Sunday, September 27, 2015

Montana Part 4

I thought I would include a photo of the fireplace at Many Glacier since I talked about it last post.  Cozy!

This day started early because I was under the impression that we were scheduled for a boat ride this morning.  So up we get and have a quick breakfast and get down to the boat dock to pick up our tickets for the 9:00 am trip.  Imagine my surprise and Cheryl and Mare's dismay when we are told our tickets are for tomorrow.  Opps.

So we decide to take a hike and this is what you see at the start of every trailhead:

OK, if this does not make you think twice...

We did not have bear spray, we had our bear bells and made lots of noise.  And there were lots of other people on the trail that did have bear spray, so I felt, I really will only have to outrun one person, so off we went.

The air was clean and sweet.  It was warm, well for northern Montana in September and I was happy I had a hat on.  

It was a beautiful morning even if we were not doing what I thought we would be doing.

We took another hike that afternoon, part way around the lake.

This was the only wildlife we saw, we whipped out our bunny spray but he did not seem very aggresive so we walked slowly by and made it back ok.

The next morning, we get up to actually take the boat/hike/boat/hike thing I thought we were doing the day before, exept this time we were actually at the right place at the right time.

We started on a boat right in front of the hotel on the Swiftcurrent Lake.  We took the trip that had a guide to give you a little history and tells you how the mountains and park was created.  Glaciers.  Plates moving.  We found out that Glacier is not named Glacier because there are so many glaciers, it is named Glacier because glaciers created it.  Glaciers moving slowly over a long time creating valley's and lakes and waterfalls and just beauty wherever you look.

So the three of us hop on the boat and head off across Swiftcurrent lake.

At the end of the lake you get off the boat and take a short but very steep hike to the next boat on the next lake, Josephine. 

It was another beautiful day.  We got off the first boat and Cheryl I and continued on for the hike, next boat, hike.  Mare took the boat back to wait for our return or to send help if necessary.

We got off the boat at the far end of Lake Josephine and hiked to Grinnell Lake, about a mile and half thru the forest.  The trail was well marked, there were quite a few of us doing this hike along with our cute little guide, Julie.  She was a nursing student who worked at the park during the summer.  This was her second and perhaps last summer, since her nursing program now became a 16 month program with no breaks.  She was hoping to find her way back to Montana once she became a nurse.

So anyway, our hike.

We made it to the Grinnell Lake. You can see Grinnell Falls in the background.  There are lots of things named Grinnell here in Glacier.  The joke is that if you don't know its name, just call it Grinnell and chances are you may be right.  All named for George Grinnell, an early Amercian conservationist who is one of the reasons Glacier is a national park.  Thanks George.

We ate our lunch here and then hiked back to the boat, hiked over the hill, got on the next boat and returned to Many Glacier.  Oh and I forgot to mention the suspension bridge.  It is funny the look on peoples faces when those words are uttered.  I'll just say that compared to the Carrick-a-Rede suspension bridge in Ireland, this one was a piece of cake.

Mare was happy to find out that she did not need to make calls to our families that we had be lost to bears.

It was on this hike that we were told that the estimates today are that there will be no more glaciers in Glacier by 2020 - 2030.  What will happen when the glacier's are gone?  Well, the experts don't know. Will there be enough snow every year to have waterfalls?  All the lakes are glacier lakes, will they dry up?  What about the animals?  What have we done to this planet?

On our last night at Many Glacier I reflected on how incredible it all is, how the people that made this all happen (no matter what their own goals) deserve to be thanked for saving all this for the future.  How what we have seen over the last few days has been magnificent and no matter how many words I put in this blog, there are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe the beauty of this place.

One other thing, Many Glacier offered a cheese from the Poor Orphan Creamery in Montana.  If you ever see ANY cheese by this small goat cheese maker, grab it.  You will not want to share it with your loved ones, but be nice and give them a taste.  Yummy!

No comments: