Friday, August 12, 2016

Whitefish, Montana: Day 5


Another fantastic day spent in Glacier! The kiddos were up at 6:30 Friday morning so we decided to pack up quickly and hit the road, grabbing  breakfast at Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls on our way into the Park. As suspected, MCT did not disappoint in the hot breakfast department -- E had the veggie scramble while I enjoyed the wheatless veggie + bacon "quiche" {I failed to recognize "wheatless" = sans crust... ie: a FRITTATA. Friends on Snapchat may know how I feel about frittatas. But this one was exceptional and I didn't have to make it so I'll let it slide.}. We ordered scones for the kiddos, calling them "breakfast cookies" and figuring they'd be ecstatic with pastries... That was a grand ol' FAIL. I demand a DNA test as surely these are not my children! Poor life decisions by my spawn aside, we highly recommend Montana Coffee Traders for a pre-Glacier fuel-up pit stop.
 

Once inside Glacier {West entrance}, we drove 16 miles around McDonald Lake on Going to the Sun Road to the Trail of the Cedars trailhead. We arrived pretty early and had no problem finding a parking spot, but the two hikes beginning at this trailhead are among the most popular in the park so - be warned - the lot fills up super quickly. 


Trail of the Cedars is a flat, wheelchair accessible trail through a thicket of ginormous, ancient {some upwards of 1,000 years!} hemlocks and red cedar trees. It's an easy and gorgeous 0.9 miles. Half a mile in, the Avalanche Lake Trail breaks off from Trail of the Cedars. These combined moderate 6 miles were among the prettiest we've ever hiked {and I believe we've experienced some incredible hiking!} -- beautiful views of surging waterfalls, strolls along lush carpeting of ferns and mosses, and insane vistas of Little Materhorn and Bearhat Mountian. 


I carried B the 3 miles to the lake, and it was rough going -- that child does not love sitting in the pack nor does he care a lick about independent forward momentum {only very slooooooow rock collecting}. I may have resorted to SANTA THREATS to keep him from screaming and flailing about {too early?} - bikes and "blue candy" {no clue where he got that one} are on the line, child! 


We stopped for snacks and wading at Avalanche Lake {and nature ogling, of course} before heading the 3 miles back to the car. We could have easily spent an hour or more here - taking in the view, splashing in the crystal clear water, picnicking.  But! Naps were on the line! E took B {who was apparently an angel and actually took a 30 min snooze in the pack...ain't that always the way} and practically raced back. L was my hiking buddy and was such an all-star -- she walked 2.5 of the 3 miles back and a total of 4 miles for the day! And she never stopped chattering the entire time -- I think we talked about {her doll} Sparkle's hair for an hour, at least. 


We booked it back for another round of late naps, and then hit up Pescado Blanco {see what they did there?!} for supper. I don't often trust Mexican food outside of a few choice states, but the glowing reviews of this little joint were spot on! The interior ambience leaves a bit to be desired so head outside to the lovely patio. There were about 6 things on the menu I wanted to try, and all of our final-selection dishes were delicious! E had the special -- an ancho rubbed salmon with poblano cream and chimichurri -- and I had the bison mole enchiladas {kids had the chicken tacos}. We topped the day off with more Sweet Peaks and park play {and Olympics and more wine}. 


3 comments:

  1. Reading these at 2am while I'm Up with a cranky won't sleep toddler! Thanks for the reading material!! It's keeping me sane I swear.

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  2. Hi Kate,
    I'm Katie, from Canada. My husband and I have a cabin/cottage about 40 mins north of Whitefish and LOVE that entire area. For some easy 1/2 day hikes, I'd suggest checking out the Whitefish Trail system that's close to town. We also love Bonsai Brewing (ate outside there recently while our 10 month-old daughter roamed) and the Stillwater Fish House (I know - fish in MT!). If you have the time, I'd also highly recommend the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP - it's amazing! I second the comment on visiting the Canadian Rockies, especially the Canmore/Banff/Lake Louise area. There are many daily direct flights from Calgary to many Texas airports and the 20% plus bump you get in exchange rate really favours US visitors. Let me know if you have any questions. All the best on your holiday! We're heading to MT this weekend too.
    -Katie

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  3. We just got back from a tiny bit of hiking at Denali National Park and all the views in AK but these views are making me want to plan a trip here immediately!

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happy little comments!