[West Glacier, MT]
One of the many things I love about living on the West coast is the proximity to some the most amazing national parks in the country. My fascination with national parks began with Zion and Bryce Canyon in 2013 – there is a special place in my heart for that corner of Utah. Since then, I’ve also visited Yosemite and Hawaii Volcanoes national parks. I can honestly say that these majestic beauties are making this city girl appreciate the great outdoors more and more.
Glacier National park got onto my radar somewhat out of the blue early this year. While sharing my newfound love for national parks with my friend McKenzie over a beer after work one day, she mentioned to me that her home state of Montana is also home to that park, which, while very popular, usually gets bypassed by the better known Yellowstone about 3 hours away. Not too long after that I was telling my friend Olivia about Glacier and she said it’s been pretty high on her bucket list for while. Next thing you know, we have air tickets to fly to nearby Kalispell, MT direct from LA on Allegiant Air, and so here we are today, under the big Montata sky, sleeping on a deck (literally) at our AirBnB place – a bed and breakfast, a bakery and a camp ground all in 1.
Our flight was super smooth – despite the Allegiant horror stories and getting nickled-and-dimed left and right (they truly do charge you for every little thing like printing your boarding pass at the airport and water on the plane), the convenience of a non stop flight was unparalleled. The size of the airport in Kalispell was jarring to us, what with the urban sprawl and congestion we get used to in our “bubble”. The terminal is tiny and the Hertz rental car counter was right in it, literally around the corner from the gate. In no time at all we were on our way to our AirBnB, about 20 miles away.
20 miles away can mean anything from 20 minutes to 2 hours in LA, and therefore I had given our hostess this large window of time during which she should be expecting our arrival. Here, 20 miles means about 15 minutes, and so we pulled up into the place earlier than the most optimistic of my time estimates. People were sitting outside around a campfire, we were miles away from the nearest little town – our LA lives couldn’t have seemed any more remote at that moment.
Our place is absolutely charming. It’s had the same owner for 51 years and everything inside is just about that old. The house oozes vintage charm everywhere you turn. The fact that it’s been added on to makes the floor plan rather akin to a maze, but our “room” was easy to find. We’re literally staying in the back of the house on a second -floor deck. When the shutters are up, the whole back yard, the forest and that big Montana sky are right there. This is as close as you can get to sleeping outside without actually sleeping outside! Try having an authentic experience like that at a hotel – a big reason while I’m such a fan of AirBnB.
It is after 10 pm, and glimmers of daylight are still dancing around the night sky. The temperature is dropping fast – there is a big swing here between the daytime and nighttime temps. The adventure begins tomorrow – I cannot wait to see what this gorgeous place has to offer!