Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park, Montana

The Many Glacier Hotel has to be my favorite place to stay while visiting Glacier National Park.
It is situated in one of the most remote areas of the park, overlooking Swiftcurrent Lake and the Swiftcurrent Valley.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

The hotel was built in the early 1900s in the style of a Swiss Chalet and it still maintains that style today.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

From the architecture to the lederhosen that the bell hops still wear, it definitely feels very “Swiss.”
There’s no cell service, television, and very spotty wi-fi throughout the hotel which also contributes to that feeling of having “traveled back in time.”

It certainly gives you the opportunity to unplug and unwind.
It was heaven.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

This year we had a room with one double bed and one twin bed and a shared deck overlooking the mountains. Ideally, I would have loved to have a lake view, but honestly we spent so very little time in our room that the mountain view was just fine.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Stargazing from our deck the first night we checked in…
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Deck view in the daylight.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

These are the views that the Many Glacier Hotel is known for.
Sweeping verandas that overlook Swiftcurrent Lake, with a steady cold wind that drives many inside and around the fireplace in the center of the lodge.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

My boys were still in shorts. Go figure.
Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Where I Roam, Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park

Great Hikes accessible from the Many Glacier Hotel area:

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Frozen in a Cabin in Bear Country

A week in the woods just isn’t a week in the woods unless you go camping for part of it.

Last year, we really went camping. This year, we spent the night in a dry cabin at the East Glacier KOA campground. Believe it or not, we were warmer in the tent.

But alas, that wasn’t the KOA’s fault.

Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA
When I booked our cabin over the telephone, we were told it had heat and electricity, but we would be using the campground showers and restrooms and to bring our own linens. In preparation, we stopped at Costco and picked up some pillows and two fleece sleeping bag liners (the kiddo had room in his suitcase to pack his sleeping bag from home). Since the cabin was heated, we figured that was all we would need. 

Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA
Before arriving at the KOA, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d stayed at campgrounds before, but in a pop-up trailer. This was the first time I’d ever stayed in a dry cabin or at a KOA facility.

It was amazing! I was so pleasantly surprised!

Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA

Our cabin was clean and cute, with a double bed and a set of bunk beds. The mattresses were covered in a plastic material, so there were no weird stains or smells or creepy crawlies waiting for us.
Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA

The cabin was clean and comfortable, and the campground amenities were amazing. The KOA offers pizza delivery directly to your campsite or BBQ dinners for purchase every evening from 5-10 pm. We had a cooler with us and made our own sandwiches, but it was nice to know we wouldn’t go hungry regardless. 

Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA

In addition to an enormous pool, hot tub, and free wifi, the KOA gave us the added bonus of being just outside Glacier National Park. That made it much easier to get over to the St. Mary Visitor Center for the 9:30 pm ranger-led stargazing program.

We got to see the rings of Saturn through a telescope. It was one of the coolest things ever (and looked very similar to the linked photo!)
Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA, deer grazing

Since it doesn’t get dark until really late in Montana in the summer time, it was actually dusk at almost 10 pm while we were driving over to stargaze. On the road leading out of the campground, we found this guy moseying along. What you can’t see in this photo is that just off to the left is the campground. Kids were playing in the pool with a bear strolling by. Wild!

I guess, here in Florida, it’s equally wild that we swim and water ski in lakes and there’s likely an alligator nearby too. All depends on what you’re used to!
Where I Roam, East Glacier KOA, black bear
And I bet you’re wondering why the tent last year was warmer than the heated cabin?

Because hubby left the window open. And nobody remembered to turn the heater on. And just before we went to bed, there was a really big moth buzzing around inside and hubby tried to swat it with his shirt, knocking the only light bulb out of its fixture, so that we couldn’t see the knob to turn the heater on until morning–which also happened to be when we figured out that the window was still open.

Which makes for a good “frozen in a cabin in bear country” story.

