The family get together in Glacier was nothing short of great. Something to note - my family has never had good luck with camping. Every time we tried, the worst storms would go through the area. I'm talking tornado's, downed trees, flooded campsites, etc. The last time we went, I was probably in my early teens. The weather was so bad, we packed up in the middle of the night, found a restaurant for breakfast and never tried it again. So, I was a bit surprised when everyone agreed to come out this way for a semi-civilized KOA camping experience.
I'll be adding pictures soon, but here are the highlights.
1) Free shuttle service - Whoever dreamed this up was a genius. I'm sure some people don't like the wait, but utilizing the park shuttle was stress free and relaxing, especially after a day of hiking. My entire family pretty much kicked butt with the hiking. They did the entire Avalanche Lake Trail, and then headed to Hidden Lake up at Logan Pass. They tackled snow fields and a precarious rock face to see Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, rams, and marmots wrestling. We all pretty much crashed on the shuttle ride down and enjoyed some good ice cream at Apgar.
2) Amazing Fun Center - Just driving by, you wouldn't think much of it. Not sure what the rest of the family thought, but I had a blast. The maze is deceptively complicated and I don't believe for a second that some kid finished it in 13 minutes. We were in there forever. The younger ones finally gave up, leaving Dami, Brandi, Ryan and I to try to find the 4th tower and get out before passing out from heat stroke. We got the towers, but gave up finding the appropriate exit. By that time, Brandi suggested crawling under the walls to freedom. We didn't quite reach that point, but it was close. A shout out to Ashley, who did finish the entire thing in I think 45 minutes.
My favorite parts however, were the go-carts and bumper boats. My only complaint is that neither one went fast enough. Oh, and to all my family who decided I was the target for bumper boats, I will get you back one day. My clothes were still wet two hours later even after playing 18 holes of mini golf in the hot sun!
To any who want try it out - you can do everything with a $17 pass. I thought it was worth the price, but be prepared with water and sunscreen if you go on a sunny, hot day.
3) Campfire at our Cabin - Steve made kabobs on the grill, and frozen pizza for the kids (hey - they spent the previous couple days on camp food!). We had S'Mores again over a campfire in our yard overlooking the lake at sunset. It was a late night, but I was glad everyone got to see our place.
4) Bowman Lake - The family endured the "the worst road ever" to spend the afternoon at Bowman Lake. Some tried fishing with little success, the rest of us enjoyed the freezing water. Mom had spent a few bucks on floating chairs, and we took turns taking the kids out. Add to that a gorgeous view, good food, games, a nice walk, and an army of horse flies. Couldn't have asked for a better day.
5) Time with family - Everyone got along, Dad and Dami learned to cook on a campfire, the Texans survived the camping cabin for five nights before heading back to "civilization," we managed S'Mores even after a hailstorm, the kids made good use of the KOA swimming pool, Connor and Mason got decked out in the best hats ever, Madison proved herself to be a capable outdoors girl (and possible future trail runner), all family members were able to call themselves hikers, Ashley proved herself computer savvy by figuring out how to get internet access even in mountains, and I got two nights of the best sleep ever in my tent.
6) Presents - I felt like it was my birthday. I got a cool necklace, really nice book, towel, and stuffed moose from family members as thank you's for being the "tour guide." Thanks to all of you - I had a great time, and I hope you come back someday!!!!!