My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Two Medicine is Good Medicine

The first time I visited Glacier National Park, I visited Many Glaciers, a little of St. Mary, Going-to-the-Sun Highway, and  Bowman and Kintla Lakes. The main area I missed seeing at all was Two Medicine, even though I had gotten glimpses of some of its mountains.

This time, I was sure I wanted to visit Two Medicine.  I toyed with the idea of driving on up into Canada but decided I wanted more hammock time and less car time. I left home around 5:30 A.M. which made it possible for me to get to Two Medicine around 9:00 A.M., just in time to get one of the few open campsites. (Campers start leaving about 6:30 and start filling back up soon after 7:00 A.M.) If you are coming from a long ways off, plan to camp in a nearby National Forest campground, and then rush in the following morning. (I checked the huge campsite at Agpar this morning around 8:00 A.M.,  and found only 3 campsites in four loops. One or two more families were packing up.)

Two Medicine was all I thought it would be. I took one of most of the most beautiful hikes I've ever taken while there.  But that will be a subject of another post.

On my first day, I got a neat little campsite that  was very private and only had campers on one side. And they were gone all day and into the late evening, so I barely saw them.  I was able to hang out in my hammock after setting up camp and wandering around the camping and day use area in the morning. I waited until late afternoon to go on a short, (4 mile) hike up to Aster Park Viewpoint.

Here are a few pictures from that day.  I waited until the following morning, just before the sun came over the horizon to take the pictures of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Sinopah Mountain glowing in first sunlight

Morning Coffee on the best seat in the house - view of Rising Wolf Mountain

I loved these striations at the top of one of the mountains

This mountain showed gauges from ancient glaciers

Trail to Astor Park Viewpoint

Asters - there were still lots of flowers blooming

One of several beaver ponds - good moose habitat but no moose
Aster Creek from under the bridge

Aster Creek Falls

Beautiful rocky ground at Aster Park Viewpoint

View from Aster Park Viewpoint

I had several pretty intense days of work before I left, including a full nine hours of working with two MCC groups.  We had an awesome day, with the kids getting to see both sexes of big horned sheep, having a pronghorn antelope follow them up to High Point, seeing a bear, in addition to having the bison close to their camp, so they could really enjoy the antics of the bull in the rut.

Our big excitement on Wednesday happened when one of the MCC kids managed to get bear spray on his hands, then his eyes, while riding in a van.  We were about 45 minutes or more from the bunkhouse. We put him on the ground and poured most of our water, including a few quarts I had for the bees,  on him, fighting him to get him to open his eyes.  Then we put a wet bandana over his eyes and rushed to the bunkhouse where he took a full shower. He was already improving when he arrived at the bunkhouse and was fine after a shower and having his shirt dried.

MCC kids off to hunt bees. Bighorns were lagniappe.
So I did need this good medicine and I feel much better now, albeit a little guilty because I calculated that today was Sunday and I was supposed to have worked.  Fortunately, all three of us work on Sundays and that is one too many.  I've already worked for Kyle so I just have to make it up to Will. And also fortunately, I didn't realize this until I'd had a pleasant morning hunting and finding harlequin ducks, checking out fishing spots, and looking for National Forest campgrounds near Glacier so Bob and I can go up at night and then have most of the first day to play. In fact, I was trying to match my folders of pictures with the number of days I was supposed to have been in Glacier, when I realized I must have been there four days instead of three. But everyone knows I'm blonde and senile so I'll probably be forgiven.