*For more information on the St. Mary/East Glacier KOA campground, visit their website: http://koa.com/campgrounds/st-mary/

See more Glacier Country Here:

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Foys Lake: Kalispell, Montana

If you’ve been watching the action on instagram, you probably already know that we are back in the hot box south. Our plane landed last night at 10:45 (east coast time) to a balmy 82 degrees and 99% humidity.

(Hard to believe that only 3 nights ago we were freezing our butts off in an East Glacier campground!)

Ah, such is life in Florida.

But I took about a million photos and now I get to re-live our trip right here with you!

I know, I know… try to contain your excitement!

First, let me introduce you to the lake house in Kalispell where we spent our first four nights:
Where I Roam

I found this lovely bi-level home on Foys Lake while shopping for vacation rentals on VRBO.
The owners maintain their lovely (year round!) living quarters on the top floor and they rent out the lower level to vacationers.
Where I Roam

The owners, Bill and Lynn, told me that even though the lake is fed by a warm spring and not glacial or snow melt, it still freezes in the winter 14-18 inches and the locals build huts for ice fishing and the kids use it as an ice skating rink. Being the Florida girl that I am, I’d love to go back and see it in the winter. I honestly can’t imagine how it would look covered with ice and snow!
Where I Roam

As you can see, in the summer the water might be cold but it’s tolerable and the kids couldn’t be kept out of it. This was a friendly game of Wipe Out happening here.
Where I Roam

Where I Roam

We thoroughly enjoyed using the paddle boats that were provided, although I sat this trip out so that I could capture the adventure via photography. I’m selfless that way.
(I was also wearing four layers of clothing over my bathing suit. That lake was frosty.)
Where I Roam

Far and away, the best thing was relaxing on the back deck and soaking up the view…
Where I Roam

Where I Roam

and after a rather stressful year at home, this was the perfect kick-off to a summer retreat we so desperately needed.
Where I Roam

*If you’d like more information on this gorgeous vacation rental, you can check out the VRBO listing here: http://www.vrbo.com/140459

Next up: rock climbing with Link!
I’ll post those photos soon.

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[Places I’ve Roamed] Last Day in Many Glacier

I loved our stay at the Many Glacier Hotel. This old hotel was completed in 1915 and was built in the style of a Swiss Chalet. Reservations were hard to come by, but I was persistent and it paid off. We got to stay two nights–and those two nights may have been the highlight of my whole trip.

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

This is a view of the hotel as looking down from the vantage point of the parking lot.

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

Our hotel room. The accommodations weren’t spectacular in comparison to modern hotels. For instance, in a 100 year old hotel, the shower leaves much to be desired in the areas of water pressure and temperature regulation. And since the hotel is run by the national park service (read here: federal government) it was a little light on creature comforts, like new bedspreads. But I loved the feel of this old hotel. No television. No cell phone reception. Even the wi-fi was spotty at best. The fact that not much had changed at the Many Glacier Hotel in the 100 years since it had been built only added to its charm. 

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

On our last day there, it was finally cool enough to light a fire in the enormous fireplace in the lobby. 
After a long hike in the rain, we were happy to warm up in front of it. Yes…in July!

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

A nice guest offered to take a photo of us so we could have a family shot. 
I’m so pleased my son decided to look like a rapper for the occasion.

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

Another treat: we saw two more grizzlies on our way out of town 
(from a nice comfortable distance which only looks close due to the telephoto lens.)

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

My Gypsy Soul, Many Glacier Hotel

This is Goose Island. We stopped for pictures on our way back along the Sun Road. We didn’t realize it at the time, but bad weather was rolling in. We were up near Logan’s Pass (the highest point on the mountain) when the clouds rolled in and we could no longer see out of our windshield. The next day we heard that there had been a major rock and mud slide on the Sun Road. Several motorists had to spend the night on the mountain. Luckily, no one was hurt. 
I’ll share those photos next time.

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