By Alkali Springs Correspondent
We must tell you about our new hobby. Not only do we enjoy it thoroughly, but you just might as well.
It all started quite a while ago, when we decided that never did we get enough of the grand hotels in Glacier. When we stay in Glacier, it is close to if not in Many Glacier, East Glacier Lodge, Lake McDonald Lodge or the Prince of Wales. However, as some of you know, that is not a sport for poor people, staying in those hotels. Nor is it conducive to staying when they have clearly posted "no dogs wanted" and we have a dog who does not want to leave our side.
So we spend a lot of time eating breakfast or lunch in those great hotels or just sitting for an afternoon in front of their fireplaces. That is not nearly as expensive as staying overnight. And the dog seems fairly content to while away his afternoon in the car barking at tourists, which one might say is his hobby.
So as we sat and sat and sat in those hotels, often we have thought, if only we could stay here longer and longer and longer or take something home that is just simply a part of one or more of those hotels. One spring at Lake McDonald, they were selling remnants of some old lights they had. We missed that completely and have been cussing ever since. Short of stealing something, there is just nothing available that is a part of those wonderful places. We do not recommend stealing.
That was when we got our revelation! We were sitting in the lobby of East Glacier, and we glanced up at the second-floor balcony and saw a beautiful painting that we had admired each time we got to the hotel. And, of course, we coveted it. Almost lusted for it in the words of President Carter. And as usual, we thought how great that painting would look in our living room. Then we thought, why not take a picture of the painting, frame it and have it always? So we ran upstairs with our camera and started snapping pictures. We took several at East Glacier and then quickly got in the car and made our way up to Many Glacier in search of still more paintings.
A word about those paintings. Louis Hill commissioned several artists to come to Glacier and paint scenes to be used to decorate the hotels and as promotional items to get folks to come to Montana and Glacier. The paintings are historic, very beautiful, and often depict scenes that are not in the park anymore, such as Going-to-the-Sun Camp or the chalet village at Many Glacier. Not only that, but the paintings are in remarkably good condition for all the change in temperature they must go through.
We got three blown up, had a local frame shop frame them in old-time-looking frames, and now we sit in our living room and just simply love looking at Old Man Glacier with mountain goats. Lake Josephine with bighorn sheep, the chalet village on the steep banks of Lake McDermott (now Swift Current Lake). We can hardly wait until this season starts, because we will start prowling around those old hotels in search of three more paintings to enjoy all year long. We found you can take a piece of those beautiful places back home. Try it yourself.