Friday, June 29, 2012

Lake McDonald Reflections

Today is Friday. One week ago today my husband Gayle and I were driving the Going to the Sun highway in Glacier National Park, which had opened just a few days before. We marveled at the indescribable beauty as we got higher and higher. This was our 4th time here, and yet it is the different lighting created by weather patterns that makes the mountains, waterfalls, and all as if you are seeing it for the first time. Friday the skies were filled with clouds of texture - a big softbox in the sky; a photographer's dream. We stopped at various places, driving the entire park except Many Glacier, but did not spend too much time for today was our "overview of the park."  

Saturday we hiked to Cracker Lake in  Many Glacier. If you've hiked to this lake you know that it is a beautiful turquoise alpine  lake surrounded on 3 sides by a cirque. You also know that it is 5.6 miles one way. We almost made it. This was quite an adventure, hiking in a misty rain the entire way (we were prepared for it) which made part of the trail oozing with mud. Couldn't avoid just walking in it and Gayle slipped and fell twice, me once.) We saw three grizzlys high on a mountain ledge and they were far enough away that we did not feel threatened. I wore my "bearbells" to alert the bears of our presence. They are three cow bells at varying lengths on a rope, and get clipped to my packback. They have a pleasant chime to them as I walk, and the other hikers that we saw would always remark about them. :) This adventure was not without it's challenges. We had a bridge to get over, with raging water from the creek, which was more like a river, inches under it, and to get to the bridge one had to climb up and over a boulder. No other way. It was harder for me than for Gayle, and much easier going back. THEN I noticed the ridges in the rock for my feet. A HUGE ice field kept us from getting to Cracker Lake. It was on a mountainside. It was raining. One slip and you could find yourself slipping w-a-y down the mountain in the rushing water. That's where I drew the line. 

Sunday I wondered what ever could top the adventures that we had experienced thus far? What special surprises would unveil themselves? Little did I know that the best was yet to come. Sunday it was hot and very sunny - so sunny the only place to be was in the shade of the forest. It was where I did not want to be. We went to Church in Columbia Falls in the morning, and ventured out  in the afternoon  to McDonald Falls where we watched a duck. It seemed he wanted desperately to get to the other side of the raging creek. He'd jump in from a rock, but couldn't swim across and eventually would get out of the water, rest a few minutes, then try it again. 

Wher'es Waldo?
 The sun was so harsh we went back to our "home," our camp at Westside Glacier KOA. The staff there are delightful. We always stay there when we visit Glacier. After a nap grilled hamburgers and ate an early dinner. We felt that there would probably be a great sunset and planned to go out in the evening when the sun lowered in the sky. Great plan. The lighting changed every few minutes - the clouds above us were moving fast. Three rangers and a few others joined us on the boat dock as we all watched the skies. A boat in the far distance was coming in to shore and provided just the right touch. What a charming couple! The skies above and the reflections below provided the best kind of scenery one could hope for and we were blessed to be in the right place at the right time. I shall never forget the experience. 

Looking back to the boat dock and Apgar Village

1 comment:

Donna H said...

Lovely seeing my sister and hubby in your pics!

Rejoice! - A New Day