There is a Glacier National Park in Canada, and there is another one in the US. The US one is attached to a different Canadian National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for the two Glacier National Parks, only separated by a silly little border to be the ones attached and we could call that other National Park something else entirely?
I suppose someone might say it would cause confusion, but I think it’s more confusing now. Take a look at this recent conversation with my husband …
“Where are we going tomorrow?” he asked, as he usually does, because I do all the planning.
“We’re going to Glacier National Park.” I answered.
“Didn’t we just drive through there last week?” It was definitely a good question.
“That was the Canadian one. We’re going to the US one.”
“Oh, are they attached?” he asked me.
“No, the Canadian park that’s attached goes by another name entirely.”
“I don’t get it!” his arms stretched out, palms up, face scrunched.
“Me neither!” shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders helplessly.
How can it be considered good planning to have places with the same name all willy nilly all over the place? It’d be like having two Londons or Cairos or Vancouvers … well, alright, so it’s been done many times already. But don’t get me started on how every time I tell someone I’m from Vancouver, they ask “Vancouver, Washington?” and I have to respond “No, Vancouver, Canada.”
We can all thank Captain Vancouver for that, spreading himself all over the place. If I had my way, all the duplicate named places would have to be renamed. There really aren’t that many cities, are there? With so many languages, I’m sure we could have unique names all over the place.
So eventually we made it to Glacier National Park. Which one? The one in Montana, USA. It’s a beautiful park with nice hiking trails, a huge lake, and a breathtaking drive along the 53 mile (85 km) Going-to-the-Sun Road.
When we arrived at the west gate, we had the choice of paying $25 for a one week pass, $35 for a yearly pass or $80 for an annual pass to all US National Parks. US seniors get it for $10 for a lifetime! We chose to pay for the one week pass. The ranger told us Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed past Logan Pass for road work, which was okay, because that is exactly as far as we wanted to go, the midpoint, the pass.
At this time of year, a lot of the campgrounds are closed. We chose the one at the west gate, Apgar. I’ve stayed here before, about 15 years ago. It’s just a short walk to the village of Apgar and Lake McDonald. We checked in early Friday afternoon. All the sites in Apgar are pull-through semi-circles, which is great, but all the ones on the right hand side were taken already. That left us with the left side where our door was on the opposite side from the table and fire pit. Not a huge deal, but not ideal either, when you want to be out by the fire and not have someone sneak in and ransack the place. Cynical? No. As my Mother would say “I’m realistic!” We locked the door.
When I’d been here before, in the summer, we had a camper van, and we drove that over the pass. We went all the way across and kept going through Montana. Even if the road had been open this time, they wouldn’t have allowed us to go through there with our trailer. The road is much too narrow and the drop-offs are literally deadly.
I had forgotten just how scary the drops were and how beautiful the sights were. There are amazing vistas all the way up to the top. It was hard for me to look though. Even when we got out and walked, I was terribly aware of how dangerous it was there. I hate that, so I told myself to suck it up, and then it got better.
We stayed until Sunday at noon. We’re definitely not your get up and out of the campground by 7am type of people. When we’re at home, I often sleep in until 10am. Harold is usually up way before me. When we’re away in the RV, his hours don’t change all that much, but I find myself following daylight hours more. I’m likely in bed way before midnight and up by 8am at the latest. But then with dawdling around and stuff, we end up in a rush to get out by check-out. I tell myself we’re just getting our money’s worth.
Overnight spot: Apgar Campground
Price: $20.00 No hookups
Includes: Sani-dump, firepit, public washrooms, showers, hiking trails
Cell & Wifi: Verizon-Poor