J). Best of all we had a view of Lake MacDonald and mountains from our window. That night we celebrated our punctuality and explored our surroundings by checking out the sales, getting ice cream, and ate dinner at a homey restaurant in West Glacier. Our little motel room had two bedrooms, but no TV, so naturally we shared a bed and watched DVDs Jess brought on Christine’s laptop.
The next morning we woke up early again (score!) and set out to explore the beautiful Glacier National Park. In the car we took the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which stretches 50 miles from the west side of the park to the east side. The drive to the east side of the park through Logan’s Pass took us about two and a half hours, thanks to construction and a mysterious medical emergency that required helicopter assistance (scary). Upon reaching the east side, we of course checked out those gift shops and grabbed some food (I swear we did look at mother nature at one point during the day).
|Up in the clouds!|
Let me backtrack for a second to describe this drive. It is not your normal drive across a national park. It’s up and down mountains that were carved by glaciers. This road is a little two-lane road that drops straight off on one side. But don’t worry, that side has small rocks as a “guardrail” so your car will probably flip over as you fall to your death (this would fulfill Christine’s dream of dying in a dramatic fashion). Along the way there are areas you can pull over to let other cars pass, explore hikes, read about glaciers, enjoy the amazing view, or properly view a passing grizzly (according the proper bear protocol). Fortunately, we did not meet any grizzly bears during our stay since we didn’t drop fifty bucks on bear spray.
|MacDonald Falls [UNEDITED]|
Our first adventure of the park, besides the drive, was MacDonald Falls. There were stairs that led down to the falls, yet in our opinion, they could have been closer. So, ignoring the signs about endangering ourselves and others, we hopped the railing and walked around on the falls. The view was breathtaking, although not as nice as a certain cubicle in Columbus.
|...immediately after J told C she wasn't a good swimmmer...|
Next stop was a two-mile hike to St. Mary’s Falls. While walking to the waterfall we attempted to be as loud as possible, since the bear pamphlet warned us that chatter would usually annoy the bears (and our fellow hikers) enough to keep them away. Once at the falls we again attempted to stray from the path. This time, however, NPS happened to beat us to it with a sign that warned us to stay away. Reluctantly we listened (it was large and bright red so we figured it was more than a suggestion this time). The hike back to Casper was not so easy.
Our last big exploration was a waterfall located west of the Weeping Wall (this huge stretch of rock along the road that water runs down). This time we also bent the rules in our favor and climbed all over the rocks. The difference during this climb, however, was that Jess actually felt daring enough to attempt to climb to rocks in the middle of the falls. Her trusty camera draped around her neck minus a lens cap and moccasins to ensure a solid grip on slippery rocks, she ventured up the rocks and quickly realized this was a poor choice indeed as her feet slipped. So attempting to back track she shakily made it onto solid rock after a few scary steps and a much dirtier lens (whoops).
After our many waterfall-seeking-excursions (apparently if there are waterfalls in a state, we will find them), we headed to West Glacier for the fanciest mac and cheese we’ve ever had. Officially worn out from our many adventures, we hit the hay.
At exactly 7:05 am the next morning, Jess woke up to greet the 7:11 am sunrise. Unfortunately, I’m not what you would call a morning person and logic tends to be just out of reach for me during this time of day (feel free to insert your rude joke about my scattered behavior here) so I walked to the lake wearing moccasins, sweatpants (of course the Grinch boxers underneath), a tie-dye Mongo shirt and a zip-up hoodie. Well the view was unbelievable from the end of the dock I sat on. But the dock was rather wet and it was 35 degrees outside. I sat there for about an hour with no sun in sight thanks to the picturesque mountains, so having enough I grabbed the largest coffee Glacier National Park sold and attempted to warm up before we packed up the car and hit the road to Spokane, Washington. Until next time J
C & J simultaneously: “It’s fun. It’s exciting. IT’S FANTASTIC!”
J: “it’s just insulting to my work!” (as a single bug splatters on windshield immediately after Jess cleans it)
J: “… I’m just going to have them killed.”
C: “if I’m going to die, I want it to at least be in an exciting way.”
J: “ARE YOU GOING NOW?!” (about running across 4 lanes of traffic on the highway)
C: “I’m not trying to die…I’m just saying”