More Marvellous Montana
We really have loved spending a month in Montana; it has been absolutely one of our favorite states visited so far. It's been quite a social time too, we made some new friends in Sarah and Ty (My Wife's Adventure) who miraculously pulled together dinner with one hour's notice when they saw on Instagram that we were in their neighborhood. We met up with Brent and Christine (Horton's Travels) who we met briefly in Tucson over the winter. And we were really lucky to share a couple of weeks with our friends Lauri and Jase (Wanderwasi), who we met at last year's Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
We stayed at Glacier National Park for over a week in total. We spent a couple of nights at Two Medicine and then moved over to the west side of the park at Apgar. Unfortunately there was a large forest fire in the park that closed the Going to the Sun Road and access to the Highline Trail, both major highlights of the park. So after we explored other areas of the park, we decided to head out to Flathead Lake for a few days to explore around there. While we were there the GTTS road partially opened, so we headed back to Apgar campground for 2 more days to complete our visit to Glacier.
The Highline Trail was well worth the revisit. We enjoyed it despite it being extremely smoky in the park, actually not due to the nearby fire but from fires in Washington and Canada. We could appreciate the views even if our photos didn't quite capture the splendor. The other unfortunate thing with having to squeeze in the hike on a quick revisit was that we ended up doing it on one of the hottest days of the year. The first 8 or 9 miles were fine, but the last 3 miles although downhill offered zero shade. Even though we got up early to get the first bus up to the trailhead that morning, we still found ourselves on the trail in the heat of the early afternoon. I really struggled for the last mile with overheating. Fortunately we carried plenty of water and we also came upon a creek right at the end of the trail that we cooled down in. Several other hikers were there doing the same and one of them kindly shared their water filtration system with us so we actually had plenty of water to spare. I have never been so happy to sit in cold water before.
After we left the park we headed to Missoula for a couple of days to do chores and laundry and just when we thought Montana had nothing left to impress us, we visited the wonderful Missoula farmers market. We are actually quite snooty about farmers markets. We have been to so many poor ones, filled with kitschy crafts and no real produce that we often skip them altogether. Having been spoiled by living in California, we just find most of the offerings a little disappointing. But someone told us this one was good, and they were right. It's small but the produce was awesome and the prices were excellent. As much as we love California markets we always felt like we were being robbed when we were there. In Missoula we filled our bags with a healthy bounty for just a few dollars.
Montana has been a real treat and we definitely will come back, but for now it's time to hit the road and head to Coeur d'Alene and then Washington.