Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glacier National Park

We left the motorhome at Gary and Patsy's house and drove our car up to the west entrance of Glacier National Park. We stayed at the Evergreen Motel for the night. We had a small cabin that was old but clean nestled among the tall pines on Rt. 2 in the town of Corum. There was a separate kitchen/living room, bath and bedroom. Really a good choice for a pleasant place to stay.

On Wednesday the 3rd, we had booked one of the Red Bus Tours from the park base to Logan's Pass. We all gathered at the bus at 9:30 am by Lake McDonald and headed out for our journey. Peg took this picture of a huge piece of driftwood on the beach at the lake. You can see the ominous clouds shrouding the mountains in the background.

Little did I know this trip we were taking was actually following the Going To The Sun road (named after a mountain in the park) along the edge of the mountain sides and ending up on Logan's Pass several miles up!! Not fond of heights or drop offs, I got a bit freaked out as we ascended the side of the mountain on a road that was barely wide enough for one vehicle, let alone two way traffic. Add to this the fact that they were working on the road part way up and it became a narrow one lane road with a severe drop off and you can see my concern!!!!

We stopped at a pull off about half way up and, I must admit, the views were spectacular. Check out some of these photos we took. We saw Heavens Peak, Bird Woman Falls and drove right by Haystack Falls. There were flowers blooming even at those high altitudes. As you can also see, there was snow on the mountains. Mt. Reynold's was snow covered as was several of the mountains on the top of Logan's Pass. There are still 25 active volcanoes in the park. The view of the valley was great and all the falls had more water than normal for this time of the year.

The interesting thing about the Red Bus Tour is that the bus has a canvas roof which can be removed. On the way back down the treacherous slope, we had the top off so you can have a panoramic view of the mountains and their peaks. I was less intimidated on the descent for some reason. Maybe, with the roof, off I could look up instead of down! The ridge we were driving on is called an arr├ętte, a ledge caused by a glacier. At one point, we saw a couple of goats perched on a ledge above the road we were on. To see them you will have to double click on the picture to enlarge it. They are circled in red.

It was worth the trip up the pass to the top for the scenery. I survived the journey!! On the way back down, we stopped on the side of the road to look at the Flathead River as it made its way down the mountain. The water was so clear and majestic with a blue cast to it as it cascaded over the rocks in the riverbed. It was a nice ending to the tour. We headed for a local cafe and ate lunch and warmed ourselves up!

Later that day, we took a side-trip to the Hungry Horse Dam which was very close to Glacier. We discovered a small lake on the way back and the water was so still we could get this picture of the reflections of the trees in the lake. After we pondered the moment, we headed back to Clinton and Gary and Patsy's house.