When in Glacier National Park you HAVE to drive Going to the Sun road between the east and west sides of the park. Unless, of course, its closed. Apparently we are still too early in the season and the road is still being cleared of snow. While our timing was poor for that aspect of the park we showed up on a year of mass bear grass blooms! Bear grass (xerophyllum tenax) is a common wildflower in the park but massive blooms like they are having this summer are said to occur only every 5-10 years!
We headed into the park, grabbed Jr Ranger books for Dacen and Brielle and drove up the part of the road that was open. We had planned to go to the road block and then make our stops on the way back. However, as soon as we saw Lake McDonald we HAD to stop. Plus the overcast weather just made it look super cool in my opinion. We snapped off a bunch of pictures at a few different spots then headed on up to the road block at Avalanche Creek. This is supposed to be an awesome trail, however, it was closed due to bear activity. So we walked the Trail of the Cedars which was really neat. The area felt much different than the mountains of Colorado. For one, the blue tinted water of the creeks is something we really don’t see in Colorado but the forest just felt more dense and mossy and wet. The trail crosses Avalanche creek at one point where the water was being squeezed between this steep set of moss covered rocks…this was by far my favorite part of the trail.
The rangers also recommended walking up the closed portion of the road and so we did. I was admiring some moss along the road when I spotted some that looked a little different than the rest. Caden came over, gave it a look and sang…
It starts with an S and ends with a T
It comes out of you and it comes out of me
I know what you’re thinking but don’t call it that
Let’s be scientific and call it scat
This pile was HUGE…I would not want to meet the feller that made that deposit!! As we walked up the road several people rode by on their bikes. Oh man, it was killing me! This would be a phenomenal bike ride and without cars would make it like a dream! So, some day I’d like to come back and time it so that I can ride my bike from the west to east side of the park on Going to the Sun road the day before they open it to car traffic!
After a little picnic lunch we headed back down stopping a few more times for pictures and to take in the scenery before stopping at the visitor’s center to get Dacen and Brielle’s badges. We came back home to check on the dog, get some work done and make dinner. The kids played some games and worked on a Jr Ranger activity book that Brielle bought and then we went into the metropolis of Hungry Horse to get a couple hiking maps from the ranger’s office, fill up the truck and get some Huck Pie! Apparently there are huckleberries in the area and so every tourist joint advertises World’s Best Huck Pie/Jam/Ice cream. The kids will never turn down a treat like that and I felt it my duty to taste some of the stuff that share my nickname. It was certainly good…but I’m still partial to Steph’s pecan pies or mystery cake.
After dinner we went back up to Lake McDonald to the Apgar village to watch the late evening sun light up the mountains. The kids had fun skipping rocks and Steph and I found it a very relaxing and picturesque spot to end the day.
At the park
Us on Lake McDonald
They do like each other
Sibs on the shore
Enjoying the water
My Side of the Mountain
My favorite people
Watching the water
3 kids in a tree
River dumpin into lake