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West Glacier Corridor — A Guilty Pleasure

We have to admit a "guilty pleasure" ... we actually enjoyed all the tackiness just outside the west entrance to Glacier National Park. US Highway 2 is a virtual menagerie of gift shops, fruit stands, and roadside attractions ... such as waterslides, a drive-thru bear park and our favorite … the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery ... "where the natural laws of physics are bent … where birds won’t fly. Could it be navigational bearing points for extraterrestrial visits centuries ago? Nobody knows …"

The proclamation that Hungry Horse is “The Friendliest Dam Town in the Whole World” made sense once we learned the Hungry Horse reservoir and Dam (tenth highest in U.S.) is southeast of town. Looks like some self-righteous twit thought it was their duty to protect the public from the offensive word "dam".

We couldn’t resist stopping at Uncle Don's to sample huckleberries …  blueberries with an attitude. Since they aren’t cultivated and are found in the wild, prices are about $9 to $11 a pound. Great with ice cream!

Columbia Falls, despite its name, has no falls … so in 1998 it built some with a friendly moose as the official greeter.

One bright spot in Columbia Falls is this startling realistic mural.

In contrast to the tackiness, stands the lovingly preserved 1910 Belton Chalet … the first and most authentic of the lodges built at Glacier Park.

Because the inn was boarded up for decades, it escaped being “modernized”. The lobby was warm and inviting with its stone fireplace and original turn of the century furnishings.

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The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight seeing".

— Daniel J. Boorstin —