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My 2021 National Park Road Trip, Park Two: Glacier, Day Three

Updated: Feb 27, 2022

09/10/2021

I want to begin this by telling you that my cousin that went with me on this trip had a hard time deciding to go. You see, she is legally blind and didn't want to keep me from doing things that I wanted to do, like hiking. Well, I finally convinced her that as much as I wanted to do a couple of particular hikes (to Grinnell Glacier or Iceberg Lake) I'm not in the greatest of shape, so I wouldn't be hiking much, especially at these altitudes. But I did want get out and spend at least a day exploring. So we agreed to that, and I was very happy that she came along on this trip. We don't get to see each other as often as we would like, and even considering that, it's CRAZY how much alike we are. It's to the point that I've convinced that someone cloned me without any of us knowing (I'm the older one).. lol

So this was my day..

I finally conceded that I wasn't going to be able to do the hikes that I REALLY wanted to do. So I spoke to a park ranger the day before this about less strenuous hikes. One he recommended was the Highline trail. It's a very popular trail, with a lot less elevation gain. But alas, even that was a bit much for me (especially after seeing the part with the drop off!). So I wandered around the Logan pass area, and hung out for a bit hoping to see some wildlife around the beginning of the Highline Trail, which drops a bit into a small valley. But I also knew the reputation of the Logan Pass parking lot. There are many popular day hikes from here, and if you don't show up very early in the morning, you will not get a spot. I was there by 7 am, and got lucky enough to get a front row spot! As you can see below.. I had to have proof, as some might not believe it, lol..


I early enough to see the sun rising from behind Piegan Mountain.. and yes, it was stull hazy from the wildfires.


After watching the sunrise for a minute, I was off.. This sign is near the parking lot entrance, which I have to cross to get to the Highline Trail.. I was ready! I had my backpack set, my water bladder full (in my backpack. It's very important to keep hydrated at these altitudes), and my hiking poles handy..

That's Mt Oberlin behind me.. no, I wasn't going to hike UP THERE!


Here we go.. I walked about a quarter of a mile and then...


Ahh.. nope. Maybe next time.. lol


So I wandered back, and took a few photos before deciding to hang out in hopes of spotting some wildlife....


Mt Reynolds above, and below on the right.. Clements Mountain is on the left..

So.. At this point, it's about 8 am and I decide to stop. Sometimes, you have to let nature come to you..

Hanging out in hopes of seeing some wildlife paid off.. He was look up at the road trying to decide if he could get across..





This is where I realized he was going to cross the trail and head up behind me. At this point, there were quite a few people around. I took it upon myself to announce his intentions and for people to give him some space..



In the photo below, he had made it across and was heading up and out of sight... I agreed with him, it was too peopley and time to move on.. Sadly, because of all we were squeezing in during our short time here, this was the only wildlife I saw.. But it's ok, the park itself was an amazing experience.


I think this is a side view of Piegan Mountain from the east.. I was on my way to Saint Mary Lake and the Sun Point Nature Trail.. At this point, Its about 10 am..


I made it to the nature trail parking lot by about 10:30 am, geared up and started walking. This was a trail more my speed as it was mostly level. Even so, I didn't even walk a mile (one way) and I was outta breath. They aren't kidding when they say hiking (or walking) at these altitudes is rough if you're not used to it.. I have no issues walking for miles at home..



I didn't know it at the time, but that is Going To The Sun Mountain in the background... Pretty cool..










Another plant growing in a seemingly impossible place..




The next photo is of Baring Falls..


After the falls, I came to this nice, peaceful area along the shore of Saint Mary Lake. I took a little break here, sat on a log, and just enjoyed the views. There were some other people around, so it wasn't exactly "quiet", but still much quieter than when I'm at a nature area at home. There were no sounds of cars, trains, or planes.. It was very relaxing.. Plus.. I made a little friend.. Ok, he was really just looking for some grub, but he was cute, and brave. He actually got right up next to me on the log and my camera. Someone was very used to people feeding him..







The roots of this pine tree were amazing. I'm guessing the lake rises a lot in the spring from all of the melting snow..


Time to start heading back.. I thought about going further, but I then I noticed there was more of an upward climb after this point, and decided I'd better not..

And yes, since I'm getting into native plants I wanted to take a few photos of some here..



Another shot of Going To The Sun Mountain..





Being a geology geek, I just like this slab of rock.. lol


More crazy above ground tree roots.. Don't they look like they're walking down the mountain?


And a few more photos stops on the way back.. Being alone on this day, I'm glad there's pull offs for photos and enjoyment..


The following two photos are of Jackson Glacier, the only glacier I got to see.. on this trip.



Another waterfall (double waterfall.. ) photo with vehicles for scale..



The following photos are another example of the massive size of this wonderful place. I shot the first photo, of the waterfall, at 400mm.. quite a zoom.. and also why it's a little hazy..


That waterfall above is also in the photo below (to the right of center, just above the tree line), which I shot at 24mm. This is what you would see standing on the side of the road... If you click on the photo to expand it, you'll see it. The two peaks in this one are Reynolds Mountain (left) and Clements Mountain (right).


The next two are of Bird Woman Falls, and from two different cameras.. The left one was with my Sony a7iii, and the right onw with my Canon PowerShot SX530 HS. I did do some editing, so that could be the reason the colors don't match.. Trying to edit to show what I saw four months ago isn't always easy.. lol



Entrance to the west tunnel..



And that was all for my third day in Glacier.. This is definitely a place that needs a LOT of time to truly experience it.. But even if you have just a few days, it's worth every minute. If you love nature.. I HIGHLY recommend it..


Glacier National Park:




** ALL photos on this blog are property of Christi Bushby, copyrighted and protected as such by law.

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