There were bears and mountain goats. Huckleberry 'something' everyday and also pie. Lots of pie. Even if it was the tail-end of beargrass, there was some and there were plenty of other wildflowers. Mountain peaks at sunrise. Beautiful lakes, creeks, and rivers. A bit of canoeing.
The Guy and I were last at Glacier in 2005 a few months after I had an ACL repaired so did not do a lot of rigorous hiking. At that time, the story was that the glaciers would be gone by 2035. The rangers this time around were saying it seemed they were going faster, and would probably no more in 8 years. Well heck! Do the math. We were last there seven years ago. If we make it back there in another seven...
It seemed important to make the effort. Now this effort required some logistical planning as there are bears in Glacier. Big hungry bears. We prefer to hike with rangers there, and the ranger led hike to the Grinnell Glacier was on the other side of the park from where we were lodging, leaving about 8:30AM. We were going to have to leave WAY early to get across Going-to-the-Sun road, with construction, with minimum coffee, to catch the boat across the lake...yeah, logistics, but GLACIERS! MELTING!
So we tried it. We made instant coffee with hot tap water (better than it sounds). We ate breakfast bars in the car. While stopped at the construction, we caught morning alpenglow on the peaks. We got to the boat dock in plenty of time....and the line for those hoping to get on was way way long...(yeah, we didn't have reservations, another story).
After some head huddling, we decided to take the next boat across, and hike on our own, without the protection of fearless rangers. We determined this hike is well traveled, and probably bear free. And if not, we had bear spray. And GLACIERS! MELTING!
So off we went. For me, it was probably the best day of the time in Glacier.
Cooling our heels waiting for construction wasn't all bad. We watched the sunrise on the mountains.
We weren't imagining things. Bears everywhere!
The glacier melt shows in the run-off lakes a turquoise color. That's not Photoshop.
Beargrass. Lewis and Clark named it beargrass, not because they eat it, but because every time they saw it, they saw bears.
Grinnell Glacier, with Salamander Glacier above. Used to be one glacier, but with melting, has separated into two. Look here (about half way down the page) for photos from 1938 to 2009 of this particular glacier showing how it has decreased in size.
The change in hue of the color of the run-off lakes is evident as they descend.
(3.8 x 2) + 1.5 (the little hike between the two ferries) = 9.1 miles. Yes. She is leaning on the pole for support! But in a good way.