NationalParksWithT Store: Two Medicine Campaign ends today

 

2medpop7

Hello Readers! Thanks so much for your support over the past two years. I’m so glad you have, on occasion, found my posts interesting or useful in planning your own adventures. Our archives have grown considerably…I could have deleted older posts and photos to keep the WordPress hosting free, but then the site would no longer be a comprehensive resource. I was happy to move the site, about a year ago to the business platform with unlimited space, since interacting with all of you has brought me joy.

Unfortunately, my position was eliminated last month, so now I must turn to other means to keep this site running. Rather than bombard you with affiliate links or a Go Fund Me plea, I’ve created a store on Bonfire to afford followers the opportunity to purchase  products using this bnw image of Two Medicine in Glacier National Park while supporting this blog at the same time.

A huge shout out to my sister for being my first customer! Thanks for shopping and happy exploring!

https://www.bonfire.com/store/national-parks-with-t/

2medbw7

 

NationalParksWithT Store: One Week Left in Two Medicine Campaign

 

2medpop7

Hello Readers! Thanks so much for your support over the past two years. I’m so glad you have, on occasion, found my posts interesting or useful in planning your own adventures. Our archives have grown considerably…I could have deleted older posts and photos to keep the WordPress hosting free, but then the site would no longer be a comprehensive resource. I was happy to move the site, about a year ago to the business platform with unlimited space, since interacting with all of you has brought me joy.

Unfortunately, my position was eliminated last month, so now I must turn to other means to keep this site running. Rather than bombard you with affiliate links or a Go Fund Me plea, I’ve created a store on Bonfire to afford followers the opportunity to purchase  products using this bnw image of Two Medicine in Glacier National Park while supporting this blog at the same time.

A huge shout out to my sister for being my first customer! Thanks for shopping and happy exploring!

https://www.bonfire.com/store/national-parks-with-t/

2medbw7

 

NationalParksWithT Store

 

2medpop7

Hello Readers! Thanks so much for your support over the past two years. I’m so glad you have, on occasion, found my posts interesting or useful in planning your own adventures. Our archives have grown considerably…I could have deleted older posts and photos to keep the WordPress hosting free, but then the site would no longer be a comprehensive resource. I was happy to move the site, about a year ago to the business platform with unlimited space, since interacting with all of you has brought me joy.

Unfortunately, my position was eliminated last month, so now I must turn to other means to keep this site running. Rather than bombard you with affiliate links or a Go Fund Me plea, I’ve created a store on Bonfire to afford followers the opportunity to purchase  products using this bnw image of Two Medicine in Glacier National Park while supporting this blog at the same time.

A huge shout out to my sister for being my first customer! Thanks for shopping and happy exploring!

https://www.bonfire.com/store/national-parks-with-t/

2medbw7

 

The National Bison Range: Happy National Bison Day!

img_2264Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! Happy National Bison Day!

I posted about our visit to the National Bison Range earlier this year and you can see that recap here. But today’s post is about more than the 350ish residents of the wildlife refuge in Montana…it’s about honoring the estimated half-million American Bison now living in the USA on National Bison Day.

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Yes, National Bison Day is actually a thing. Thanks to the persistent lobbying of the Vote Bison Coalition, a resolution was passed by Congress designating the first Saturday of November as National Bison Day. Then in 2016, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law which officially made the Bison our national mammal.

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Approximately 20 million bison once roamed the American plains providing sustenance for Native Americans. The Westward expansion of white settlers, ranching and over-hunting drove the species to the brink of extinction. In the early 1900s, there were only a few hundred left.

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In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt established The National Bison Range in Northwest Montana. This was the first time federal funds were used to set aside land for the protection of wildlife and marked the birth of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

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Location: 58355 Bison Range Rd, Charlo, MT 59824

Designation: National Wildlife Refuge

Date designation declared: 5/23/1908

Date of my visit: 6/26/2018

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Whitefish Depot – NRHP

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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The history of Whitefish and neighboring Glacier National Park is intermingled with the history of the Great Northern Railroad. Great Northern was founded in 1889 by James J Hill and ran from St. Paul, MN to Seattle, Washington. Hill’s business strategy was to develop the areas the trains ran through in order to attract tourism and trade.

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The Whitefish Depot was built in 1928 in the same alpine style as the GN-built National Park Lodges. The Stumptown Historical Society purchased the station and restored it in the 1990s. Today it houses a museum with exhibits on local history and is once again an active railway station for Amtrak.

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With some time to kill before our dinner reservations at nearby Abruzzo, we walked around the depot.

