This photo is from Sunday afternoon’s hike. I kind of ran out of steam at the end of that day. This ranger led hike ended in the middle of the woods, with the option of returning with the ranger the way we came or pressing on. We pressed on, saw this lake and accompanied a family of five, with three young children from LA.
I finally broke down and bought a can of bear spray ($40). What tipped the balance came last night, when we bumped into our camp hostess at the communal showers. She was carrying a can just to go to the bathroom. They say that when used, the spray is 95% effective, while also when used, a gun is only 50% effective in a bear encounter and with way less ramifications.
It seems doubtful that we’ll get to travel the Going to the Sun Road. The webcams show that the Logan pass parking lot is clear, but it turns out that the real culprit is road work. Due to avalanches they remove all the guard rails, plus there is road repair from said avalanches. Interestingly, in high summer the park service hires sheep dogs to scare away the mountain goats and Big Horn sheep from said parking lots, just to protect the tourists.
We have two more nights here at Glacier. After that we’ll head to Jackson, WY after that we will be working our way home. We are starting to run out of vacation on this trip, but do not fear, we have another trip to the sun planned.
First thing today, we did an early morning ranger guided bird walk and saw this little bird in her lichen camouflaged nest. The ranger told us that she weighs the same as a penny and her eggs are jelly bean size. In the afternoon, we did another ranger guided hike. This one’s focus was on geology.
We are camping about 3K feet lower than at Yellowstone and it is warmer here too. I was worried about the temperature, after experiencing snow, sleet, rain and lows of 25 degrees in Yellowstone. Still at higher elevations it is even colder here. The Going to the Sun road is closed to cars. It’s still snow covered. We drove to the barricade and then walked from there. There is about eight miles of road until the snow pack and we walked about half that. There is a further eight miles of snow until the pass. The further we went, the wetter it got. Lots of people were riding bikes. One guy that I spoke with rode all the way to the snow, where the rain had turned to hail and it was freezing out. We saw the moose, a mother and two calves on the way up and on the way back. They were camped out in the rain across the river. The calves were still nursing. Anne thinks that for next year’s Mother’s Day that I should post pictures of all the nursing mammals that we’ve seen. Other people saw a black bear with two cubs. We met up with a teacher from Wisconsin and walked with her, safety in numbers. She and Anne had a great teacher conversation, while I watched out for bears. Afterwards, we lunched at the Lake McDonald lodge, elk burgers and huckleberry pie. Yum!