|Fri, 26 Jun: A short day's drive...
Today's drive is a "shortie", only 54½ miles. We relocated from the Kalispell Elks Lodge to a full-service campground closer to the eastern gateway to Glacier National Park. We want to see the Many Glaciers section of the park while we're here and this seems to be a good place from which to do so.
Since we didn't have to vacate our site at the Elks Lodge till noon, we had little incentive to get going at dark o'clock in the morning. We did that earlier in the week and we're still trying to recover. Instead we arose when we arose and took our time getting breakfast and preparing the coach for the road. One thing we've learned in our seven plus years of RVing, the preparation for the road is the same whether you're going five miles or five hundred.
We finally got our act together and pulled out of the Elks Lodge onto U.S. 93 north toward U.S. 2. U.S. 93 runs right thru the heart of Kalispell, so we got to enjoy "historic" downtown Kalispell. East on U.S. 2 took us north along the city's eastern border and toward Columbia Falls where we stopped at a Pilot station to top off the diesel tank. Recall we mentioned that diesel cost less in Idaho than Washington? Well it's even better in Montana where we topped off our tank for "only" $2.71/gallon.
Continuing east along U.S. 2 for another 39 miles brought us to the Glacier Haven RV Park where we were assigned a full service site under the trees. No chance of satellite reception here, and to make matters even more interesting, there is absolutely no internet or cellular signal either. The park has wireless connectivity, but it is very, very slow and restricted. We're not too certain we'll even be able to post this.
Saturday, 27 Jun: Today we visited the Many Glaciers section of Glacier National Park. This was highly recommended by the ranger and other folks we've met, and since we relocated to Essex it is far easier to do so.
We packed Carpe Dinkum with all of our camera equipment plus some snacks and drinks. It was roughly 100 miles from the RV park to the end of the road in Many Glaciers. Getting there was also an adventure as we took U.S. 2 to East Glacier and then Montana 49 to U.S. 89. The latter two routes are very curvy and climb to almost 6,000' to cross the mountains. Speeds of 20 mph in many sections are the norm.
We arrived at the end of the road a bit after noon and decided to spring for an overpriced National Park Contractor meal. It was adequate and the service average. After lunch we retraced our route stopping to snap many pix (see photos). We were back home a bit after three.
We've been having a problem with the electricity in this RV park. It has been hot the past few days with temperatures in the high eighties/mid nineties. Naturally, we along with everyone else in the park is running their air conditioners. Well, the park's electric grid is inadequate and we've been experiencing brown outs with voltages as low as 103 vac. Our power management system trips off when voltages get too low, so we kept losing power. Ultimately we used only one of the two A/C compressors and that seemed to keep the power on, but the cooling was barely adequate.
Ahh, the joys of RVing.
We head out tomorrow morning and continue our eastward trek along U.S. 2. Our immediate goal is the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. It is 750 road miles from here so we hope to be there mid week.