Day 28 – July 6, 2016
Mileage – 79,429
Hiked – 7.2 miles
Glacier National Park, MT
Consistent with west coast time and the late night on the 4th of July, the crew roused late. Once folks were up though, the promise of huckleberry pancakes and milk shakes at the diner in town got them moving more quickly. Beds were rolled back, items stowed, and the tiny house dumped and filled with fresh water landing us in the diner just before the transition to lunch. Omlettes, eggs, toast, hash browns, sausage, huckleberry pancakes, and milkshakes were downed with little evidence of their existence. Logan spent much of her day there after fanaticizing about her preferred breakfast, lunch and dinner foods; let’s just say there was a lot of bacon and sausage talk to deter the bears on the trail.
We set off, rounding the southern end of the park to get to Two Medicine Lake, along the way getting a clear view of the previously mentioned (yesterday) sedimentary layering. As we progressed on the journey, the rain slowly picked up and the temperatures consistently hovered near or below 50F. By the time we got to the south shore parking lot it was evident that the tips of the peaks would remain in the clouds for some time to come and that rain gear and warm clothes would be necessary. Kitted up we headed out on a journey through forest, across meadows, and over wetlands with a constant hum of chatter. Virtually all of the other hikers peeled off to the shorter trails until we only occasionally passed pairs of people on the trail. Thundering falls at 3.5 miles in were discovered as promised along with a small off shoot that went to the top of the falls; the perfect snacking location.
On the return trip, chatter slowly died down leaving Kevin to start an uncoordinated chorus of current day pop songs and 80’s throwbacks. The girls hiked quickly to escape the embarrassment of running into another hiker who might associate them with him. Spirits stayed high and endured through a short detour to see a second waterfall after which we started a story in the round to keep the banter going. The ‘bear proof’ chatter kept us from seeing much wildlife along the trail; we felt lucky to come upon a heron and beaver in the wetlands.
With 7.2 miles under our belt it was time to eat dinner and though it was tempting to stay in Glacier another day, the socked in mountains helped us decide it was time to move on, starting the trek toward Yellowstone.
As always, the journey is an important component of the adventure, this time brining us upon another look at Montana; open plains punctuated by mountain ranges and dotted with cows, horses and wildlife. We imagined what it must have been like to see the herds of buffalo come across the plains and the predators that existed here in times past. Today we see deer and pronghorn and wonder to what they would fall prey.
Again, the daylight extends well into the night with darkness descending only as we hit the capitol after 10pm. The girls drift off to sleep as we reach into the night trying to claim a little time in Yellowstone tomorrow by pushing further ahead; the final resting place BLM land south of route 90 and within 80 miles of Yellowstone.