Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Glacier Park Adventures: Travels with Julie

When Tracy was making plans to come to Glacier, way back in the early spring, before I migrated to Montana, she asked me if I would be willing to get them campsites.  I told her I would, then told my boss that I would have to leave by September 10 since I was booked after that.

When Julie joined the group, I told her I only had the one obligation - to make SURE everyone had a camp site.  So I hauled her out of bed after she had be traveling - or mostly waiting in various airports - for 21 hours and we quickly broke camp and headed across the Going-to-the-Sun Highway to its terminus at St. Mary and then continued up to Many Glacier.
Map showing Glacier National Park including Going-to-the-Sun Road, and all the campsites I write about. Apgar  Campground is on the west end of Lake McDonald


Julie's not a birder but she knows I am and thought this sign should represent me


Almost to Logan Pass

Julie on an old snow pile at Logan Pass

View Somewhere along St. Mary's Lake

We stopped as little as possible – but it is IMPOSSIBLE to not stop along this highway – and finally got to Many Glacier about 10:30A.M. Most of the sites were already taken, but we threw down a piece of camping gear at every empty site we found. We picked one that was really nice for ourselves and started to set up. THEN we noticed, that while there was no gear in the site, it had a reserved sign on the post. So we continued to look for sites and finally found four that were close together.

We had to fill out envelopes and pay for all the sites, then go back and try to retrieve all our gear. After one false start, when Julie collected someone else's gear, we got all our gear back and set up our own camp site. I had (amazingly enough) had a thought about how our friends would find their sites without us having to hang around and wait on them. While I had phone service, I called Tracy to tell her that I would tie the chairs to trees or something on their sites.


Black bear on mountain near Many Glaciers


Wild horse on route to Two Medicine - part of a heard

That meant Julie and I were free to go play until supper time, about seven. I really love Two Medicine so we decided she should also get a taste of that area. We grabbed a light lunch and took off. We got to Two Medicine to find that the winds were getting stronger, and the temperatures were falling. So, although, I had planned to let Julie paddle my canoe in the lake,  we did only a short hike and a drive around the camping area, then another stop for a short hike to a dramatic falls.  

View Across Two Medicine Lake from North Trail



Julie enjoying the lake waves
Julie hiking back from Two Medicine Lake

Running Eagle Falls - named for the only female Blackfoot warrior - click link for the rest of the story

Julie and I also spent an hour or so at the Many Glacier Hotel  which overlooks Swiftwater Lake, watching the mostly non sunset.


Julie on the deck of Many Glaciers Hotel

 Julie and I had one other small adventure on the way to take her back to catch her plane. We stopped at Logan Pass and did the short hike to the Hidden Lake Overlook.  This is usually an easy hike on mostly boardwalks, but the area had gotten a snow storm a day or two before and the walk was slippery.  Julie made it all the way to the overlook, but I missed getting there by about a quarter of a mile.  The day was cloudy so the snow covered mountains were outstanding.



Julie walking fast to make it to Hidden Lake and back in time to catch her plane

In a little snow field. We walked beside the boardwalk on the way back until we got to where it had more melted spots

I'm so glad to have another totally kindred spirit in Julie. We'll be doing more things together in the future.

On a personal note, I've made it back to Red Rock Lakes and will soon wash my clothes, take a shower, and fall into bed. Tomorrow I'll pack up my clean clothes and more food and head off to Yellowstone to meet another friend.  I'll try to get a few more blogs ready to post before I go but may not have Internet access for most of the time I'm there. Then I'll be back here to pack to leave around September 30 and head for visits in Texas and Louisiana on the way to my new assignment in North Carolina.  Posts will be spotty until I get resettled.