Saturday, August 28, 2021

Glacier Day 4: PM

 I'm just going to leave these pictures here — don't have much to add in words! 

Lincoln Pass!

Lincoln Pass!

no sharp and lethal horns on this one! *heart eyes*

Lake Ellen Wilson!

~behind the scenes~

am i cute yet

my excellent dinner of cheesy parboiled rice with rehydrated shiitake mushrooms

a room with a view!!!

That afternoon, I delightedly swam/frolicked in the frigid lake while Laini rested on the pebbly beach shore. Then I very happily scrubbed my sweaty, smelly hiking clothes in the sand at the water's edge, laid them out to dry, and then bundled up in my warmest fleece jacket and pants before sitting by my clothes to guard them from the curious mountain goats. It was a wonderful day.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Glacier Day 4: AM

Day 4 of Glacier was better than all the highlights of days 0-3 combined.

As in the days before, we got up very early (at sunrise). After writing a short but heartfelt thank-you note to our site host Susan, we walked the short distance back to Apgar Visitor Center and caught the shuttle to Lake McDonald Lodge, from which we hit a nicely-wooded trail that climbed 3,380 feet over six miles to the Sperry Chalet.

higher elevation! cooler temps! much happiness!

"Goats have sharp, lethal horns."

more burned areas

pack horses!

the trail looked like this for much of the higher portions

We could see the chalet on a ridge in the distance. "That's only about 10 minutes away," I told Laini confidently. I was wrong.

mountain stream!

marmot crossing

The best part about the chalet was that they served lemonade and cherry pie.

took this pic in honor of Janie, whose birthday was this day! 

I have many more photos from the afternoon, as Laini and I climbed over a pass about 2 miles after leaving the chalet — and then the views kept getting better. Part II coming soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Glacier Day 3

Our third day of retracing our own steps through overgrown trails. Unable to find the path we were trying to follow, we decided to head back to Apgar to regroup. 

My view ever morning: Laini's head poking out of her sleeping back, and our essential gear of bear spray, glasses, and headlamps.

self timer pic - proud of ourselves for hanging our food safely away from bears and other animals! 

steep climb. no views. :/ 

grateful for a bridge and dry feet

one of many snack breaks

As night was falling, we made it back to Apgar Visitor Center with aching feet and nowhere to sleep. We walked to the nearby Apgar Campground and wandered around, half hoping to miraculously find an empty campsite and half hoping someone nice would let us stay with them.

Lo and behold, a kind woman named Susan saw us looking forlorn and bedraggled, and invited us to share her site. We cooked dinner in silence once more and I mustered up enough energy to jot a few lines in my journal for the first time on the entire trip thus far.

Starting the next day, things were on the up and up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Glacier Day 2

On the morning of Aug. 3, we woke up to a misty yet beautiful lake view:

Not quite worth the ordeal of getting there, but still rewarding.

We headed out early with another long day ahead of us.

I finally had enough energy to pose for a photo with the absurdly overgrown trail

How it really felt ^

more river fording, more wet shoes

a bear marking its territory?

I liked the flower fields

Our hike involved a bit more elevation gain this day, but not much as far as views. As you can see below, it was very smoky and the trees were either dead/burnt from wildfires, or very young and small (growing after a fire). This made the hike very bright and hot. 

We hiked along a big stream for a long while, which I'd assumed we could access at any point for water. Unfortunately, the trail was far above the stream and both of us ran out of water for a couple miles before we could refill. That was not fun.

so close, yet so far

artsy wildlife pic

The trail was easier to follow for much of the way, but then disintegrated once more into an overgrown mess. Laini, who was wearing shorts, started to get very scratched up by the thorny bushes and weeds. Ever innovative, she tied a bandana around each of her shins to protect her legs.

After a lot of hiking, we reached a point where the trail crossed some fallen logs. We climbed over said logs. Then there were some more fallen logs. We climbed over those too. Then the trail disappeared. We climbed back over the logs behind us and searched for the trail — to no avail. 

I did a lot of back-and-forth along the trail, trying to find where we missed it. Then I pushed on ahead, trying to find it in the direction we were supposed to be going. The fallen logs multiplied into a veritable field of fallen logs, completely wearing me out and scratching me up and making me nervous about twisting my ankle. By now it was close to sundown, so we gave up on finding the trail and camped in a mossy area near the stream.

The very beginning of the fallen logs. It got much worse from here.

somehow still smiling after another tiring, frustrating day!