17th Oct, 2011

Glacier National Park, MT – Part Two – September 11 – 19, 2011

Glacier National Park’s Going To The Sun Highway has amazing views!

From the valley floor on the West side we drove up…

…past tons of mountains…

…and over Logan’s Pass to reach the East side of the highway.

The valley looked beautiful.

We even spied a few waterfalls as we drove along.

From the highway we saw several of the park’s 30+ glaciers, including Blackfoot and Jackson Glaciers.

There were even a few of these ‘Red Tour’ buses en route. These buses are a nod to the past when Parks offered tours via their own bus service. There are only two parks that still offer this type of tour via the lodges throughout the park – Yellowstone (which has a yellow bus) and Glacier National Park.

We also saw several people eyeing this area.

Jason sneaks a peek through the Ranger’s scope to see what they’re looking at.

Way off in the distance – barely visible to the human eye – is a Grizzly bear! Look at the speck towards the middle of this picture to get a sense of it.

Two items for our Christmas list…a scope and a better camera.

After driving several hours across the mountains to the east side of the mountain ridge we discovered that the last Ranger-led program – a 10 mile hike to Iceberg Lake – was happening early the next morning on that same side. What a dilemma! It would take several hours to drive back to our camp site just to turn around the next day and drive several hours back in the early morning (the hike left at 8 am!). We decided to look for a hotel in the wilds of the park’s east side where towns are few and far between. After all, it’s an adventure right? We finally came across an old fashioned looking store/gas station/restaurant. After chatting with the proprietor he offers up a “rustic” cabin he has on the back 40. We silently look at each other – we don’t have many other choices. The proprietor’s daughter hunts for the keys and gives us driving directions to the cabin.

We were afraid to look as we rounded the corner but before our eyes was an authentic western homestead cabin in the middle of the Montana wilderness! It had an amazing porch to watch the sunrise.

Inside we found a living room/kitchen (where the fridge is the only modern appliance), a few bedrooms, and lots and lots of authentic drafts to help us feel that cold wind. The cost of this rustic experience was a whopping $79!

The next morning on the way to the hike we spotted a mama Moose and her baby.

Along the hike were several trees with marks like this. Those are Grizzly claw marks!

The first lake looked beautiful! The Ranger said many hikers mistake it for Iceburg Lake.

We spotted this big fellow relaxing by the lake shore.

Aha – the real Iceburg Lake! To give some perspective on size…from the lake to the mountain peak is about 3,000 feet.

Look, the lake has an ice floe! This hike was well worth it.

And the views on the way back along the Going To The Sun Highway were amazing!

It was sad to say good-bye to Lake Five, West Glacier and Glacier National Park – but we had to hit the road.

Next up – South Dakota’s Black Hills!

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Helloooo..looking good as usual. I have been too busy with work..don’t know if you received my last message a few minutes ago as I didn’t enter my email info. Anyway I’ll write you a long one soon.

Miss you both, Colleen xxxooo

OMG. How I would love to return to Glacier! A shame you couldn’t spend more time on the East side. ManyGlacier is a delight as is the hike up to (what remains of) Grinnel (sp?) Glacier! Next time!

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