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Entries about glacier national park

Running Around Glacier National Park

Trying to pack it all in.

sunny 75 °F

Our night started out with a bang, lots of banging. It was about 11:30pm, I was posting photos of our trip on Facebook. It 1st sounded like someone was trying to break into the RV then a banging on the truck. I turned on the light above the door and looked out the side window. There was a huge bear in the bed of our truck hitting on the tool box then he/she tried to move the ice chest.IMG_201507..2454196_HDR.jpgIMG_20150718_154846277.jpgIMG_201507..5612700_HDR.jpgIMG_20150718_094512715.jpg

I yelled for Dale, why, I have no idea. He woke up and came down without his glasses. By that time, Twinkle came by me and started growling. Some protector she is. The bear quickly left. A neighbor camper came out of his RV with his flashlight. I was thinking “there is a huge bear out here, not some noisy neighbor”.

In the morning we found bear prints on the sides of the truck and hood, slobber and dirt on the truck where he/she’d looked in the windows, scratches on the hood and windshield, a door and on the RV.

The morning was bright and sunny, such a welcome change from the days of rain. We were so glad to be able to hike and picnic without the fear of rain.

We started our morning with breakfast at the Many Glacier Hotel. The hotel has been partly refurbished back to its 1920’s glory. More changes have yet to be made. The lobby reminded us of the hotel in Yellowstone, however. the Yellowstone hotel is a little grander, as we remember it anyway.

After breakfast we found a trail off of the path to our truck and took it a ways back, Zaya skipping and running in front while I brought up the rear while shooting photos. We lost the trail in the forested area and returned back to our truck.

We picked up Twinkle and went back to St Mary’s Visitor Center so Zaya could get her special patch and her Jr. Ranger badge. We then started on Going to the Sun, looking for the perfect hiking spot.
Zaya didn’t want to do a hike to the St Mary waterfalls so we drove looking for a place with an inviting trail. We found one that followed a stream. We found a picnic spot along the stream and unpacked our lunch. We’d brought wine but then just wanted water; don’t know what was wrong with us! We were mostly alone except for the occasional hiker walking by.

Winds were picking up and one particularly high gust blew over my tripod with the camera right onto a rock. Unfortunately, I lost my polarizing lens, it completely shattered, but it seems that the rest of the heavy duty camera survived. That has yet to be determined, but it appears to be ok.

With food in our belly and a beaten up camera, we started up the trail right up the hill. We stopped to read a large sign that told us we were in Grizzly Country. A little wake-up. But we had no worries as Zaya talked and sang nearly the entire hike. We didn’t walk all the way up to the top, but we got in a good walk on a beautiful afternoon.

We drove back to our campsite just a little sad that we had to leave but looking forward to the next leg.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:22 Archived in USA Tagged nature hiking travel picnic bears outdoors grandkids glacier_national_park many_glacier Comments (0)

Glacier; The Road to Apgar

Going to the Sun, except it was raining

rain 50 °F

IMG_20150717_151351654.jpgIMG_20150717_145056161.jpgIMG_20150717_134233498.jpgGlacier National Park is a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time now. Unfortunately, because of our truck break down, we had days cut off of our visit. Fortunately, we can drive there again, it isn’t the end of the world.

We arrived in Glacier late afternoon and stopped immediately at the St Mary’s Visitor’s Center. This visitor center is on the North East entrance. We picked up Jr. Ranger books to complete. We were told to return to that visitor center for the swearing in between 12:30-2 in order to receive a special patch only given at that center.

There is road work going on in the park and we were told that we could not pull the RV thru the entire park. We could only drive into Rising Sun then turn around. That was better than nothing and we did want to see the park right away.

After driving the 7 miles and back, we thought we’d drop the RV. We found that both nearby campgrounds were packed full, but each told us about a campground 7 miles away, Chewing Blackbones. We went to the Chewing Blackbones, located on Blackfeet land. We found that we were one of only a few campers, but the campground was clean and very secure, not to mention reasonable; $50 for full hookups.

After a night of rain, the skies cleared a bit for a beautiful sunrise. The plan was to take a picnic lunch with us, maybe do a little hiking but drive the entire Going to the Sun road. We saw that Apgar, on the SW corner, had a Visitors Center where there were pelts, skulls, and other things on display to touch. Also, there were kids’ ranger programs which Zaya needed to complete her Jr. Ranger.

The Road to the Sun is amazing with beautiful mountain peaks, wildflowers, lakes, glaciers, weeping wall, lots of waterfalls and a few wild animals. We stopped and saw a bear on the hill, then stopped for the circus on the top at the top at Logan Pass. The Pass has a visitor center but it was freezing cold, raining and jam packed, so packed that we could not even walk thru. I told Zaya, “let’s get out of here”. We used the restroom and moved on down the road.

The road down to Apgar is steep and narrow, so narrow that we were nervous. There is a complete drop off, down to the river way, way down on one side, and a jagged rock wall on the inside. Perfect road for the Ferrari or Jag but for the big honking truck; well we had to watch it.

We reached Lake McDonald and a picnic area close to Apgar. It wasn’t raining just a few sprinkles off and on. We had a fun picnic and shot photos of the lake. We could see the storm moving in.

Apgar is another stop in the park. The Visitor Center is about ¼ mile away from the Apgar Village. The Village has a Nature Center which is what we were interested in, run by the National Park Service.

We arrived at the Nature Center in time for a ranger talk, this time about Watersheds. Zaya made a watershed by crumbling a piece of paper then folding it up. She unfolded the paper and put it on a clipboard, taping down the sides but leaving the center high like a topo map. With a highlight pen, she colored the peaks then the ranger sprayed water on top. Where the water ran the colors showed the watersheds.

Inside the nature center, various animal skins are on display for touching. Bird eggs can be held, skulls and horns compared. They range from bears to coyotes, fox, bighorn sheep and elk. Zaya loved walking the elk hoof across the floor. She also tried on the head of the bear for size and then compared her little hand to the huge grizzly bear paw.

When the center was closing we enjoyed a bowl of Huckleberry Ice Cream. We tasted the berries that the bears were eating. A little like a blueberry but different.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:26 Archived in USA Tagged nature travel driving rv grandkids glacier_national_park agpar lake_mcdonald Comments (0)

Summer 2015 is Vacation Time

Planning another trip

Work has been all-consuming for so many months. But that will mostly be behind us now, at least very soon. I’ll try to write about working in Boston, saying goodbye to a friend one last time, and other stories. Maybe they will come out now. Sometimes it is too difficult to write in the middle of the experience.
For now Dale and I have been home for about 1-1/2 weeks. Dale has been working on getting the truck ready and now the RV ready for the long journey we are about to leave on. I’ve been working, what else do I do?

The plan is that we will pack up our 7-year old granddaughter, dog, chinchilla, us and leave Monday a.m. not to return until Aug 3rd and then only for a couple of days.

We will go north, where we thought it would be cooler but now hear that a heat wave will be sitting on the west coast. Oh well, at least we will be on vacation.

The plan is to head to wine country to pick up shipments of wine from various wine clubs, camp in Bend OR with family, Mt. St. Helens, Seattle, Vancouver, Banff, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Glacier National Park, hiking with grandkids and son(s) in the Sequoias, Petaluma for the fundraiser horse show then home for 2 days.

I’ve got the schedule into a spreadsheet but need to start planning food and maybe even campsites would be good to plan.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:48 Archived in USA Tagged banff camping rv family_travel glacier_national_park grandkids_travel bend_or Comments (0)

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