Are you looking for a getaway that disconnects you from cell phones, Internet, television? Then the Many Glacier Hotel is a great place for you.
During the summer of 2019, my wife and I wanted to disconnect with the world and reconnect with each other for our 25th anniversary. However, we really didn’t have a clue how we would go about doing just that.
We both have a passion for history and nature. Combine the two and you have a national park. My wife and I have been intrigued with the idea of staying at a national park lodge. What better time than our 25th anniversary. We debated Yellowstone, Glacier, Mt. Rainier, and the Grand Canyon. Our hearts settled upon the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park. It was built over a hundred and five years ago; the historic nostalgia and the idea of disconnecting from modern technology and detoxing for a few days sold us.
We contacted the Many Glacier Hotel in November, but they were booked solid until November of the next year. We surrendered to another makeshift impromptu trip when our anniversary drew closer. For laughs, my wife went online and saw the Many Glacier Hotel in April had an opening on our anniversary date in July. She asked if she should book it, and I said don’t ask, just do before it is gone.
She booked the room and emailed the front desk to determine our stay, billing, and itinerary while I busily planned to wrap up the school year to be able to go. Easy right? No, it was not.
As the year drew to a close, I found myself becoming more entangled in extra duties and trips that naturally come with the job. During the last week of school and a scheduled trip for a teacher training in Boise, my entire domestic plumbing failed due to a water logged pressure tank and a cistern pump failure, which was probably brought on by the failing pressure tank. The entire system failed and had to be replaced. It was installed incorrectly to begin with 7 years ago. The science behind the failure had finally caught up with us, and the entire system went into a cascade failure. I talk about that in my post, “Fixing a 7 Year Mistake.”
What I didn’t mention in the video or in the past year was our school lost a student to suicide while I was on my second trip to Boise that summer, taking students to an American Government and Economics related symposium. My cell phone was crushed by the school van’s door in the same outing, so receiving the news was through a colleague’s phone as my phone was going straight to voice mail due to its demised. We left the conference a day early to rush back for the family in which I found myself speaking at the student’s funeral. The death of this student still impacts many of us who knew her.
While grappling with depression over the loss, still fighting with my water system waiting for the back ordered DC pump to arrive while our garden was being starved of water, I received a phone call. I was working on the future barn/shop clearing the land, pulling weeds when I was informed a friend at church had also committed suicide. The second suicide in a matter of 3 weeks both unrelated except that I knew them both. Weeds in hand, face in the dust, rapidly turning to mud from tears, and three days until our 25th anniversary.
The morning of our anniversary. I am finally installing the DC Pump, the first one I received the day before failed out of the box. Trips back and forth to get a new pump and finally installed. Car is packed and we are off about to enter a blackout zone because no cell service in the area of the park we are headed. Last phone call we received from our folks, who are watching our son while we are gone, is the solar panel breakers are off. I told them my mistake; please put all the breakers on. The one breaker that was forgotten, the well pump, a ticking disaster that would unleash in the second day of our trip for our folks and son.
Meanwhile, we finally made it to Glacier after the West Entrance was closed for over 3 hours due to a traffic accident on the Going to the Sun Road. We waited 45 minutes and then took the alternate route Hwy 2, discussed in the video. We arrived in the evening and were able to grab dinner at the Hotel in the Café/lounge before it buttoned up for the night. Our vacation had just begun and the next few days Glacier and God began to heal me from the inside out. My stress level was off the charts. I needed to decompress with my wife, and in this little room with a view of the peaks, the trails outside the hotel doors, we were renewed.
None of these things were discussed in the video. I decided to write it here; knowing few of you would read these thoughts and know why Many Glacier Hotel is important to us. It explains my wife’s tears as we wrestled with every unearthly thing to get to this moment and take a moment to be at peace. The room has no television, cell service is not available, email virtually impossible. The Internet bandwidth at the hotel is so small and to fight to check an email would take and hour or so. Who needs it? Enjoy the place and the moment … disconnect.
“… And, that’s the rest of the story.” As Paul Harvey would say. Perhaps, I should not have told this story. Perhaps, it would have been better left unsaid. We are all human, and we all have a story to tell. This blog is informative, sometimes uniquely entertaining, yet it is still written by people living life, and life is messy.