September 3, 2011 – After a great night’s sleep and a good breakfast it’s time to hit the road. We definitely recommend that Hampton Inn if you’re staying near the Salt Lake City (SLC) airport. The scenery is changing as we head away from SLC, which happens to be under a smog warning even though it’s before 8am. Major boo. Fortunately, clear and clean air prevails as we head into Idaho. There are a couple little old Masons selling cookies and coffee at a rest stop to raise money for local schools, so we decide to treat ourselves. Gotta love mid-morning vacation snacks.
We also did some bird watching from the car, and spotted a golden eagle perched on a power pole, and many small hawks. Lunch was Subway (meatball sub for the win), and dinner was Macaroni Grill in Great Falls near Butte. Dinner was very good – the bread was great, service was prompt (and the server made the best peach iced tea), and the entrees (pasta and eggplant Parmesan) were both good, with the eggplant being thin and crisp, and smothered with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce.
Nearby Butte is also home to a freakishly-tall statue of the Virgin Mary. Overall the drive is long (about 13 hours) but not bad. Our destination and home for the next few nights is the Swiftcurrent Motor Lodge in Glacier National Park – great pillows, good mattress, and a good night’s sleep after another day of travel!