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March 1998 - Page 61


m e n t i o n a p l a c e to s t a y. T h e w i d e s t s e l e c t i o n o f res t a u r a n t s , motels, a n d stores i s fou n d west of the pass i n the Columbia Falls K a l i s p e l l - W h i t e fi s h are a . Whether your car, your ankle, or your camera needs a t t e n t i on , y o u r b e s t c h a n c e to fi n d w h a t you need is west of the pass. Even i f a l l i s wel l , you may s t i l l want to c h e c k out t h e Whitefish depot a n d t h e n e a rby Great N o r t h e rn B a r a n d G r i l l , w h i c h boasts a fair amount o f G N rail road i a n a and s e l l s goa t -e m b l a zoned shirts. With all that the area has to offer, t h e I z a a k Wa l t o n I n n re m a i n s the jewel o f M a r i a s P a s s . C o n s t r u c t ed a s a b u n kh o u s e b y G N , the inn housed rai lroad crews. Now home t o the inn, gift shop, lounge , restaur a n t , and bar, this model of "adaptive re-use" i s open year-ro u n d . A c ro s s t h e m a i n l i ne from t h e i n n are fou r c a b o o s e s , r e fu r b i s h e d a s c o t tage s , w i t h fo u r d i ffere n t b u n k arrangem ent s ; fou r s i n g l e s , two singles a n d a d o u b l e , two d o u bles, a n d o n e d o u b l e , rented on a fou r- n i g h t or w e e k l y b a s i s . B e yond t h e cabooses are t h e cross c o un t ry ski t ra i l s with a l i gh t e d loop. The term atmosphere doesn 't do t h e l z a a k Wa l t o n I n n j u s t i ce-i t 's more a ki n t o s t e p p i n g into another p l a c e and time. Per haps the best way to arrive is by t rain a t d u s k , when you get t h e sensation you ' ve j u s t sh aken off t h e t r a p p i n g s of e v e r y d a y l i fe . The l a n d s c a p e s e e m s s e a l e d o ff by m o u n t a i n s on a l l s i d e s . T h e c o zy i n t e r i o r i s exem p l i fi e d by the l a rge stone fi r e p l a c e a t t h e center o f t h e lodge. The o n l y c o m p a r i s o n I ' v e been able t o d raw t o t h e experi ences I 've had at the I zaak Wal t o n i s to some of the Ernest H e m m i n gway s h o rt s t o r i e s a b o u t cros s - c o u n t ry s k i i n g i n E u ro p e , and the great tradi t i o n o f t h e m o u n tain lodge . I n t h e heart of the valley, the I zaak Wa lton Inn o ff e r s a n a l l - t i m e e x c e p t i o n a l place t o read and relax. S i t i n the glow of i t s fireplace . . . and see i f you don't agree. E ast Glacier has several small grocery stores and gas s t a t i o n s and i s home t o the m a j e s t i c G l a c i e r Park Lodge. I t has t h e feel of a c l as s i c p r e - i n t er state-era resort town . H owever, be warned-around early October when the depot i s boarded up, most of East Glacier also closes down until spring. You may have to go e a s t to B r o w n i n g or west to t h e Columbia F a l l s a r e a to fi nd food a n d ga s , n o t to

LEFT: On its way west, this

loaded Trough Trai n cu rves its way around the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Thanks to Tom and Mike Danneman for a great deal of skillful driving over many miles of road, many f in elevation. eet A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art & De sign, where he studied "graphic design, photography, and the Burlington Northern, " Dean Sauvola has a photographic pref erence "for anything with snow, are dust, or a C&NW logo on it. " RaiiNews

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