Glacier National Park

Glacier is truly a spectacular National Park. What struck me the most about it was the size of the peaks. Huge glacial peaks that made me feel like an ant.

Unfortunately, there were fires in the region when we were there. I don't think the smoke had a big impact on our enjoyment of the park, but it did affect the photos quite a bit.

On our first night we stayed at the Rising Sun campground. We didn't get any photos, but I think it might have been my favourite campground on the trip because of the lake you could walk to from the campsite.

On the second day we drove into Many Glaciers campground. Lots of great walks from here, but the campground isn't as good.

This photo (and the 2 previous actually) were taken on the way to Icerberg Lake. This was one of my favourite walks for the whole trip. The lake was stikingly blue. There wasn't any ice left in the lake, but there was still plenty of it around the edges.

We walked very quickly to this lake and overtook a lot of people on the way there. We were more sociable than usual and ended up talking to a lot of people. We heard the bear story from people arriving at the lake after us.

A couple, who must have been a few hundred meters behind us I guess, came around a bend and met a huge grizzly bear coming along the track toward them. It may have been 3 or 4 meters away. The bear was just walking, but walking fast. The couple turned around and ran down the trail. They met another couple who also turned around and ran down the trail. The grizzly kept after them. They met a third couple, who had some experience in the park. That couple said, "just get off the track!". There was very little space besides the track, but they all got off the track and stood there while the grizzly walked past a couple of meters away. They got photos to prove it. Nearly every person on the trail saw the bear that day except us. Dave was jealous, Cassandra was relieved.

We had wanted to see a bear for our whole time in USA. We did see one in Glacier, but it was a small black bear and was some distance from the road as we drove past.

The next day Dave had the smart idea to take Cassandra to the high tea place he had seen advertised as we drove to Many Glaciers. So we left the park to go in search of it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be in Canada so we couldn't go there. Dave cooked birthday dinner instead.

The next day we walked to Grinnel Glacier. This was also a very good walk. More spectacular mountain scenery and also lots of Bighorn Sheep on the way. Unfortunately, the going got pretty steep and Cassandra couldn't finish the walk because of some rather exposed sections of track with big drops beneath them.

Glacier National Park must have been named before the acquisition of Alaska because Grinnel Glacier itself turned out to be rather disappointing. Not like the spectacular glaciers we saw in Alaska. But the walk was well worth it all the same.

On our last day in the park we did the Logan's pass walk. Cassandra went back because of heights again and did an alternate walk where she saw a mountain goat.

The Logan's Pass walk was really, really good. Spectacular panoramic views, easy (but long) downhill walk and a beautiful old chalet (still in use, but very expensive) near the end. When you get to the end you have to hitch a ride back up to the starting point. I was a bit worried about that, but it turned out to be very easy.

This ended up being pretty much the end of our National Park trip. We had planned to go to North Cascades National Park, but the weather was very bad and based on the forecast we skipped it. We stopped at Walla Walla for wine tasting. Then we went to Mt. Rainier and it lived up to its name with heavy rain and no visibility. So we packed up and went to Seattle where we got a nice hotel on the waterfront for a week and took it easy.

Then we flew out to Japan