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Old 07-19-2014, 12:27 AM   #11
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Basically you have to be persistent and pushy. We made reservations at St. Mary's for two nights The next morning we took just the car and drove to Many Glacier and got a reasonable site at about 9:30 in the morning. We then went back over a rutty 12 mile road and picked up the trailer and returned to Many Glacier, forfeiting our second night in St. Mary's

The site was nice and backed onto nothing but trees, but it was buggy because there was standing water at that part of the river (which couldn't be reached from this particular campsite) . That night we started to walk around to see who would be leaving. Each site has a post on it with the date when people are moving out, but some people decide to re-register so you never know for sure. The next morning we walked around (at 8:00 in the morning) and asked people if they were moving out -- one family wasn't sure, but we asked them to let us know and they came around a half hour later to tell us we could have their site. I then saw that the people in the next site over had a tag saying they were leaving the next day. I asked them if our son could have their site the next day-- they also weren't sure, but they came to us that night and said we could have the site in the morning. However, I had to be at their campsite at 7:00 A.M. when the camp host came around to pull the tag off their site or someone else could have just put their tag on the post and I would have been out of luck. So I sat in a chair and drank my tea. As soon as the camp host came around she asked me if I'd checked with the folks to make sure they were leaving -- I said yes, and put my tag on the site.

I think it would be almost impossible to get a river site at Many Glacier unless you were there the night before in a different site in July and August or at least be looking by 7 A.M. Some days the campground is full by 10:30 A.M. The only day it wasn't filled was July 4. There is that 12 mile road that is so rutty and it would be a real bummer to travel the road and then find the campground is full.

Anyway, there was a short (50 feet maybe) trail to the river where we put our chairs and sat and enjoyed. It was worth it, but next time I think we might just come toward the end of June. You are allowed 2 weeks in Many Glacier, in July and August, but if you come in June that doesn't count toward your time and if you come around the third week in June I don't think there's such a scramble for site.

Another thing -- make sure to have a packed frig and freezer before you get there because the camp store does not have much edible stuff and we did not want to go on that rutty road until it ws time to leave. We had to get rid of our fresh stuff when we crossed the border, but our son arrived from Helena with provisions so we were fine.

I know it sounds like a hassle, but this campground is so worth the bother. Once you're there the trailheads are almost all close enough so you don't need a car, and the others are maybe a mile or so away. And there's the hotel restaurant if you want it. We spent a few evenings enjoying the hotel deck, we rented a rowboat -- they have canoes and kayaks and a boat that takes you to some of the hiking -- the motel has showers and a laundromat (although it only had 4 working washers) The ranger programs are good -- I could happily have stayed longer.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:45 AM   #12
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Thanks Ruthe! Nice write-up. I want to explore all of that park someday. Have only been through on my motorcycle on a long trip. What a beautiful place!
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:29 AM   #13
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And the rutty road that I was complaining about had stupendous scenery. Terry had a hard time enjoying it because he was driving. But as soon as we turned onto it we knew that we were in an amazing place. A couple other things -- The Going To the Sun Road connects the east and west side (although you can't pull a trailer there) and it wasn't open until about July 2 or 3 due to snow I think. Some trails were closed due to snow. So this is why July and August are so crowded. I bet September would be amazing -- although the waterfalls might not be flowing as much -- but the crowds would be gone. We can never travel in Setp due to Terry's teaching.
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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Like Ruthe, we just returned from our first extended trip with our new 19 (5 weeks). Part of the time we were camped in our daughter's yard in Montana. The rest of the trip included Yellowstone, Cody, then highway 3 in Canada and a stop at ETI for a repair on our rock shield (don't ask--stupid move on my part).

We absolutely love our 19. We experienced a broad range of weather, from 97F degrees to chilly nights in the 30s; rain, hail, wind, and smattering of snow. We'd still be traveling had it not been for family commitments at home.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:36 PM   #15
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For future reference: We did the same thing last year moving from St Mary to Rising Sun. I stopped at the check-in station (St M) and they were able to transfer my reservation w/o a change fee. Does not hurt to ask.

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Old 07-21-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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Good Point about changing the Reservation Fee. I've just posted a bunch of pictures to the blog -- mountain goats and prairie dogs in the Badlands --
http://ruthmatilskyworld.wordpress.com
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:10 PM   #17
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We are both back east and I just posted my final segment to my blog (at least for now) at http://ruthmatilskyworld.wordpress.com I've been reading all the posts about refrigerators and I am glad to report (knock on wood) that we've had no problems with the frig -- even during 90 degree days and warm nights. I hope it is because of the Texas fan because I don't want to end up eating my words. The only problem -- and it is more of an annoyance -- is that the sensor for the gray water tank keeps showing that we are 2/3 full when we know we are not. When we have time we'll contact Reace and ask his advice.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:27 PM   #18
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Funny thing about frig and freezers. They are one of the top problem systems aboard sailboats. Most all of the boats I crewed or skippered had issues after a while. Trailers must be much the same. My theory? They are not made to be shocked, shook, vibrated, bounced, or bumped. If you sail, that happens. If you trailer, that happens. Too many parts and too complex. Even on the smoothest road (or calmest sea), these vehicles flex and vibrate. Now, if someone could invent a cooler that lasts a couple of weeks on a bag or two of ice, that might be an idea.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthe View Post
We are both back east and I just posted my final segment to my blog (at least for now) at Ruth's World | I'm creating this blog to share our trip across America and Canada. My other reason is to have a platform for my many opinions. I've been reading all the posts about refrigerators and I am glad to report (knock on wood) that we've had no problems with the frig -- even during 90 degree days and warm nights. I hope it is because of the Texas fan because I don't want to end up eating my words. The only problem -- and it is more of an annoyance -- is that the sensor for the gray water tank keeps showing that we are 2/3 full when we know we are not. When we have time we'll contact Reace and ask his advice.
The sensors need to be cleaned, part of routine maintenance, drop in some dish soap and ride around to create some suds and then drain.
I also fixed your link...
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:20 PM   #20
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We just returned from a week in Glacier also. It was overwhelmingly beautiful. If you have time and can plan ahead several months, reservations would be the way to go, especially for the west side park campgrounds (Fish Creek and Apgar). Most of the camps, however, are on a walk in basis only. We spent two nights at San Suz Ed just a few miles from West Glacier. Very nice but about $45/night. We thought about camping at Many Glacier but internet advice suggested that was easier said than done. We got up at 6:30 am and took Highway 2 around the bottom of the park to the Two Medicine campground ... about an hour's drive. We were there about 8 am and had no problem finding a nice site ($10 a night with the Senior pass). (Glacier National Park Campground Status) We made a day trip up to Many Glacier and hiked into the Swift Current valley. Highway 49 north of East Glacier is in fairly rough shape and would be hard on a trailer. Coming from the south or west, I would forget about camping at Many Glacier and go with Two Medicine anytime. On our return, we took highway 89 south through Great Falls and Gardiner into Yellowstone. Beautiful drive and road was in great shape. Had a young grizzly beside the road just past the entrance to the Two Medicine area. Also didn't see another Escape until Two Medicine when Steve and Kathleen from Montana pulled in next to us in their 17.
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