July 22 – 24th ~ Chewing Black Bones Campground
We were sad to pack up and depart our fab spot at Apgar Campground, right on Lake McDonald, but it was time to move on and explore a different region of Glacier. The St Mary Campground was reservation only, and booked solid until the end of the season so we were on the hunt for an alternate place to stay.
One of the rangers at the Apgar Visitors Center mentioned a campsite called Chewing Black Bones on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation which might be a possible site. It was located just south of Babb, and convenient for both St Mary and Many Glaciers area. So off we went in pursuit of our next parking spot.
They did have plenty of room and the first night was just OK. For $55, we had full hookups but we were just in the middle of a field – no trees, dry grass, and no ambiance. So, after exploring the park, we found a great site down by the water and hopped over to the office to find out if it was available and if we could move there for the next three nights.
Lucky for us, it would fit BOTH of our RV’s on one spot! This was very unusual because most parks would not have offered or allowed this. They also only charged us for the ONE spot.
There were no hook-ups, but for now only $12.50 a night per couple we had a new home base. What fun we had turning it into our private compound with overlapping awnings, and a picnic table in-between us, we were sheltered from the wind and had a measure of privacy.
Tim and Dick even managed to hook up the outside TV which allowed us to watch the latest episode of The Bachelorette!
You must notice the great “Happy Campers” flag that our friends Laura and Michael presented to us right after we purchased Ellie Mae. It was so appropriate to hang it here!
After all the hiking and exploring over the past week, we were in need of some time off to get reorganized once again. That meant LAUNDRY which is probably my least favorite thing to do.
Well, let me tell you, this was a fiasco.
They advertised that they had a laundry facility on the property so Tim and I loaded our four bags of sorted clothes into the car and headed up to the office. Two out of the three washing machines were working. We loaded them up, and got them going – no problem so far.
Then came time to dry them. Again two out of the three dryers were hooked up. I tossed the first two loads in the dryers, put in my quarters and off they went. No one was waiting so I quickly loaded the washers again with loads three and four. Got them started and turned around to check the dryers and one had stopped running.
Hmmm, not good. I checked with the young guys working the check-in desk around the corner. They fiddled a bit, checked the breakers, and got it restarted – for about 30 seconds.
So, now I have four loads of wet laundry and only one working dryer. OK, I am going to be here for a while. At least they had Internet in the lobby and I could get a bit of writing done.
When the first load finished up, I went back to switch it out, and found about an inch of water on the floor. A pipe had broken in the wall and flooded both the laundry room and the next door men’s room which already had an “out of order” sign on the door. Back to the desk I asked if they had a mop.
The guys mopped and mopped as more water streamed out. They finally got the water flow stopped and cleaned up. Load number two went into the dryer.
In thirty minutes I checked on it. Thankfully it was still running, but the floor was flooded – AGAIN.
Eventually the floor got mopped up, a fan in place, and no further drama other than a long wait to dry loads three and four.
This entire episode did not do anything to improve my feelings about doing laundry…
But we were up here to see the Many Glacier area, so the next morning our touring resumed.
Another stop at Many Glacier Hotel to check out the architecture and view as well as learn where our 3:00 lake cruise would depart from.
We did take a quick look at a room with an open door. It was quite small, basic, rustic, but with a view to die for. We did not check on the rates, but imagine it is quite expensive.
We wanted to hike to see Redrock Falls, but started too late, so only made it to Redrock Lake (could see the falls from the distance across the lake), before we needed to turn around and return to the hotel for our afternoon cruise.
On the way toward Red Rock Lake we had taken a short detour to Fishercap Lake where there had been numerous moose sighting. In fact a family we passed on the way in, said they had just seen one.
I was so excited that I would FINALLY get to see a moose. HaHa, the joke was on me, as by the time we got there, a sweet lady said, “Oh, you just missed it. I’m surprised you didn’t see her on the pathway to the lake as she went that way.”
Grrrrr. I STILL have not seen Bullwinkle!!!
The afternoon cruise loaded up just before 3:00 right below Many Glacier Hotel. Reservations can be made online and are recommended. We only found one departure that still had openings for all four of us, but they do set aside some seats for walk-up riders.
Click here for a link for Glacier Park Boat Company which will provide the current schedules, options and pricing.
The trip lasts 1.5 hours and is relaxing while on the two historic wooden boats — Chief Two Guns on Swiftcurrent Lake and Morning Eagle on Lake Josephine. There is a short 1/4 mile hike (over a steep hill) between the two lakes right in the middle of the trip however to keep you moving. The narration provided was informative and talked a little about the few remaining glaciers in the area as well as an explanation of why the color of the lake is a milky turquoise blue.
Once you reach the far side of Lake Josephine, you have the option of taking the boat back to the hotel, or hiking. If it had been earlier in the day, we MAY have opted for the hike, as the area was beautiful. But we decided to remain on board and reversed our path back to the hotel.
The view from the terrace at the hotel was very special indeed:
Dinner was at “Two Sisters”, a restaurant close to our campsite that had been recommended. The best part of the meal turned out to be the huckleberry margaritas!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the cozy little compound we created at the campground. Although the lack of attention to detail and mismanagement of the campground was glaring, they were very kind in allowing both rigs on the same spot. I think we will long remember the fun we had, especially being able to watch a silly TV show in the middle of nowhere without any hookups.