Day 3 - Boat Tour of Two Medicine Lake
Good morning! We all got a great night of sleep. Susie was kind enough to go up to the coffee cart in the lobby and get drinks for everyone and bring them back to the room.
After some proper caffeination, we headed up to the lobby to look around a little more and to grab breakfast in the Great North Dining Room.
Breakfast was buffet style and delicious. I thought I'd taken a photo of my pancake topped with huckleberry sauce which kicked off what we come to call huckleberry day.
Properly sugared up and caffeinated we took a few photos in and around the hotel.
Around 1:00, our tour driver came to get us for our Two Medicine Boat tour.
The day before at check in, we started chatting with all of the staff. We did some more of this over breakfast and then again with our tour driver. All of the staff are seasonal workers. They live in RVs, small cabins, or even a bunk house on the property. Some are college kids and, some are retirees, and some are what I'd call nomads by choice. Our main server at one of our meals was one of those. She was about 30 and had been a park ranger and then opted to travel around the country from park to park moving between these various assignments. We enjoyed hearing the stories of all of these folks.
Our van driver dropped us off right by the ticket stand. Nearly all of us in the van were from the train. The couple in front of us were told by the ticket agent that they didn't have their reservation and that they were having that problem a lot with Amtrak. They asked them to just wait and they'd get a spot if there was space. Luckily we didn't have the same problem. We got tickets and headed up to the dock immediately. All of the folks from our van did get on the boat but it was definitely a weird issue.
The boat company operates five tours throughout lakes in Glacier Park. This boat is called the Sinopah. It was refinished completely just a few years ago.
It is wintered in the boat house with the green roof.
During the summer season, the staff lives in one of the cabins right by the lake. We learned on this trip that this cabin was the last of 9 similar cabins that used to dot the area and serve as housing and lodging during the season. The National Park Service allowed them to fall into disrepair over the years and this is the only one that remains.
While I can't confirm this, it very much appears there is no electricity to the cabin. There are kerosene lamps clearly visible from the front window and a large tank of fuel but there are no visible power lines.
The tour of Two Medicine Lake is actually of Upper Two Medicine Lake. It's just a little over a mile across. When you take this tour you can choose to spend time hiking the trails that start from the boat dock on the other side of the lake or just do what we did and just ride the boat from one side to the other.
After landing back at the dock we decided to go a little way up the trail of Two Medicine south shore.
Dad and I decided we'd head back to the gift shop for a bit and Susie continued on the trail just a little farther.
As Susie came back she poked her head in the boat house and grabbed this photo of the Sinopah's winter home's interior.
In the gift shop we split a cup of huckleberry ice cream. We also spent a few minutes checking out one of the official Going to the Sun Road cars which was parked here on its tour. We have a different tour booked for Going to the Sun Road so I'm still glad we got to see one of these iconic cars.
We also got a few more photos.
Our tour van driver picked us up and we headed back to the hotel. We did ask him if we could get a photo at the park entrance sign and he was nice enough to accommodate us.
The other element of our tour package we had tonight was our dinner in the Great North dining room at the Glacier Park Lodge. The dinner was absolutely delicious. The quality of the food was exceptional. Susie even capped off huckleberry day with huckleberry bread pudding.
We headed out to the patio to try to catch another sunset.
We didn't have much luck as it was very cloudy.
We headed back inside and Susie played a little concert on the gorgeous grand piano in the lobby. If you'd like to hear her play, you can check that out in our trip video (songs start here).
We had another early bedtime as we had a full day tomorrow and dad was starting to suffer from a bit of a cold (no worries - while I also got it by the time we got home we all tested negative for COVID many times).