Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It all adds up on Izaak Walton trip

We found pussy willows in bud at Three Bears Lake near Marias Pass beneath Summit Peak in Glacier Park
Thank goodness for Groupon!
This Internet discount coupon service allowed us to spend two nights at the Izaack Walton Inn in Essex for $99 ($107 with tax) for a room that normally retails at $159 per night!
At that rate, with gasoline and meals, a trip there can be a little pricey.
Dinners are in the $25 range.
Ski rentals are $20 per day.
It all adds up.
I understand that people like groomed trails and the Izaack Walton offers 33 kilometers of them on roads south of the railroad tracks.  If you're not a guest, it'll cost you $10 per day for a pass.
I'm not sure I can understand shelling out that kind of money when there's Glacier Park for free a short distance away across U.S. 2.
A bustling Nordic scene at Izaack Walton Inn
We had a great stay there last weekend, particularly enjoying the fire and quiet time for reading.
I don't care for the groomed trail scene and did it one morning before going across U.S. 2 to the Walton Ranger District trailhead and snowshoeing up Ole Creek, a very satisfying trip.  A couple of weeks ago, I used this trail to climb about half way up Scalplock Mountain.
Last Saturday, the conditions were too icey to ski, so snowshoes worked just fine.
And it cost absolutely nothing.  We encountered only a solitary cross country skier who was carrying his skis because of the ice.
The weather was at first rain and wet snow on Friday, and then the temperatures plunged to about 2 degrees and the skies cleared.
Our destination Sunday was nearby Marias Pass, where in the trees, the snow is generally good.
Temperatures which had been minus 13 in the morning were 25 above in the afternoon.
We had a nice snowshoe in about 6 inches of new powder on the Autumn Creek Trail, where we lingered in the Little Dog Mountain area.
Again, this was free.
We were excited to see pussy willows budding on the shores of Three Bears Lake.  A sure sign that winter is losing its grip!
On Saturday night we drove about 25 miles to West Glacier to the Belton Chalet Restaurant where we found gourmet food at considerably less expensive prices than at the Izaack Walton.
Bottom line:  watch for deals at Izaack Walton, ski or shoe in the park, eat supper at Belton.
After doing the groomed trails at the Izaack Walton

A frosty crossing of Ole Creek

Katie at Three Bears Lake beneath Summit Peak

1 comment:

maybe said...

Hi Tom

These reports don't go unnoticed. I and I am sure many folks appreciate them. Now that I am retiring I hope to hike some and maybe even some with you. I live in Bellingham,WA though and don't get over that way too often.....