Sunday, August 8, 2010

Glacier National Park

We left for Glacier National Park on July 31st.  Mike, Harley and I spent the night in Butte and then met up with my sister, Karin, her daughter, Samantha, and Chelsea in St. Mary, MT.  Chelsea was at camp at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, near Kalispell.  Karin and Sam picked her up on the 30th, saving us a trip over to that side of the state.

We stayed at the KOA in a Kamping Lodge.  We had no idea what it was going to be and imagine our surprise when this is what we drove up to:

It is a single-wide trailer, with 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, 2 baths, a living room and laundry room.  As you can see, we were roughing it!

We met up with our friends, Bob and Carol, from here in Utah, and headed out for our first hike.  It was a 12 miler to Cracker Lake.  We had wanted to go to Iceberg Lake but it was closed due to bear sightings.  We weren't on our trail for more than a few minutes when we encountered a bear.  It all happened so fast that no one got a photo, but it seemed as shocked to see us as we were to see it and it left quickly. We were on a Ranger led hike so I think we felt more safe than if we'd been on our own.  We got a little farther up the trail and found this:
It was 3 horses that had gotten away from their riders.  We took them up the trail with us and caught up with the riders who had been bucked off when the horses were spooked.  A couple miles into it I tripped on a tree root and hurt my knee, left arm and shoulder.  It hurt really bad but there was no way I was going to stop and turn back.  As we approached Cracker Lake we saw this up a ways:

This mountain goat had a pretty ugly coat. It looked like it was still shedding it's winter coat, just in time to grow a new one.

 Here we are at the lake: Bob, Carol, Karin, Sam, Chelsea, Harley, Mike and me.  It was so beautiful there and the photo doesn't do it justice.  On the way back we saw this:
 A momma moose.  It was so beautiful and so big.  We all took off though when it started coming towards us!

With about 2 miles left on the trail, we ran into pouring down rain.  We did have some rain gear but it was terrible, especially because that part of the trail was used by horses as well.  So it was not only muddy, but had lots of horse poop as well.  In the end Harley gave up trying to avoid the mess and just walked down the middle of the path.  It didn't matter anyway because there was no way to totally avoid it and it was probably safer just to give in.

On Tuesday it was cloudy and cold.  We went up to Logan Pass on the bus and pretty much decided to bag our hike to Avalanche Lake.  It was so cold and windy up there that we decided to catch the first bus that showed up, regardless of where it was going.   It turned out to be one going to Avalanche Lake so we hopped on, thinking we'd catch another bus from there.  When we got off there it was much nicer that at Logan Pass so we decided to go on our hike after all.  What a good decision because the hike was nice, about 4 miles round trip and the lake was nice.  We didn't have any rain at all that day.

Here we all are at Avalanche Lake: Mike, me, Carol, Bob, Chelsea, Sam, Harley and Karin.

 Chelsea in one of her 'sploring photos.

Chelsea and Sam just chillin'.

On Wednesday Bob and Carol headed to Canada and the rest of us went on a whitewater rafting trip. Here we are after we were done:

Sam, Chelsea, Mike, Karin, Harley and me.  It was a pretty mild ride because it was late in the season, but we all had a great time.  On the way back we stopped near some snow and got this picture of the girls:
Yes, they are a little strange!  Sam, Chelsea and Harley

On Thursday we decided to go on a hike near Two Medicine Lake.  It ended up being a boring, very short hike, so we went down to the lake and took a boat ride, then ate lunch and headed out to hike to St. Mary and Virgina Falls.  It was about 3 miles round trip and was so beautiful.

On Thursday all of us went into "town" and got double scoops of ice cream as a reward for all of our hard work this past week.  It was well deserved!

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