Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Glacier National Park, Part I

There was no hesitation for me when Bradleigh told her mom, "I have six days off and I know I'm welcome to go with you to Priest Lake, but what I'd rather go to Glacier National Park."  "I'll go with you," I said.  "And, if you do all that time consuming searching for a place to sleep, I'll even pay for it."  She began looking at campgrounds, sleeping in tents, then RV's parked in a campground, rooms with waterbeds, Yurts, and even hammock camping.  I finally had to remind her that I totally preferred a real bed and running water.  We giggled through our search for an AirBnb at the last minute, but actually did find a few rooms with two beds, so that cemented the deal for us.  Bradleigh works crazy hours at a local hospital, 12 hour shifts, six days in a row, so we began our trip the day after her last shift ended at 3AM so she could try to get acclimated to sleeping at night instead of during the day.  We decided to drive to Sandpoint for our first night's stay and I found a reasonable AirBnb with two beds not far from Lake Pend'Orielle.
Bradleigh got a little nervous as she drove up and down a gravel road to this home, our first AirBnb stop outside of Sandpoint.  We called it "sketchy" but actually the beds were soooo comfortable, which made up for the fact that we had to travel through the family living room to get to our bathroom.

I felt less anxious reading the host's signs scattered throughout the house.

 We enjoyed a nice dinner and lovely walk, admiring the sunset and flowers, and then had huckleberry ice cream for dessert.

Our next AirBnb reservation was in a lodge in an old RV park near West Glacier, just six miles from the park.  I called it the Catholic room because it used to be Catherine, the owner's, bedroom.  It appears she choose not to redecorate it after she moved downstairs.

We began our adventure in the park by renting kayaks and paddling around Lake McDonald before dinner.  The fires at Sperry Creek hazed our view of the mountains, but not our spirits!

Day One we took the advice of everyone who has ever been to Glacier and hiked to Avalanche Lake.  Lovely, easy, 5 mile hike along Avalanche Creek.  The footbridge crosses the creek near the Trail of the Cedars, a handicapped accessible hike.  The Sperry Creek Fire inhibited our views of Bearhat Mountain and Little Matterhorn, but we took victory pictures nevertheless.

This little creature had no fear as we rested on a bench.  He actually climbed up Bradleigh's back looking for peanuts or other crumbs.  
 We finished our first hike before noon so Bradleigh decided she could drive up to Logan's Pass on the Rising to the Sun highway.
 The views were stunning and we stopped whenever we could pull over to get out of the car.  The big problem on the road and at Logan's Pass is limited parking.  We could find to place to park in the parking lot so we headed back down the hill.   When we found a spot just a half mile from the center I begged Bradleigh to walk up, behind another gentleman, on the narrow road to the visitor's center.   She reluctantly did it and she bought a T-Shirt and I visited with a park ranger about the hike to Hidden Lake, just 1.5 miles from the visitor's center.

The boardwalk trail involved a lot of "knee-ups" but the wildflowers and views were so worth it.  

I took this picture of a family carrying their snow ski's - the father said to me, "where's there is snow, we will go."

The view from the Hidden Lake overlook actually took our breath away.  Much less smoke in this area.

We had a great time today, even if we were a bit indecisive about how to spend our afternoon.   In the end, sometimes the spur of the moment decisions are the best!

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