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Brian "Gadget" Lewis
Begins: Aug 11, 2016
Date: Wed, Aug 10th, 2016
Start: Brownies hostel, East Glacier
End: Brownies hostel, East Glacier
Daily Distance: 0
Entry Visits: 515
Journal Visits: 18,504
Guestbook Views: 271
Guestbook Entrys: 11
Killing Time in East Glacier
I had originally requested a permit to hike in Glacier National Park (GNP) to start on August 10th, and Lucky and I booked train reservations accordingly. As it turned out, our permit came in with an August 11th start, but we decided to keep our train reservations and just book an extra day at the hostel here. So we're here for part of the 9th and all of the 10th. To which end I reserved a rental car for the 10th, as there's little to do in East Glacier, MT.
My train trip to get here was great. IF you don't need to arrive reliably on time, train travel in the U.S. is a very pleasant way to travel. I think that in retrospect, however, it might have been better for me to go to West Glacier rather than East Glacier. If (?) there is a hostel or cheap motel there, anyway. Because there's a free shuttle system in GNP that goes to Apgar village - - - - a couple miles from the West Glacier train station. But no free shuttle to where we're staying. Another option might be to take the train to arrive in the morning at West Glacier (easy for me coming from the west, anyway) and then just shuttle directly to stay somewhere in the park, perhaps at Many Glacier.
Anyway, what we're doing works, and East Glacier has the virtue of having multiple hostels and other lodging options.
We're at Brownies hostel, about half a mile from the train station. This is a nice place, comfortably funky in the way that hostels often are. Sadly, they screwed up my reservation for a shared double room with separate beds, giving it to a guy I was literally standing behind in line when he asked to extend his reservation. By the time I was checked in and found the mistake, they felt it was too late to change. They offered to let one of us stay in the bunk room, but Lucky ultimately decided to just sleep on the floor.
While I was waiting to check in, I talked to a couple of women who, as it turned out, had hiked the Continental Divide Trail, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. Small world - - - it really is a small world of folks who have thru-hiked the CDT. The husband of one of them is currently hiking the PNT, and she said that he's enjoying it. They themselves were about to hike the GDT, a trail that essentially continues the CDT way up into Canada. Very cool.
This is a benefit of hostels. Not just that they're inexpensive, but in a little place like this you're more likely to meet fellow hikers.
Also right about the time I checked in, I got a message from fellow AT-hiker Ben (aka "Rooster") that he and his girlfriend Martha were in Glacier N.P., and where was I? So a couple hours later while I was typing up this journal entry they showed up and we had a good chat. Ben is a professional photographer, and between work and play he gets to some beautiful areas. I wish I had a tenth the skill and artistry that he has with a camera.
That was all on Tuesday. This morning (Wednesday, Aug 10th), Lucky and I had a fine breakfast, then hiked to where we could pick up the rental car I had reserved. The fellow was apologetic, but didn't have a car like that for us. "But I'll make you a deal", he said, and I think I inwardly shuddered at that point, but it wasn't bad. He had a new very large van we could have, at a really cut rate: $ 22 for the day. Sold.
We picked up our hiking permit, and then had some confusion and exchanged voice messages with Cuddles before we finally were able to drive up to St. Mary's and pick him up. But now we're all together and in our hostel and ready for our adventure to begin tomorrow. Looking forward to it!
Gadget's Trail Journal
The 1200 mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNNST), running from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, ranks among the most scenic trails in the world. This carefully chosen path is high for the views and long on adventure. It includes the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascades, Olympic Mountains, and Wilderness Coast. The trail crosses 3 National Parks and 7 National Forests. Learn more: www.pnt.org
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