Road Trip Day 14: Kalispell, MT to Elkhorn Hot Springs

June 22, 2019       Day   14         

Miles     300                Begin   Kalispell, MT          To  Polaris, MT

Roads Traveled  MT 93, MT 200, MT 93, I-90, MT 93, MT 43, MT 287, Mt 73

Slept at Elkhorn Hot Springs Lodge, MT

Tennis in Kalispell 6-2

The view is more grey skies, but no rain. The Grand Hotel has a yummy breakfast with quiche, berries, oatmeal and some luscious breakfast breads of cinnamon, or chocolate or butter. 

Off to tennis again at the Flathead Valley Community College. Bub is in good form at this altitude and wins 6-2.

Tennis courts at Flathead Community College Kalispell MT

In the parking lot of the campus is home to the Kalispell Saturday Farmer’s Market. The trip itinerary was timed to attend this. Bub wants to buy more Huckleberry jam. He now has 7 jars to get him through the year. I buy some sugared almonds and earrings.

There are some amazing wood carvings and ironwork and lots and lots of produce. Bub also gets tomatoes. 

Woodworker at Kalispell Farmers Market, MT

This is as close as we’ll get to Glacier National Park. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is still closed due to snow, but we had traversed it last year.

When we returned to the hotel, the Kalispell Big Shindig Show was in full swing with three blocks of beautifully restored classic cars. 

Beautiful Jag at Kalispell's car show

Our “on the road again” trip today takes us south on the west side of Flathead Lake and then on south to Missoula.

In Missoula we have lunch at the Shack Cafe with my good friend, Yvonne Coelet. Yvonne is a Realtor who moved from Arizona’s White Mountains to the whiter Montana Country a couple of years ago. If you need a broker around Missoula, Yvonne is your gal! 

There was a sign in the hotel that sums it up.

Kalispell Grand Hotel saying

We have 3 more hours driving mostly south to tonight’s hot springs. The skies have cleared and it is sunny and about 60 °. There is little traffic as we cruise through wide open Montana fields. The distant mountains are still topped with snow. We speed by a field filled with Buffalo, but there is no where to pull over for a picture. A 5 mile stretch near Wisdom has hillsides with only burnt trees from old forest fires. Hundreds of little 3 ft. high trees are filling the hills beneath. Fire danger today is only moderate. I’m sure the rains are good in this regard.

Wisdom Montana

We go over two 7000’ passes on our way to Polaris. Even though we are on two lane winding roads, the speed limit is mostly 70 MPH.

Cows! Cows! Cows! Everywhere. Makes you wonder how they feed them all in the winter.

Fields of cows in Montana

I’m cursing Sprint again for the inability to use maps. The car’s navigation system is working. Thank you, Mercedes! And, Bub has his paper maps. Nice to have back up.

We still have a hard time finding Elkhorn Hot Springs. A little north of Polaris, we finally see some signage until 3 miles out. We arrive around 6:30. It is raining lightly.

The Hot Springs consist of two pools that are both in need of a paint job. It’s so cold and I am tired from driving and thinking wine sounds better than getting wet outside!

My sommelier and QED wine

We have reserved a cabin because I thought it would be better than the lodge rooms with shared bathrooms. When we get to our cabin, we discover a couple of beds, a table with chairs, a lounge chair a refrigerator and wood stove. It has gotten cold (about 45°) partly because of the elevation and partly because the sunny skies have turned cloudy again. 

Cabin at Elkhorn Hot Springs, MT

So, what is lacking?

Well….there is no bathroom or thermostat. There are outhouses strategically placed among each 3-4 cabins. I hadn’t been prepared for this, but it is certainly an adventure!

Outhouse at Elkhorn Hot Springs MT

We light a fire in the stove and, after about an hour, the cabin gets toasty. 

Wood Stove in our cabin at Elkhorn Hot Springs, MT

Picnic time again. Good thing we are well provisioned! Cheese, oysters, salami, wine and crackers. I have the rest of my steak salad from lunch.
We have shelter and hot springs and love!
All is well.

Bub Relaxing in cabin at Elkhorn Hot Springs, MT

3 thoughts on “Road Trip Day 14: Kalispell, MT to Elkhorn Hot Springs

  1. All that time living on the bus, in the tipi, and at the ranch was all good preface for the surprise of the outhouse. If I know you, it was a shrug of the shoulders and on you went… I love the blogs, thanks for sharing all these adventures!!!

    1. You are so right, but, these days, I really do prefer indoor plumbing! Camping is no room service after midnight, I think the spoiled girl saying goes! Glad you are enjoying!

  2. Yvonne was so happy to see you guys, glad you enjoyed it! Amazing how soft we’ve all gotten over the years. My idea of roughing it has always been a hotel without maid service. I would have had a much tougher time doing an outhouse!

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