Few City Sounds Interrupted the Quiet

On the third day of our Montana trip, my husband and I decided to have a large breakfast. When we walked around downtown Whitefish the night before, we saw a small cafe tucked away off the main streets. It felt inviting, when we saw the cozy booths and the wooden paneled walls filled with pictures of wildlife or landscapes. A large fireplace decorates one wall – the stones reminiscent of the mountains surrounding us. Most of the tables were full at the Buffalo Cafe. Luckily we found a booth close to the fireplace. We hoped the classic breakfast would keep us full until after we got back from exploring.

Taken from the bridge at the entrance of Glacier National Park

We were lucky to be greeted with another sunny and warm day, when we entered Glacier National Park at the main entrance. We heard about how beautiful Going-to-the-Sun Road is, but the nice man in the booth informed us that the road was closed for the season for road repair. He told us about another route, so we found Carmas Road and headed on our way. Our first stop was at Lake McDonald at the Fish Creek camping site. The water of the lake was still and only a few city sounds interrupted the quiet. It felt serene.

A little creek flowed to make its path through the sandy beach. We found a large walking stick to help us balance and were able to walk across the jagged rocks without ending up in the lake. We sat upon an old log and listened to the “sounds of silence.” Even the birds were enjoying the quiet that day.

Only a few people were exploring the area. We decided to head back to the car, where we were greeted by a bus filled with teenagers. Their voices swarmed around us like bees waiting to get out of their hive. It felt like a bit of luck had been showered upon us – it was nice that we got to enjoy the quiet time when we did!

We travelled up the road a little longer and spotted a sign for a trail. Having been greeted with another sign about bears, we decided it was too far of a walk to go without bear spray, so we took a long look at the majestic trees. A little further down the road we came upon a beautiful sight.

Many saplings were growing, each fighting for their space, reaching towards the sun. Which one would get to be the tallest, I wondered.

On our way back down the road, we found the visitor’s center and went for a hike to find a small camping area with cabins and shops. There we saw the other side of Lake McDonald. We sat on a bench and watched people fishing and admired a group of four women getting in kayaks. Their paddles made ripples in the water.

Before we knew it, it was early in the afternoon. We headed back and made a stop at The Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse. We quickly browsed the shop to see if there might be a gift to buy. I had a hankering to get some huckleberry jam but couldn’t figure out how to pack it on my carry on, so we found the ice cream shop instead. While we read the menu, a lady came running in. “Does anyone want this huckleberry ice cream cone? I got it for my husband, but he bought something else for himself,” she huffed quickly. She was a little out of breath and sounded a little peeved.

“I’ll take it,” I said, after looking around to see if anyone else wanted it. Since no one else said anything, the lady gave the cone to me. “Thank you,” I said to her before she flew out as fast as she entered. You can never have too much ice cream when you’re on vacation! My husband bought a different type of cone, and we sat at a table and stared out the window making sure not to waste a drop.

When we got back to Whitefish, we found the City Beach of Whitefish Lake. A family played frisbee on the beach and wiggled their toes in the water. It was nice enough for a swim, so we headed back to the lodge to swim in the warm pool.

That night, we went back to the Buffalo Cafe and had the Parmesan crusted chicken breast, which was grilled and “finished with a lemon pepper aioli, served with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes.” It hit the spot!

The next day, we got up early and drove back to Spokane, Washington. We made it – even though the “change oil” light – which started to shine shortly after we started our road trip – still shined. The car and driver got us to where we wanted to go. We arrived at the airport well before our flight was ready to leave.

Thanks for reading! It was fun to write about and remember our trip. 🙂

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ~Anaïs Nin


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