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Old 10-08-2016, 07:14 PM   #29
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Awesome write up and pictures! Keep them coming please!
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:16 PM   #30
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Great pictures. Hiking is the best way to experience Glacier. I think you are wise to reserve a "generator" campsite as it gets a bit limited without any electricity and always watching the batteries drain down. We found we could go two nights on battery power alone. Many boondockers can go a week.

David
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:24 PM   #31
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My Interstates batteries have lost capacity. Since I have solar and a generator I just used them to keep the voltage so it never got below 12.4v. You'd think just running some LED lights and the fridge electronics 170ah would last a whole week.

I'm getting them replaced with two Lifeline 6v 220ah batteries for next years season.

Kelvin
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #32
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On the way down I hiked the 1/2 mile to Sperry Chalet to check it out. There are four buildings; the dining room/kitchen, quest sleeping quarters, the restrooms and employee housing. Here are photos showing the dining room and balcony, the inside of the dining room, quest quarters and one of the rooms. I spoke with one of the quests and he booked a year in advance and had to work around a date given to him. There is also a backcountry campground nearby. After spending about an hour at the chalet it was a 6 1/2 mile back down to the McDonald lodge. When I got to the lodge I missed the last shuttle by a 100yds. Because there is no cell service the lodge desk graciously allowed me to call my wife's cell via their landline phones. Luckily, in Fish Creek Verizon service is available in our loop. It was a long but rewarding day. My longest hike ever; 20 miles.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:03 PM   #33
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Our last day was a relaxing day. We took a drive up to Polebridge to indulge is some huckleberry pastries from the Polebridge Mercantile. After a few bearclaws and coffee we drove up to Bowman Lake. Bowman lake is accessed by a narrow dirt road not recommended for RVs. There is a campground there and the host managed to get his Casita up there. There were a couple of pop up trailers. While in Bowman Lake was quiet in 2011 and 2012, this year it was packed out. The main parking area is the picnic area and we were lucky to get a parking spot. I don't know if it was the day hikers and kayakers, maybe that and the 100th anniversary of the NPS.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:18 PM   #34
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On the way home I stopped at a rest stop near Conrad, MT off Interstate 15 I decided to help out a fellow RVer and tow his trailer home behind my Airstream. The Ram has plenty of power. Just kidding, thats my brother-in-law's trailer parked behind us.

What was funny about this rest stop is while at Glacier we hardly encountered any mosquitos. At this rest stop they were thick as thieves.

We returned home the same route. We stayed at Deer Park Campground in Buffalo, Wy and Grand Island KOA on the return trip.

For the whole trip we averaged about 12mpg hand calculated. The mileage wasn't as good as I hoped but I found myself cruising at 65mph most of the time. The Ram performed well and experience no issues despite having to fuel up with bio-diesel in Nebraska and having to top up with 2 1/2 gal of retail Peak DEF. Typical range was about 300 miles with about 5 gal reserve.

As typical for a two week vacation it went much too fast.

Thanks for everyone's kind comments

Kelvin
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:21 PM   #35
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Wow, Kelvin - a great thread! A wonderful, detailed travelogue and well earned photographs. I have a lot of respect for your hiking prowess. I think you got 100% out of Glacier National Park.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:22 PM   #36
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Forgot about this photo. We didn't see or encounter much wildlife on this trip, just a couple of mountain goats but above the Many Glacier valley we did spot this bear. Taken with my 210mm lens. Zooming in with my editor it appears to be a black bear.

Kelvin
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #37
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Glacier NP trip

looks like a great trip. In one of the photos I notice a bike rack on the AS. I've been wanting to mount a rack and your placement looks like the perfect spot.. How does it attach and where did you find it? Walt D.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:10 AM   #38
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It's an Arvika bike rack. See post 20 in this thread for a link. Too difficult to mount the Fiamma on the Classic rear bumper. With the bikes loaded on the rear it would be hard to access the bumper tray where I keep my shore power cable and water hoses.

