over the last few years, one of my favourite things about sister coming to visit – besides seeing her, duh – is getting to explore a new part of the north west. we’ve driven out to vancouver island, stopping along the way. we’ve gone car camping, and birthday hiking, and mountain exploring.
this year we headed south and across the border for our first visit to montana.
we started on a high note with the sweetest border guard at chief mountain crossing, who chatted with us and gave us a passport stamp in the shape of a bear. a bear! there were so many smiles and giggles following that. bear stamp!
i was most excited to experience going to the sun road and glacier national park. i have heard such magical things about it, but for some reason didn’t have much of an expectation for montana. i had thought, “sure i’ll go once to cross it off the list, but doubt i’ll ever go back.” boy was i wrong! plus, it houses the closest target! god bless target.
the fantastic people at ford canada have always been excited to travel along on our sister trips, too. and this time we were able to explore in a 2016 C-MAX hybrid.
shaped like a miniature/small ford explorer, the hatchback and large back seat fit two suitcases, two purses, a backpack, many pairs of shoes, and groceries with plenty of room to spare. (and on the return trip, many things from target, and tj maxx.)
the hybrid functionality, made it super fuel efficient and we drove from calgary to whitefish, crossing the whole distance of going to the sun road, as well as into glacier national park two more times, plus two trips to target, and part of the way back to canada on one tank of gas.
if you’ve never driven a hybrid, i’d definitely suggest it. it teaches you how to drive more economically because you learn how to break to recharge the battery and how fast breaking or too quick accelerating uses all gas and no electricity. when you’re in charge of paying for gas, you’ll gladly break properly and be thrilled to use the battery power.
we lucked out, arriving just two days after going to the sun road fully opened. when we got to the highest point at logan pass, we found out why. after putting on five layers of clothes, we were greeted with close to zero-degree temperatures and many feet of snow. knowing we didn’t have to stay too long, it was fun to play in it and throw snowballs in june.
a few miles down the road, at a lower altitude, the snow had melted and we were back to clear blue skies and warm temperatures. i fully know why montana is called ‘big sky country’. when you’re out of the mountains, the ranch fields are vast and flat leaving the horizon clear and open.
going to the sun road, with all of it’s twists and turns, mountain views and flowing emerald lakes, is more stunning than you could imagine. i suggest that everyone put that drive on their checklist. and make sure you stop at a lookout or two on the drive, too. you’ll want the photos, even though they don’t do the memories justice.
i can’t even count the amount of times i’d stretch out a hand to hit sister in the arm (lightly) and exclaim, “shut up!” it was too beautiful to believe.
have you ever driven a hybrid? have you ever been to montana?