Glacier National Park Day 1

We will be spending a few days here, exploring as much as we can. Throughout time, people have sought out Glacier National Park's rugged peaks, clear waters, and glacial-carved valleys; its landscape giving both desired resources and inspiration to those persistent enough to venture through it.

The majority of early European explorers came to this area in search of beaver and other pelts. They were soon followed by miners and, eventually, settlers looking for land. By 1891, the completion of the Great Northern Railway sealed the area’s fate, allowing a greater number of people to enter into the heart of northwest Montana. Homesteaders settled in the valleys west of Marias Pass and soon small towns developed.
Around the turn of the century, people started to look at the land differently. For some, this place held more than minerals to mine or land to farm… they began to recognize that the area had a unique scenic beauty all to its own.

By the late 1800s, influential leaders like George Bird Grinnell, pushed for the creation of a national park. In 1910, Grinnell and others saw their efforts rewarded when President Taft signed the bill establishing Glacier as the country's 10th national park.
We discovered these cool packs at the Nature Center. A family can check them out for free and find a stash of the most interesting items to satisfy everyone in the group's curiosity (binoculars, handbooks, maps, etc). Where were these when our boys were young?
The selection of wildflowers was extraordinary! The mountain landscape holds a diverse mosaic of plants... over 1,200 different species. I'll try not to share everyone of them with you.

Beargrass was truly everywhere and the most unique.

We are spending two nights in the Apgar Campground. This Jeep got the award for the neatest set up. Way, way cool!
In an RV, home really is where you park it and this is where we're calling it quits for the next two nights!

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Flathead Lake, Montana

For our first night back, we are camped along the shores of the very Tahoesque, Flathead Lake. I'm going to let the photos express its beauty.

Come and enjoy beauty and serenity on Flathead Lake sheltered by a lush and mature fir, pine, and larch forest. Bring a picnic and enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, and camping!
West Shore offers glacially-carved rock outcrops that provide spectacular views of Flathead Lake and the Mission and Swan Mountain Ranges.

I am a lover of "heart rocks" so my time on the shore involved searching for them. I found some beautiful ones, too.

So far, we are loving Montana.

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Final Coeur D'Alene Day...

So we were going to leave today but decided to stay just so we could have dinner at a place recommended to us. That's a first. We were glad to have another day to explore a little bit more.

Our exciting first stop was at Cisco's Gallery, home of the Rare & Exceptional.

We were invited to step back in time as we explored the art and antiques of America's rugged history. We found items of both artistic beauty and historic significance.

And it was here that we learned about American Tramp Art, an art movement found throughout the world where small pieces of wood, primarily from discarded cigar boxes and shipping crates, were whittled into layers of geometric shapes having the outside edges of each layer notch carved, or in the technique of a Crown of Thorns. It was popular in the years between the 1870s to the 1940s when the art form started to decline. Cisco's had two very interesting pieces.
Back out on the streets, we delighted in more outdoor art.

And I even got to donate my most recent read to a cute Little Free Library.
In Mid-town Coeur D'Alene, 4th Street is dotted with interesting thrift stores and 'junk' shops. We view these stores as places for treasure hunting. I really hit the jackpot here, as they were going out of business. I purchased a belt, a darling exercise tank top and three books, one of which was Stephen E Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, his highly recommended tome about Lewis & Clark. This haul set me back $1.44 TOTAL. 
I always feel Thrift Stores are quite like museums, except you get to touch the curated items and if you really love them, you can take them home. I thought this swimsuit from the 40s was adorable (not for me to wear, however).
This freaked me out a bit. The Asbestos Sad Iron design really did use asbestos. It was under the handle, inside a hood or cover that fitted over a heated core. It “bottled up” the heat, said an ad, so it was all channeled through the hot solid steel surface that pressed the clothes smooth. No heat rose upward to bother the woman ironing. The handle stayed 15 degrees cooler than blood temperature, claimed the Dover Manufacturing Company in early 1900s USA, and the cores needed reheating less often than other flat irons. This brand flourished just before electric irons helped bring cooler, less fatiguing ironing days.
So this place is the reason we stayed an extra day! Our friend, Mark, saw on the blog that we were still in Coeur D'Alene. He's with his sister-in-law, Corinne, traveling through Canada. Corinne said that if we could, we should dine at the Wolf Lodge Inn for the best steak she has ever had. We listened. 
Since Monday is their only closed night, this was the day to go.
The Lodge began in 1939 as a convenience store for this area of Idaho. Throughout the restaurant, there were mementos of the previous decades.

Steve chose the $39 Filet Mignon with a baked Idaho potato, buckaroo beans & soup. I paid $7 for a share plate that included everything but the steak (which he generously shared a few bites of). I am not a huge fan of meat, but this was the most tender piece of steak I have ever had and we both agreed the experience was worth another day in Coeur D'Alene. Tomorrow- Montana!

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