Part 4: Dodging golfers on the Road to the Sun
DAY FIVE: The Son got up early today so to kill time before the day’s big outing we went for a pleasant walk through the golf course that surrounded our temporary home.
It was something we had done daily without incident so it was inevitable that eventually there would be an incident. We had ventured further into golf territory than before and were just about to head back when some guy yells out to us:
“You’re not supposed to be out here unless you’re golfing.”
Now, in the four days that we had been traipsing about here, no one had ever bothered to tell us we didn’t belong. I don’t doubt that we didn’t belong, and the guy was probably in his rights, despite the fact that there wasn’t a single sign anywhere at the lodge or on the course that said “No Pedestrians on the Golf Course.”
I thought about fighting him and his pals, but they had clubs and I didn’t. Plus, despite knowing roughly 50 lawyers in town, I didn’t want to take my chances with the Golf Police. So silently we turned around and headed back, like I had intended on doing anyway. As we’re walking away one of his buddies, trying to be nice I guess, offers the following advice:
“You could get hurt out here.”
Uh, yeah. I understand. Golf courses are dangerous places because incompetent golfers might hit a ball wrong and it could land on the golf cart trail where people are walking and hit them. That’s why they build a resort lodge in the middle of one. I’m in no more danger on the course than I am when I walk outside my room. Or when I walk out to my car. Or when I’m sitting in the hot tub outside. Or eating in the lodge restaurant. Heck, I could get hit by a stray ball — and shattered glass — while sprawled out on my bed watching free HBO.
But thanks for your concern.
That afternoon we grabbed our box lunches and boarded a bus for the 4.5-hour drive to Glacier National Park (It wasn’t really 4.5 hours, it just felt like it). Upon arrival we stood around for a bit then boarded a 1930s-era Red Bus for the ride up on the “Road to the Sun.”
If you’re going to go to Montana and take the sun route, I recommend the Red Bus Tour. You’ll get a much better view than in a regular bus or a mini-van or anything short of a chauffer-driven convertible. These lawyers do know how to vacation in style.
I certainly don’t recommend you make the drive yourself. The roads we’d been driving were nothing compared to this one. And yet, despite all the steep grades, curves and no shoulder there was still the dreaded road work going on.
As for the view — well, you know what they say about pictures and words, so I’ll shut up for a bit.
Eventually we made our way to Logan Pass, where there was a large parking lot and a visitors’ center. We had four hours to walkabout. There was a reportedly beautiful inland lake just a 4-mile vertical hike from the visitors’ center. Normally, a 4-mile walk is a trifle to my bunch, but normally we’re not walking straight up. We never made it to the lake. But there was plenty of beauty at the lower elevations, I assure you.
It was getting darker and significantly cooler when we boarded the bus for the long drive back down the mountain. We were complaining earlier about having to haul our jackets around but now they earned their keep.
Remember when I told you I recommend the Red Bus as the way to tour the park? That does not apply in the rain. Montana is like the tropical rain forest, in that every day it would rain for about 30 minutes. Today it chose to rain as we were rolling down the hill. Once you’re on the road there is nowhere to pull off, as the shoulder is actually a 200-foot drop-off. We sat there in the cold, pelting rain until we finally found a spot we could pull over and pull the top back up. Once we got back on the road the rain stopped, but it was the same scenery going down as it was coming up, so we left the top up.
We got back to the lodge in time for another round of eating and drinking. We slept well again that night.
DAY SIX: Not much to write about, thankfully. Got up and drove to Target to return The Wife’s jacket that wasn’t as good as the one she got in downtown Whitefish. Walked around downtown Whitefish and had some Huckleberry Ice Cream. It was pretty good, but then anything tastes good surrounded by ice cream and stuffed in a sugar cone. A huckleberry tastes like any generic berry, if you’re wondering.
That night The Wife had the closing banquet, so The Son and I went to the local pizza parlour and had a pie that was perfectly acceptable. Spent some time at the pool to wrap up our stay at Grouse Mountain Lodge.
And we never saw a single living bear. I guess they filled up on humans before we got there.
Next: Comic Books and Dinosaurs. Finally.