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There is a vintage Great Northern locomotive on display, an antique bus that was used to transport passengers from Kalispell to Whitefish stations and a park across the street from the station.

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Location: 500 Depot St, Whitefish, MT 59937

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 7/11/2002

Date of my visit: 6/22/2018

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We saw trains like this throughout our stay in Glacier National Park, the legacy of the Great Northern Railroad. This one was near the Blankenship Bridge on the Flathead Middle Fork

Glacier National Park: Lake McDonald

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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At ten miles long, Lake McDonald is Glacier National Park’s biggest lake. It is on the West of the Continental Divide, which receives more rain, so the area is lush.

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The lake is not fed by glaciers and so does not have the distinctive turquoise hue found on the Eastern side of the park. But the water is crystal clear, showcasing the multicolored Argillite rock on the lake’s floor.

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We stopped at Lake McDonald on our last evening in the park. It stays light longer in Glacier in the summer than where we live because it is farther from the equator. We stopped to dip our feet in the icy lake waters before going into the lodge for dinner.

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Lake McDonald Lodge was built in 1913 on the Eastern shore of Lake McDonald at the mouth of Midget Creek. Like the other lodges in the park, it has a Swiss Chalet design which was part of the Great Northern Railroad’s campaign to attract tourists to the ‘American Alps.’

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Though not as big as Many Glacier, the lodge has an impressive three-story lobby and was restored in the 1980s. It includes many of the original furnishings and some reproductions of the original Kanai craftsmen paper lanterns. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

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We had dinner in Russell’s Fireside Dining Room, which was far better than the disappointing meal we’d had previously at Many Glacier’s Ptarmigan Dining Room.

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This appetizer is a charcuterie platter with local game and cheeses. It was delicious.

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Location: 288 Lake McDonald Lodge Loop, West Glacier, MT 59936

Designation: National Park, National Landmark

Date designation declared: 5/11/1910, NHL 1987

Date of my visit: 6/27/2018

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Glacier National Park: Many Glacier Hotel Tour

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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I’d read about Many Glacier Hotel’s dramatic rescue in a publication by The National Trust for Historic Preservation. I checked on the NPS website and saw that ranger-led tours of the hotel were held every afternoon. We timed our hike on the Grinnell Glacier trail to be sure we were back in time for the tour.

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We returned back in time to have lunch in the Ptarmigan Dining Room. This is a beautiful place to eat, with its high ceilings, two story windows and the view of Swiftcurrent Lake. But unfortunately, the food was pretty mediocre for the price paid.

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We met up with a park ranger in the hotel lobby for the tour at 2 PM. He spent some time there giving a history of the lodge.

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Many Glacier Hotel was built by Louis Hill, president of the Great Northern Railroad. Many Glacier was the largest of all the hotels built in the park in an effort by Great Northern to attract tourists to Glacier National Park. Hill is said to have been obsessed with Many Glacier and was more involved in the design and construction than in his other Glacier properties.

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It is designed to look like a Swiss Chalet as Hill considered Glacier to be the American Alps. The site for the hotel was chosen for the symmetry of the view across Swiftcurrent Lake. Grinnell Point is in the middle, flanked by ‘matching’ mountains on either side.

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Time, the elements and some ill-advised ‘improvements’ took their toll on the structure over the years. In 1996, The National Trust For Historic Preservation included Many Glacier on its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places. The force of heavy winter snowfalls had actually knocked the massive hotel off its foundations and the whole thing was threatening to collapse into the lake.

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Through the National Trust, the NPS and other organizations, the $42 million needed to restore the building was raised and renovations began in 2000. It took 17 years to pull the hotel back onto its foundation and restore it to its original design.

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The ranger took us up to the second floor for an overview of the grand lobby. He pointed out the interesting design of the central fireplace, the restored double helix staircase and the Japanese lanterns. These are replicas of the paper lanterns originally installed by Louis Hill who incorporated Asian influences into the overall Swiss Alpine theme.

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Next we went to the Ptarmigan Room where the ranger showed us pictures of what the Great Room looked like after a 1950s makeover. A drop-ceiling had been installed, harboring bats. The cathedral ceilings and pergola were restored in the 2000 renovation.

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The tour concluded outside to discuss the Swiss architecture. The only wooden element remaining on the exterior is the carport. The rest is made of more fire-resistant materials because of the area’s history of wildfires.

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Location: 1 Rte 3, Browning, MT 59417

Designation: National Park, National Landmark

Date designated or established: 5/11/1910 (1987 NHL)

Date of my visit: 6/27/2018

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