Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Glacier National Park, Aug 12,13

We decided to leave the RV in Great Falls, and Jeep our way 150 miles north to Glacier. We figured we would find a motel, spend the night, and head back the next day. Buddy has two days left before he flies back to Pittsburgh, out of Great Falls, and he wanted to see Glacier, so I parked the bike, and will proceed with my adventure from Great Falls at a later date. We jumped onto I-15 and headed north, got off on Montana 44, to US 89, and we were there in three hours. We rode through Blackfeet Indian country, and the town of Browning, near Glaciers east entrance, was the seat of Blackfeet Nation. We lunched at Subway there, and were interested in the town, where the only non Indians were tourists. We noticed especially the wild dogs roaming the town. We saw a dozen, just wandering the streets like they owned the place. They seemed to be friendly and comfortable around people, but everyone just ignored them.

Heading up to Glacier Park, we traveled through the Blackfeet Nation

The warriors in the back were totally made from metal scraps!

Four flags flown - US, Canada, Montana and Blackfeet Nation

 As we rode nearer to the park, we saw a grizzly bear near the guard rail of the highway, but it disappeared pretty quickly. That was nothing compared to the black bear that walked right out onto the road once we were into the park. (See the pictures and video).

 Once we got into the park, there was a ton of road construction going on, and it caused some delays, and a lot of the pull outs were closed. Walls were being rebuilt, and lanes were being paved on each end of the park. The main road through the park, called the Going to the Sun Road, is basically the only road, with most of the park only being accessible by trail. There is plenty to see however, with beautiful lakes, and a hundred  waterfalls, alongside the road, and visible way up in the mountains. Snow and glaciers were everywhere, and even in eighty degree temperatures, there were places where you could get out go your car and touch snow. The elevation of the park is not so high ((road from 3000-6600. Ft), peaks up to 9000 ft. , but we are very near Canada. There is a sister park that is actually just a continuation of Glacier, only in Canada. You can actually hike or boat across the border, but it is so remote that it is not even monitored.  Buddy, Pam and I toured the sights near the Going to the Sun Road, hiking to waterfalls, visiting the visitor centers, walking out on observatory area, and pulling out on the pullouts for pictures. We drove from the east end of the park to the west end, about 50 miles, and were lucky to find a  room near the west entrance.

It rained pretty good overnight, so we got a late, cold, damp start, to our planned eight mile hike. By the time we sat in construction traffic for over a hour, Buddy and I set out on our trail at about 12:30. Pam chose not to do such a strenuous, long hike,(I'm having pain in my lower back and sciatic nerve) so she entertained herself while we were gone. Well, it wasn't long before Bud and I changed plans, and took a different route that ended up to be almost twelve miles. We were happy we did change our loop hike to a point to point hike, but it took longer of course, and that put us later getting out of the park to go home. The hike climbed over 3000 ft and exposed indescribable scenery. We hiked to three chalets on a peak that was only accessible by hiking or horseback. There was no food or potable water and if you hiked the four miles uphill to stay at the chalet, it 'only ' cost $94 bucks a night, and you had to pack out your own trash. But it was beautiful!! We went from there, and traversed several mountains through plush forest, as well as rocky cliff sides. We saw one grizzly, but it was from quite a distance. My favorite thing, if I could pick only one, was the multitudes of flowers that were in bloom in ten different colors, the different colored rocks that were cast in huge boulder fields, the waterfalls we had to walk through or around, the yellow bellied marmots that were everywhere, the bear poop I had to step around, the proximity to snow and glaciers, even though I had my shirt off because of the heat sometimes, the huge snowcaps, blue skies and rugged rock formations all around us, the enthusiasm and friendliness of he few people that we saw, being with Buddy in such a place.....that's more than one thing, isn't it?
We got into the jeep, and headed out of the park about six o'clock, the same time as everyone else....and sat in construction traffic for another hour. On the way home, when we finally got rolling, we had a hell of a lightning show before the heavy rains and hail hit us and slowed us down even more. We got home at midnight, and Buddy still had to pack. Flight at 7:00am tomorrow.

All I can say is enjoy the scenery from Glacier National Park

Chalet that you have to hike to if you want to spend the night.

Grizzly bear (from a distance)
Cropped the shot

Mike took a picture of bear scat!  Really Mike???

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