Its an easy install. The supports bolt onto the A frame. They are adjustable in height. Mount the rack onto the two vertical supports. A front support clamps on the electric jack shaft with hand turn knobs.

The are a couple of issue with this design is it does add some tongue weight. I would estimate with two bikes plus the rack and supports you are looking at roughly 80lbs, The other issue is if your tow vehicle is an SUV or a truck with a camper shell when you make tight turns the bike tires and the rack channel could hit the tow vehicle depending on how close your hitch mounts to the tow vehicle. Probably not an issue with a Propride. I have an Equalizer. I can drop my tailgate and it clears the electric jack by a couple of inches.


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Old 10-09-2016, 11:52 AM   #39
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Thanks very much GREAT IDEA and great post on GNP . I have never seen such a volume of responses to your posts on this forum on any other subject matter. Excellent photos and story !!!
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:32 PM   #40
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Three dog ranch is a great dog boarding place near Whitefish Montana.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:55 PM   #41
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Glacier

Great trip report! We are fortunate to have a cabin we summer in Lincoln MT, a couple hours away from Glacier. This past summer, we were fortunate to have 6 multi-day visits ; 3 times in East Glacier (Apgar camp grounds); 2 times to St. Mary's and also 2 times in Swift Currant (Many Glacier). Weather this summer was very cool and we had more rainy days than past several years; it usually is very nice in Glacier during mid summer into September. You were correct; there were far more visitors this year than we have ever seen in the park! Partly due to centennial of the parks, and partly due to "word's out" about Glacier beauty! I have mixed emotions about the new reservation movement, vs first come first served. Our first night in Swift Currant, they were full at 8:30am, but the "reserved" sites still had 8 sites not occupied first night we were there, even though reserved...camp hosts said they do not like the new system there. As a result of the crowds, the Rangers now make you wait in line at the gate for open sites, and they "assign" sites in Swift Currant as they become open that day, starting around 8:00am....I still like the first come used at most of the other camp grounds in Glacier...it still works out well.

That being said, Glacier is a beautiful park and your details are appreciated. The hikes you went on are legendary for sure...wish my knees and hips could go more than 5 miles! ..we always see bears and other animals in the park, especially at Swift Currant...Thanks again for your contribution!
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:43 PM   #42
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We happened to visit several National Parks this summer. They are great destinations and absolutely beautiful. As a friend and fellow Airstreamer told me: "Thanks Teddy". Designated parks and wilderness areas are a national crown jewel. KJRitchie is doing us a favor by allowing us to travel with him to his favorite national park.

Like gypsydad, we found the parks CROWDED both in May and September. There are more visitors than there is space to accommodate them. KJ's photo of the crowded parking lot is an example. I'm not a crowd person and feel uncomfortable in crowds. Our Airstream is too big for most National Park campsites, and I don't like waiting in line at 8am in hopes of getting a site for a night or two. I like the plan security of a reservation. So we basecamp outside the park boundaries and make day trips into the park. Even then, visitor centers and points of interest can be impossibly crowded, see photo of the line to the "well used" restroom. I most enjoy finding a remote trail head and getting out to explore. Maybe some day popular National Parks will all have a big parking lot at the park entrances and then everyone jumps on the shuttle bus. Maybe there is enough of them to handle the volume of people. Similar to a Tokyo subway? So crowded you literally can't turn around.

Our National Parks are not pet friendly, and rightly so. No one wants a dog mess on the picnic ground or walking trail. No one wants a barking dog chasing wildlife away. Our beagle limits what we can do in a national park.

I am finding it takes good planning to find Airstream adventures beyond a visit to a national park. The Airstream caravans are a pre-planned example. Rich Luhr of Airstream Life and his blog "man in the maze" finds many Airstream adventures. Airstream rallies is another example of great fun and adventures. I like reading Moosetags travel threads here on AirForums, and there are many others.

David
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