Thursday, August 13, 2015

A walk at Two Medicine Lake, and Dinner at Glacier Park Lodge

Note: Even though we left Glacier Wednesday, I still have more days there to blog about. This is my travel journal and a record of the wonderful sights we have seen. I want to be able to look back on them all.

We decided that Sunday would be a good day to drive down to East Glacier and have dinner at the 100+ year old lodge built as the entry stop for the rich travelers in the early 1900's.

But first, on the way, we visited the Two Medicine lake area. 

Driving highway 89 in Montana can be an interesting experience because some of it is "Open Range" and you are likely to meet livestock on the roads.

We also saw horses standing about in unfenced places. We wondered if they were wild, or just away from their "home on the range".

In the Two Medicine area, we stopped to take a short walk that led us to this magical falls. Running Eagle Falls comes out of the side of the rock wall. It seems that a creek falls into a hole above the falls.

Wherever there is accessible water, there are fishermen. Much is catch and release, but they can keep all the rainbow trout they catch because they is not a native species that were stocked in the thirties.

Two Medicine is another sparkling glacier lake. The name comes from Two Medicine Creek that was said to have had two medicine lodges on opposite shores. 

Next we drove down to East Glacier, to see the area and to have dinner at Glacier Park Lodge. Built by the railroad just over 100 years ago, it was the starting place for park visitors of the day. They would stay here one night and then travel by horseback to smaller chalets. Each chalet was a one day ride from the previous one. At that time the average visitor was at the park for two weeks. According to the ranger, the average modern tourist visits the park for one-half to two days. 

When this lodge was built, huge logs were brought in as supporting pillars. In the lobby or great room, the logs were Douglas Fir, complete with intact bark. On the outside porches and portico they were Washington Cedar. The Blackfoot Indians called it "Big Tree Lodge."

Dinner: if you have followed our blog for any time, you might remember one of our "hobbies" is to have dinner at one of large lodges in each National Park we visit. (We missed Yellowstone and will have to go back sometime.)

I try to be honest in my comments about things. Our dinner experience was not of the high caliber we have found at other National Park lodges. 

We asked for a window table, and although there were many empty tables set for four that had decent views, we we put at a tiny able for two that looked out over the utility truck parking area and the garbage bins. The window was dirty. May I note we were decently dressed, Craig had even changed into dress pants and a fresh shirt.

We choose to share the poutaine appetizer. It was tasty, but since I had never had it before, I don't know if it was a good one.  Gravy over waffle french fries!

Craig had Alfredo Carbonara  with Wild Game Sausage. He said the Alfredo was one of the best he had ever had, but the wild game sausage was a bit strong and overwhelming.

I choose the wild salmon entree. The salmon had a nice honey flavor, but was a bit overcooked. The wild rice pilaf was ordinary and the broccoli was ice cold in the center. Not uncooked, but cold as if it had been steamed earlier in the day and dipped in hot water to heat it before serving.  I do have to point out that when the server came to check on us and I told him the broccoli was cold he said he would bring me some other vegetable, and later brought out a plate of fresh, hot sautéed zucchini and red bell peppers. Only problem is I was almost finished with the salmon. But I give thumbs up for the server.

All in all it was a so-so meal. Sometimes I think I cook better in the RV than they do in a fine restaurant. [From Craig] I agree!

We were quite surprised by a large cloud of smoke billowing up over the park as we drove back to St. Mary. 

By the time I am writing this, we know a second fire had started in a remote part of the park as we were sitting on the front porch of the Big Log Lodge that afternoon.

The smoke was between us and the sun causing it to be surrounded by a fiery glow.

I will post more about it next time.

Getting back to the dinner. It probably would have been better if we had been able to have a nice glass of wine with it. But there was a four day Indian celebration going on and no alcoholic beverages were allowed on reservation land for those four days. 

So we wrapped up the day by having a glass or two of wine back in our coach. 

Life is good!


  1. We quite often run into range cattle around here on our drives. It's funny to see them roaming around on the highway at times.

  2. I never ever saw poutine made with waffle fries in Quebec. Were there cheese curds on it? It's interesting that the lodge would have that on the menu as an appetizer. Sorry dinner was not so good, it's always disappointing when that happens.

    1. There was cheese on it, don't know whether the cheese was curds before it got melted.

  3. You do know that all you need to do is ask for a different table, don't you. Sorry dinner was a disappointment. Park dining seems to lack quality, wherever we go.

    1. Crater Lake, Ahwanee at Yosemite, El Tovar at Grand Canyon, and Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Tetons are all among the finest restaurants we have ever eaten at. That's why this one was such a disappointment by comparison.

  4. Stay safe from the fires. Not sure which way you headed, but just saw on FB about a big fire in Owyhee County, Idaho.

    1. We went SE. Great Falls had perfectly clear skies and air.

  5. poutine with waffle fries and no cheese curds (you would have seen them) is not poutine in this neck of the woods! Still, I think it is a good hobby :-) I'm looking forward to seeing where you go next.


Leave a comment, or send an email.