All of America's National Parks are treasures. But when it comes to beauty and the sheer drama of the landscape, Glacier National Park has to be at the top of any list.
That's why we returned there with one of our Roadtreking gatherings for the second year in a row, staying at the Chewing Blackbones RV Park on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, just a couple miles from the Many Glaciers entrance to the park.
This time, we filled almost the whole campground.
Like all our gatherings, they are open to all, regardless of what kind of RV people have. Roadtreking is about the lifestyle, not a particular brand.
We had just over 130 RVers in attendance and they drove Class A, Class C and, naturally, Class B motorhomes. One of our attendees even slept in a tent. We had Roadtreks, Pleasure-Ways, Leisure Travel Vans and several other motorhome brands represented.
The Erwin Hymer Group of North America even sent Clark, one of their top RV technicians, to assist anyone who had issues with their RVs or needed some minor repairs.
There were bus tours of the area, boat rides on the mountain-framed St. Mary's Lake, daily hikes, a seminar on creativity in a camper for those who like to write and blog and an information exchange on RVing to Alaska.
Mary Jane Curry, who writes the weekly RV Recipes for us here at Roadtreking.com, hosted a Tea in the Wilderness social.
A troupe of Blackfeet native dancers entertained us one night in front of a tee pee and we were honored by a visit by the tribal chief himself, who welcomed us to the area. At the end of the dance performance, all of our Roadtrekers were invited up to join the Blackfeet performers in a friendship dance. Little Grey Wolf, a Grammy-nominated Blackfeet drummer, pounded the huge drum that provided the beat for the dancing.
Jack Gladstone, a Blackfeet singer known as the “Montana Troubadour,” entertained us another night with songs that told the story of the land and its people after we ate a catered meal of traditional Blackfeet food, including Indian fry bread, roasted sweet potatoes and bison.
And, of course, there were nightly social times around a campfire.
But it was was exploring and photographing the park that kept most of us busy each day.
Lots of wildlife was spotted, Moose, bear, deer, beaver and elk were sighted daily. Both back bear and grizzlies were particularly active this year.
On a short hike that Jennifer and I led around Swift Current Lake, we came upon a bear stalking a female moose and her calf. The bear eventually moved off, but many of us were convinced the moose mama came close to us because she was seeking safety in numbers.
We did our best to give the animals space and move away but it seemed that as we moved the mother moose kept using us as a shield to protect her baby.
Later we learned from a ranger that there had been two calves but the bear had killed and eaten one of them just the day before.
I captured most of that encounter on video and will include it in a video on the entire week when I get home and have time to edit it.
Meanwhile, it's on to our next gathering July 9-13 in Bryson City, NC on the Nantahala River. We still have openings and you are invited! If you have never been to one of our Roadtreking gatherings you will get a special discount when you type in the word “welcome” at check out (without the quotes). Spend a day in a river raft, either cruising down the guided and mild Class I-III rapids, or for the more adventurous, taking on Class IV-V white water while your guide gives you an unforgettable experience! Or go for a drive on the Road to Nowhere in the Great Smoky Mountains that was supposed to assuage a displaced community, but ended up a $58 million dead end. Walk the ¼ tunnel at the end of the road to find easy trails and stunning views. Ziplining is on the schedule too, for those who want to soar through the trees like a bird of prey. Details and reservations are handled by Eventbrite on this page. Hurry, though, as time is limited and our few remaining spaces will go fast.
Meanwhile, here's a few more photographs that show you why we love Glacier National Park so much.