Thursday, July 9, 2020

Glacier National Park

Turns out if you stop using Facebook and Instagram for a week you have a lot of extra time on your hands! This post has been sitting in my drafts for months but I finally found the accompanying photos from our van trip to Montana and Canada last summer.

Tayler has been working tirelessly on renovating our Sprinter van to be ready for my brother's wedding in Glacier National Park. It was tricky finding time in between work and family duties to build out a van but he (mostly) did it! Our cabinets don't have doors and weren't painted, but other than that we were set and excited to take our biggest van trip yet.

The drive there was wonderfully uneventful, and we arrived a couple days before the wedding so we could explore. Glacier was stunning, all greens and blues and steep mountain peaks. We were able to drive on Going to the Sun Road and hike the Trail of Cedars and Logan Pass. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and Ollie was a trooper despite his schedule being completely derailed. 
Chase and Chloe got married at the base of a European lodge overlooking a clear blue lake. It was dreamy and Tayler and I were honored to take their wedding photos. We are beyond thrilled to officially have a family claim on Chloe. She is the sweetest person and we couldn't be happier for them.
After the wedding we all went our separate ways, and our plan was Waterton-Yellowstone-Grand Tetons-Bear Lake-Home. Spoiler alert: we only hit two of those targets.

Waterton was dreamy, a mini Banff closer to the border that was a lot more doable for an Oliver who doesn't love car rides. We napped in the van by the lake, hammocked, strollered around the lake and town, and ate some delicious food. 
We headed back to Helena for the night and decided to stay at a swanky hotel to freshen up since we'd been sleeping in the van for the past 4 days with 4 more days of camping ahead of us. A dip in the pool was just what we needed after a long day on the road.
Unfortunately that was where our trip ended, because the following morning our camper van wouldn't start. Long story short, we tried a few things in the parking lot (jumping the battery and a can of ether) but it became clear that we needed to take it to a shop. We got a tow and ended up camping that night in our van in the parking lot of an auto shop. Since the Sprinter is a Mercedes the parts are hard to come by and have to be ordered in, so we decided that it would be cheaper to get a rental car and drive straight home rather than stay in Helena until it was fixed - a genius choice in hindsight as the van stayed in the shop for another month.

Even though the trip ended sooner than expected we loved every bit of it and the memories that were made. And on the bright side, the van has a brand new fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel lines, O ring, and fuel rail line. Lol lol. Shout out to Ollie for the tax refund money that covered that bill. 

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