Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Days at the Izaak Walton Inn

The Izaak Walton Inn is a flag stop along Amtrak's Empire Builder route, meaning the train will roll past if no one on board is staying there.  Ever since I read about this place, I have wanted to check it out.  Turns out, this little escapade was one of the most enjoyable trips we have ever taken.  My travel buddy now wants to make it an annual event.

The inn was named after Izaak Walton, the 17th century English author of The Complete Angler.  There is a copy of this classic fishing guide in the hotel lobby, but I never did pick it up.  I came here to ski, to watch the trains and to eat fabulous meals in the dining room (which reviewers have raved about and rightly so).

We started our days with a big breakfast:  The classic bacon and eggs or French toast Bananas Foster or yogurt parfaits.  Then we'd ski or snowshoe all morning and then have tall cold beers by the crackling fire in the lobby, skipping lunch so we'd be super hungry for dinner.  Then we'd nap and go out for another run.

Dinners were indeed a highlight.  One night we had juicy, tender filet mignons; another, a grilled portobello mushroom stuffed with butternut squash and risotto.

Oh, and the huckleberry cobbler is out of this world!

Although the architecture is Tudor-style, the interior is warm and rustic.  The inn was a WPA project intended to house the Great Northern Railroad workers who kept the lines cleared and open during the long snowy winters.  It is filled with railroad memorabilia--old calendars, maps and photographs.  Of course today, it houses vacationers who have made their way here from all over the world.  We met people from Germany, France and Canada as well as several states.

  It is located at the southern end of Glacier National Park and is surrounded by over a million acres of wilderness.  There are no t.v.'s, and no cell phone service.  If you want to get away from it all, the Izaak Walton Inn is the perfect destination.
You don't have to bring gear with you.  There is Nordic ski equipment available to rent on site.  Lessons are also available.  The well-groomed trails are a short walk away from the inn.  They are all mapped and designated either easy, intermediate or difficult so all levels of skiers can have fun.

We meant to sign up for a winter ski tour of Glacier National Park, but got into such an enjoyable routine that we felt no real need to do so.

Maybe next year.

When we return. 

And return, we will!

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