The Snowy Stay at the Inn

If you are seeking a complete “unplug” the Izaak Walton Inn is a very nice choice. You will find it nestled in a beautiful valley in Glacier National Park. Built in the 1930’s, it still holds the character of another time. The rooms are small, paneled with knotty pine from days past. There are bathrooms in the room but if you are looking for a TV, telephone, hair dryer, iron or an internet connection, you will search to no avail. These are not amenities of the Inn and frankly they were not missed.

Quite near the Inn, there are trails for cross country skiing and snow shoeing that are really beautiful. I had never tried snow shoeing but was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed nearly every step. The snow was pristine and the trails well marked but not over travelled. The woods held a silence that almost hummed. I hadn’t heard that kind of silence in years.

After miles of snow stomping, the lobby was warm and comfortably filled with very interesting travelers who were quite open to conversation with strangers. The lobby during our stay was a magnet for gathering with good food and conversation. A trip to the dining room followed where there was a unique menu far grander than a burger and chicken strips.

The only bummer of the trip was the train arrived 12 hours late to pick us up putting us home a day later than expected. No need to be cranky about it though, that is the gamble you take with a train trip through the snow.

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The view from the train station in Essex, Montana

I have had the great luck of slipping away for a few days of winter vacation. This has long been a trip on my list of places to go with most of the things I love included.

Train ride
Beautiful scenery
Great food
Hot tub
Good book
Knitting time
Walking/hiking trails

We boarded the Empire Builder and slipped away to Essex, Montana, the home of the Isaac Walton Inn and beautiful snow shoe and ski trails. After a good sleep in our sleeping car it was time for an early breakfast and watching the sun come up over Glacier National Park.

If you are looking for a very different journey from the sardine can feeling of a plane and don’t have the pressure of timely arrival, Amtrak is a great option. We booked a roomette which has two large seats facing one another which convert to a single bed, a skinny little closet and a bunk bed that pops down. A bathroom was down the hall and generous sized changing rooms with showers are on the main level. We dropped a bag in the luggage storage as we boarded and took the smallest of bags to our room. After many train trips, the packing list is lean but exactly what we need, toothbrush, pajamas, clean shirt, rubber bottomed slippers, travel pillow, iPad, head phones, and knitting project.

The view from the train station in Essex, Montana

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