which made the whole experience a little surreal. Apgar village, just inside the west entrance of the park, was a ghost town. The tiny visitor’s center was open, but that was it. The lodge was closed. The store was closed. A couple people were sleeping (in sleeping bags) on the main dock in Lake McDonald. Fortunately, the Going-To-The-Sun Road, the main road through the park, is open, and will be for another two weeks, unless a major snowstorm says otherwise.
Two main attractions at Glacier are the hiking and the scenery. Kathy’s bouts of retching put a damper on the hiking, but we were still able to enjoy the scenery. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Emerging from the park on the eastern side, we had an awesome view of the great plains opening up in front of us. Almost everything on this side of the park was boarded up for the winter, too, so we continued on across the plains to find a place to stay the night. We passed up several promising hotels in Cutbank and drove on to Shelby, ending up in the O’Haire Manor Motel. Think early 70’s motel modern: sculpted pile carpet, glossy velour lounge chair. So far, a nice place to sleep off the food poisoning from hell – hopefully!