Location: N 48.21965, W 113.80528 Lakeview Campground
I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night. I wasn’t as level as I thought I was. That’s a recurring problem I need to fix, maybe as simple as buying a cheap level at a hardware store. It also rained off and on all evening. Got out of bed a little later than planned but finally got moving. Went to the Glacier’s west entrance to see what the vehicle reservation system is all about that I saw signs for. To drive through the west portion of the park on Going-to-the-Sun Road you need to reserve a spot at least a day ahead of time. The ranger told me that the best parts of the park are all on the east side and no reservation is needed over there. Also if you enter after 4 pm no reservation is needed for the west side either. The full Going-to-the-Sun Road wasn’t open yet anyway. So I drove the 60 miles back to East Glacier and from there another 30 or so up to the Many Glacier entrance. Pretty incredible drive the whole way. Going over a mountain pass though the road was in pretty rough shape and beat my truck to death. Ended up losing a bolt holding my front bumper lightbar on. Just happened to glance at it while stopped to take a photo and noticed it was just kind of dangling by one bolt. Tightened that one up and zip-tied the other side as a temporary fix. I have spare bolts so I’ll take care of that later. Probably add either a wire or zip ties as a failsafe in case it works loose again. Not looking forward to working on that. It was such a pain to get attached in the first place. Need to have fingers about 2mm thick to squeeze into the mounting point. Unfortunately at the time I wasn’t thinking ahead to making these blog posts and didn’t take photos of it or other times I ran into situations that would have been a good time to snap a photo to help illustrate these posts. Oh well, the next leg of the journey I’ll try to be more diligent about that kind of thing. Temporary fix in place it was back to sightseeing. While driving through Many Glacier I came into a mini traffic jam. 4 or 5 park rangers were standing around their trucks with rifles out and looking up the hillside. A few other onlookers were there too. Wasn’t a place for me to safely pull over so I don’t know what that was all about. I would guess a bear sighting though. Had to stop for gas after leaving there and paid $5.79 a gallon for it. Most I’ve ever personally paid. Drove down to the St Mary’s entrance and did the tourist thing there for a bit then made the drive back to West Glacier with a few photo stops along the way. It was after 4 when I got back so I went ahead and drove part of the Going to the Sun Highway. Would have driven more but my low gas light came on since at 5.79 I only put in a little bit. Turned around and by the time I got to the park entrance station, I was coasting on fumes. Being right at the park of course gas was way expensive here too. 5.69. just put a few gallons in again because I knew a little way down the main road it was 4.59. After that drove back to the lake and luckily a good spot was still available at the same campground. Got set up for the evening and it started raining again. Right before sunset and after I had taken my shoes off and put my camp sandals on I noticed a rainbow peaking through the trees. I can’t pass up a rainbow so I trotted down to the shore in the slippery sandals and managed to get a couple of photos and not break a leg at the same time. After that it was bedtime. Always tricky getting into bed when it’s raining or muddy. I’m not quite as flexible as I need to be some nights. It started raining again and rained all night.