Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 1988 Glacier

Heidi enjoyed mooing at the cows on this trip.  The summer had been hot and drought was everywhere in the central United States.  When we stopped for a Pizza Hut lunch in Chamberlain, South Dakota, we thought you could cook the pizza on a pan in the parking lot.  But the thermometer only read 104 degrees. 

At the Badlands of South Dakota we camped a night, where it got comfortably cool.  We hiked the Badlands a bit before leaving.  Olive and Heidi both enjoyed our traditional visit to that notorious tourist trap, Wall Drug.

The begging burros at Custer State Park started to get too rambunctious when we wouldn’t give them anything to eat.  So we had to whisk Olive and Heidi into the van pronto and be on our way.

In Keystone we visited the Borglum museum, and camped at a campground near Rushmore.  We viewed the famous Mount Rushmore at night.

Roughlock Falls Before leaving this area we toured the fourth largest cave in the world, Jewel Cave.  The drive through Spearfish Caņon is always interesting.  We hiked and relaxed at Roughlock Falls. 

This is a picture of Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Caņon, South Dakota.  →

Once into Wyoming we stopped at Devil’s Tower to hike around it.  This is a pleasant hike of about an hour.

Devil’s Tower ← We stopped to take this picture of Devil’s Tower, and a deer decided to “get into the act.”

We camped at a beautiful riverside campground near the real west town of Dayton, Wyoming.  We waded the river for a good long time to cool down.  The next morning we walked Dayton’s quaint old streets right out of the past.  At a book store we bought some neat old books, including The Long Lonesome Train Whistle.

It was worth enduring the > 100 degree heat to view the Custer Battlefield, which looks nothing like Hollywood has always portrayed it!  We also enjoyed the Big Horn County Historical Museum.

We reached the majestic and gloriously cool Rocky Mountains.  Our notes from back then state: “It’s hard to tell exactly how awe-struck the girls were about this.  Little ones tend to be (sadly) more in-tune with what’s going on in the van, or in cows, than they are in panoramic scenes.”

We enjoyed old Virginia City, Montana, an old west town that never really died.  The noon shoot out at the bank was well staged.  That is, it didn’t look too staged.

Nearby Nevada City is more of a real ghost town.  We walked through the old train there.  This was to be a ghost town trip, as well as visiting national parks.

Bannack, Montana The next ghost town was another real one: Bannack, Montana, which had been Montana’s first Territorial Capital.  →

The ghost town of Elkhorn, Montana had perhaps one or two houses still occupied by live mortals, although many other buildings stood in mute testimony of a once thriving town.  The state had bought much of this, put plaques on some of the buildings, and even had a campground on the edge of town, which we camped at that night, after haunting the town.

Elkhorn, Montana ← This is a view of the somber buildings of Elkhorn, Montana. 

It was now time to turn our direction to Glacier National Park, where we would camp for 4 days.

The weather was beautiful the first few days.  So we enjoyed various hikes, and the Logan Pass Visitors Center.  Going to the Sun Road was a beautiful drive.

Going-to-the-Sun Road The line on the opposite mountain wall is Going to the Sun Road, viewed here from Logan Pass.  →

We enjoyed Lake McDonald and returned for a sunset cruise on it.

We drove to Two Medicine and hiked around the lake.  We sure did not know what we were letting ourselves in for when we started this.  It’s hard to gauge distances in these wide open spaces.  We were dead tired long before we got back to the van.  To top it off we were concerned about bumping into bears on the trail, so had to keep up a noise. 

We drove to Eureka, Montana to see again the town we had been stranded in for a couple days on our 1982 honeymoon trip.  And to thank the Chevy dealer who had so generously helped us in that situation.

Red Rock Falls was an interesting hike.  There are many beautiful vistas at Glacier National Park.  We drove up to the Canadian side of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park just for kicks.

Even when it was cold and drizzly the final day, we still enjoyed various hikes around the St. Mary side of the park, near our campground, including Baring Falls.

On the journey back home we visited the C. M. Russell museum.  The mountains had been cool; now we descended back to the hot plains.  There were some things worth stopping at again, such as Dayton, Wyoming.  And we camped at the Spearfish, South Dakota, City Park.

We visited the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, SD.  Another repeat was a pizza from the same Pizza Hut in Chamberlain, SD, but this time on the go.  As so often happens, we started to look for a campground for our last night, but decided to do “The Big Push” to home without stopping, except for gas.  We did this on many vacations!


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