We got up the next morning and packed everything down from the fire tower and headed back to Fish Creek Campground. Really enjoyed our 2 nights in the tower. Amazing views into forever and so close to the stars it seems like you could just pick them out of the sky.
Back at the rv we unloaded the truck and got back into our daily routine. This campground hosting in the national parks is probably the easiest work camping job there is. We do not clean bathrooms or fire pits. We just get to walk around the campground and talk to people, try to help with any problems and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The only real physical work we do is if we find a cooler or any type of food or drink sitting out without the camper present, we must confiscate the food or drinks or coolers and lock them up in our secure sheds. When the people come back and ask us if we know where their stuff is we explain the rules about leaving them out and how the bears know what a cooler is and what may be in it. If the camper is friendly and not threatening we just give it back to them. If they are not calm and friendly we just call an enforcement ranger and let them handle it.
Fish Creek campground is right on Lake McDonald and the water is amazing, it is crystal clear and pretty darn cold all year round. Just before we headed to Glacier we had bought a peddle boat. I built a rack over the cab of the truck that we could put it on and tie it down. We decided on our next day off we were going to put it in the lake and peddle around. This was one of the boats, for 2 people, that you had peddles, like on a bicycle, that you would both peddle to make the boat go. There was a small handle between the 2 seats to steer it.
We got the boat in the water, the sun shining and the temp was comfortable. We had put on just shorts and a tank top for our boat ride. We headed up the lake looking around, enjoying the beautiful mountains in the distance. The water was so clear and cold and smooth as glass. Just a little breeze made it feel wonderful in the sun. THEN, after we had peddled for about an hour and a half, we pulled up to a clear area on shore. We had brought a picnic lunch with us and decided it was time to eat. As we ate we noticed that both of us were really getting red. We had not noticed it so much while in the boat but now it was starting to burn a little. We finished eating and packed the boat and decided we should get back as soon as we could. We figured only an hour and a half would not be a sunburn but we were wrong. The only way back was straight down the lake, and if we hurried maybe we could get back in an hour. We peddled faster and got back to the campground. We were really burning now, red all over our legs and shoulders. We had some of the seasoned veterans of the area told us that because of the elevation here that you would get sun burned a lot faster than we were used to. They were right as blisters began coming up. We started putting anything that was supposed to help with sunburn all over us. For the next 3 or 4 days we were miserable. Just wearing a shirt hurt, but we finally got over it and peeled just like a sunburn back home. Learned our lesson with that one, didn’t happen again.
On one of our days off we went exploring, to a place called Polebridge. This is located in Glacier National Park but it is privately run. The only thing there is the Polebridge Mercantile.
This is a store with camping supplies and misc stuff and souvenirs of Glacier, but, the best part of the store is that it is also a bakery.They have all kinds of fantastic sweets, breads, cakes and cookies. It is known world wide as one of the best bakeries there is. We got some chocolate chip cookies and headed up the road into the backcountry. There are 2 more campgrounds that you can drive to past Polebridge. The first one is called Bowman Lake. You can drive to it but it is for tent camping on beautiful Bowman lake. The road is a dirt road and not a very good one.
The lake is beautiful, clear and cold. This is backcountry Glacier, and you never know when you will see all types of wild life, including bears. After we had looked around we headed on farther going to Kintla Lake and campground. It is for tents also but we did see a few trucks with slide in campers and on small C class. I would never recommend taking either one up the road to Kintla Lake.
The road was narrow, rutted and mud holes in places. If it had rained any time recently I do not believe it would be passable. We made it to Kintla Lake and looked up the campground host. The host here stays in a small cabin, no electric or water. And the worst part is that the mosquito’s were terrible. We went into the cabin and the bed was hanging from the ceiling and wrapped in mosquito netting. The host said he had to sleep under the netting or the mosquito’s would carry him off. We knew then that this was not a campground hosting position that we would want.
We headed back out of the backcountry headed to Fish Creek campground. The rest of the summer went pretty well with no major problems of any kind. We met some wonderful people from all around the world. You would be surprised how many people from other countries come to Glacier National park as tourist. Many rent campers and come to the campgrounds but even more of them stay at the hotels in the park, such as McDonald Lodge.
The red vehicles in the picture are for tours of the park and the Going to the Sun Road. They are busy with all of the people the want to see the park but don’t want to drive the Sun Road. There are also boat tours you can take on Lake McDonald.
We have come to the end of the season at Glacier. We have been discussing what we want to do now and have decided accept a job offer in Apache Junction, Arizona. In our next post we will tell about our adventures there.
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