Glacier National Park’s Bear Ranger

We left Calgary today to head to Glacier National Park.  Needing to avoid paying the park fee, we go there at a time when we thought the entrance might be closed but I was mistaken. So we headed to the St. Mary’s grocery store to see if we could get some fresh food for dinner.  The prices were pretty high: grapefruit was $1.49 each; a cheap burrito was over $2.00 (not cheap at all).

We headed out of the store to a pullout just outside the park entrance that goes to a ranger station built in 1913.  I just got the rice in the pot when a ranger pulls up and says she is the “bear ranger” and we’re not supposed to be cooking there.  She let us know that the bears in Montana were more ferocious than those in Alaska because they were more confined.  Then she asked if we had paid our park entrance fee.  I said no because we weren’t at the gates yet, we were about ½ mile outside of them.  She said, “You’re in the park, you have to pay.”

I wondered who else knew this rule. Who was going to drive ½ mile into the park just to turn around and come back ½ mile to the ranger station.

Oh, and we have to camp in a campground.

Well, we didn’t do anything she said. By the time we were done eating the pay station was closed and there were no fee envelopes out there anyway, so we couldn’t pay.  And after driving for ½ hour up the road, we discovered that the road at Logan’s Pass was closed due to construction, so we couldn’t even get to the campgrounds.  WE ended up sleeping at the visitor’s center there with about twenty other people. I hope the Bear Ranger is okay with that.

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