I’m officially dubbing lil’ Judith Gap the cutest town name in America. Not only does it now hold this world renowned title, but it’s flippin’ picturesque to boot. Judy G, as I like to refer to her, overlooks the rolling hills full of hay bales and way off in a far away land, you can see the beginning of some mountain peaks that I don’t know the name of. Just outside the town, are fields of windmills hugging both sides of the road towering over the highways like I assume redwoods do in California.
Getting to Glacier National Park in the northwest part of the state was my goal today. Between Browning and Glacier is 60 miles or so, so an hour but it took me well over two because I stopped at so many pull-outs along the way just to admire all the vastness that is here. I could see mountains for quite some time but there is this really special area where a train track begins to outline the base of the peaks. The trees tower like green skyscrapers in a metropolis and all my little girl dreams come alive. A train was passing through at the exact time I witnessed all of this while driving. I felt my heart stop. It reminded me of a story a grandfather might tell around a fire talking about the setting of the good ol’ days. Ugh, it was literally idyllic and a memory that I hope lives in my mind for all of time since I wasn’t able to snap a photo.
I had booked a lodge overlooking Lake McDonald just two days ago. I landed on this place because I’ve been daydreaming about the brightly colored rocks, the crystal clear water, and the mountains for longer than I can remember. I didn’t do much research, a new thing for me. So, I thought my cabin came with a kitchenette. Silly girl. Before I arrived at GNP, I stopped at a small grocery store along the way. Surprise surprise, my studio lodge was not a kitchenette; no fridge, no microwave. The host peeps were cool though, they gave me a cooler with ice. When’s the last time you ate cold hot dogs for a week? Because same.
After a long day of driving, unpacking most of my stuff and throwing my grub in the cute little cooler full of ice, I explored Apgar Village a bit. I decided to walk along the shore of Lake McDonald; a view I’ve seen countless times online and always added it to the miles long bucket list in my mind. But, let me tell you.. not a single photo on the internet or any that I post could do this place justice. Not one.
I walked a ways in quietness and took a seat on the shore, sitting on the colorful rocks I’d daydreamed about for years, toes in the ice cold rocky water right next to a fallen down tree. I had ventured far enough away from the village so that I was away from the hustle and bustle of the other visitors. The laughter and families singing are now just distant sounds a half mile away. This. This feels like home.