Day 26 - waking up on the train and looking out of the window to this view is not a bad way to start the day.
Unfortunately, that mist changed to rain by the time we arrived at West Glacier. Luckily our hotel, the Belton Chalet, was literally across the road from the railway station. The hotel was the first Great Northern Railway Hotel at Glacier National Park and over the years was used for various purposes until it was bought by its current owners in the 1990's who have lovingly restored the building to its original purpose.
The hotel sits on the side of Highway 2 but noise is not a problem because most of the time the road looks like this:
The rain was persistent all day which put somewhat of a downer on our plans. We did manage to explore the nearby village of West Glacier which is on the other side of the railway tracks. The village is tiny. There is a large visitors center, but it turned out to be a center for people planning to visit Canada! Other than that there is a post office, a restaurant, a gift store, a gas station and a motel. Rather different from our previous stops.
We had lunch at the restaurant and I got a chance to sample Bison, in the form of a burger, for the first time - surprisingly tender and much lighter than I expected.
What else is there to do when it rains but eat? So later in the day I also got my first taste of Huckleberry Pie at Glacier Highland Restaurant. I have to admit I had never heard of Huckleberries up to that point, but they are obviously popular in Montana as you can get everything in Huckleberry flavor. I went for Huckleberry and Raspberry and it's probably one of the best pies I've ever tasted.
Luckily, the rain stopped overnight and the next morning we walked to Apgar, a small village inside Glacier National Park on the southern tip of Lake McDonald. The views were magnificent and my photos don't do justice to them, but here's a few anyway:
Verdict: Truly magical. It's a place to cast aside your concerns, breathe in the intoxicating fresh air, enjoy the expansive vistas, and relax.