Now that the national parks have reopened and I’ve been able to dry my tears and resume sleeping at night, I can more comfortably post about our visit to Glacier National Park last month …
What can I say about gorgeous Glacier NP? Saying “it’s beautiful” doesn’t really do it justice. And pictures barely do it justice because you have to stand there to really take in the majesty. Being surrounded by all those mountains, glaciers, pine trees, peaks — you feel so small, yet so connected (to earth, to history, to time). It’s something all the national parks offer, and something I can never get enough of.
If you only have one day, which we did, you can take Going to the Sun Road, which traverses the park east and west. Before we left, I read that it takes a couple of hours to drive the road all the way across, then another couple to drive it back, so I was trying to plan our day. But we wanted to stop and get out and do a simple hike or two, so one of Ricky’s roommates suggested we drive halfway across — to Logan’s Pass — and do the simple hike there (an “easy hike,” he said — 1.5 miles to Hidden Lake, though it’s uphill. But it does have a boardwalk most of the way). So we did that.
Of course, the “uphill” part was much harder than I anticipated — especially for my zero-capacity lung-power that makes me feel like a 90-year-old smoker. And “Hidden Lake” stayed hidden because there were mountain-goat studies going on, and the rangers wouldn’t let any hikers pass a certain point. So we had some challenges. But the beauty, man, the beauty. …
We left Logan’s Pass around 5 p.m. and started heading back in our car, but we saw so many gorgeous little paths leading off to secret-looking escapes, we just had to stop. We stopped at one (in the gallery above), and Rene ran out of ahead of me, and we came through the tunnel of trees to the most beautiful sight. I think I could’ve stayed there all day. But lightening began cracking out in the distance, and — although Nate wanted to stay and take pics — we headed back to the car, where Rene had fled and was
Then we drove back through the CRAZIEST storm. It only lasted about fifteen minutes, but it was wind whipping everywhere, tree branches being flung into the street, rain shooting sideways and huge swirls of water dancing across the road. .. Crazy, man. … I guess that’s what “weather” is really like.
We headed back to Kalispell past a bunch of roadside huckleberry stands, and ate at the MacKenzie River Co., which was very comforting. And more huckleberries! Rene got a huckleberry lemonade.
It was a really fun day. Next time we’ll want to do a few days in Glacier instead of just one, but I’m so glad I got to see it. And when we come back, we’d even stay in the weird hotel again. The whole side trip felt like an adventure!
Next up: Back to Missoula and our stay at the historic Wilma theater!
Here are the previous days: