"" Writer's Wanderings: Road Trip 2015 - Many Glacier, GNP

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Road Trip 2015 - Many Glacier, GNP

Our next foray into Glacier National Park took us up to the Many Glacier area. We saw a sign for the Apikuni Falls and stopped for a morning walk. The walk was more than we'd bargained for. No where on the sign marking the trail did it say what the climb was. Later, when we found some literature on hiking trails, we discovered that it was a 700 foot rise meaning that the end of the trail at the falls was 700 feet higher than the beginning. Add to that the fact that we were already at a higher altitude with the mountains, it was a real lung burner.

Halfway up the trail we stopped and reconsidered. Nope. We'd made it that far we were going to see it through. We let the youngsters and the hearty hikers pass us by and we took it slowly, stopping often to just look around and make noise--for the bears.

We were rewarded with a view of the falls near the end of the trail. You had to climb over some wet rocks to get to the base of the falls but we figured we'd gone far enough and had seen enough. The walk down was a breeze and took about a third of the time as the way up.

On the way to the Many Glacier Hotel where we planned to eat lunch we passed a slew of cars parked on the side of the road, people standing around them with cameras and binoculars poised. We pulled over as a park ranger signaled us to a free spot. Bob rolled down his window and asked what was up. The ranger pointed to the hillside and said there were several bears there. We should get out and take a look. We did and watched for a while as a black grizzly and a brown mama with two cubs foraged for snacks along the hillside. They were quite a ways up and I wished for a better long distance lens but blowing the picture up at least gives a good idea of what we saw.

After enjoying a delicious lunch at the hotel, we found the trail the ranger by the bears had told us about where we might see moose. We took a short hike, thankfully level, to a small shallow lake and sat with a dozen other people who were waiting to see if the moose would appear. Apparently the female had been along the opposite shore in the morning and the male usually made an afternoon appearance.

A couple of well placed roots provided a nice spot to sit and we waited. And we waited. And we waited. About forty-five minutes later we decided the moose was not going to show any time soon and a cup of coffee sounded really good. We got our coffee and drove off to visit the Saint Mary Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center was at the beginning of the Going To The Sun Road that we would travel the next day. It would save a little time if we went through the exhibits there then rather than wait for the morning.

Our drive back again took us through the rush hour cattle traffic and we slowed several times to make sure they didn't decide to cross in front of us.
Some of the glaciers.

In the little town of East Glacier, we had a wonderful dinner topped off by our first taste of huckleberry pie. It's sort of like blueberry but a little sweeter, I think. They make everything out of it--huckleberry vinaigrette, jam, taffy, etc. Wonder if they have to fend off the bears to get enough?

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