Monday, July 26, 2010

Glacier National Park

Pat and I have been planning a trip to Glacier National Park for quite some time now and it has finally come!  Last week we took the 12 hour drive up to the park and had a great time....our only regret - we wish we had planned a longer trip!  

We started the drive on Tuesday evening after Pat finished work.  We drove to Butte, MT to stay the night.  There are good things and bad things about splitting the drive into two days.  The good thing is, it's a nicer trip with shorter drives.  The bad thing is, we miss a whole half day of being in the park the next day and it's expensive to stay in hotels (even the crappy one we stayed in!)

Wednesday morning we got up and started out.  We were pleased at first because the drive was really wind-y (lot's of curves, not wind!) and pretty (seriously, I15 gets quite exciting between Butte and Helena).  Unfortunately, that soon changes to BORING!  We were amazed and a bit disappointed in the Montana landscape.  We finally made it to Glacier at about 2:00 and set up camp....right in time for the rain to come.  So we hung out in the tent, took a nap and when Pat couldn't take the lightning storm anymore, we joined the masses at the visitor's center.  Luckily, the rain only lasted a couple of hours and we were able to go out and see some BEAUTIFUL sites!  It was as Pat refers to it, "The Golden Hour," when the light is perfect for pictures.  To add to it, everything had a mist on it because of the rain.  I'm just going to put the pictures up, with little explanation just so you can see's such a neat place!
Sunrift Gorge
St. Mary Falls - I think this was Pat's favorite hike
Black Bear #1 (This one was caught near our campground)

Lake McDonald Lodge
Avalanche Lake
Pat, Amanda Hoover, Van Hoover - Van and Scott Barnes rode their bikes to Glacier)
Hike to Twin Falls in the Two Medicine area - Katie, Van and Theo Hoover, Amanda, Scott Barnes and Pat
Theo hanging out on the left side of the boat, everyone else checking out bear #3 on the right side of the boat
Grinnell Lake - the blue, blue water is a sign that it's Glacier fed.  When a glacier carves its way, it grinds the rocks up and forms glacer silt.  The glacier silt goes in the water and absorbs all the colors except that torquois blue.
We had to hike through a waterfall on the way to Grinnell Glacier - I made Pat stay in for a while so I could take a picture
Grinnell Glacier - a 12 mile hike but totally worth it, besides hiking at Glacier is a lot easier than hiking in the Wasatch!
The famous Many Glacier Lodge
Trail of the Cedars - the trees here are 600 years old and the soil is only 1 foot deep

We are sooo glad we got to see glacier. 

The historical things we learned - At Many Glacier Lodge they have pictures of Grinnell Glacier from back in the late 1800's and now and the Glacier is a TON smaller.  It was named after George Grinnell who climbed up to it in 1887 and they say that 90% of what he saw is gone now.  In 1850 there were 150 glaciers in the park and today there are only 25.  People joke that they need to get up and see it before the Glaciers are gone but the pictures really prove that the glaciers are retreating.  They've predicted that the glaciers will be gone in 2020, that's in 10 years!

The practical trip planning things we learned - Glacier is just like Norway, it rains, and it rains a lot.  That's why everything is so green!  Take rain gear and don't leave your camp shelter behind because you don't have room for it!  Also - plan for at least 5 days, there is just so much to do.  I'm already planning our next trip so we can do the things we missed out on like hiking to Hidden Lake, the Highline Trail and going up to Canada to see the Prince of Whales Hotel.

We've got tons more pictures in the photo album on the side bar if you want to see all of them.  We're quite proud of them!


Melanie Herway said...

Wow! Gorgeous!!! I love the picture of you on the bridge with the sun beaming behind you. And the incredible blue water. What fun!!!

HooverBirds said...

thanks for taking care of my child while I abandoned him for a bear. and thanks for all the yummy food!

margaret said...

Love your pictures! Reminds me of my trip to Glacier last fall. I love that place!