Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sunday, July 18th: Glacier National Park II

We got up early and packed camp up, as we wanted to get a better campground. We hit the Going to the Sun road and stopped at many places (it was so early, the road was very quiet) and took many photos of the many waterfalls..including one called the Weeping Wall. We made it over Logan Pass to the west side of the park and settled in a campground called the Sprague Creek campground with a really nice site.

We headed off on the Camas road and hiked the Huckleberry Mt trail. This trail had been devastated by fire at 2 separate times: 1967 and 2001. It was very sunny and the trail exposed, but the trail was short. Afterward, we took the road to Polebridge, a remote town, but the road was rough and we didn't like the chances of the Oldsmobile on it, so we turned back. We went for a hike to John's lake...a forested trail leading to a lake. We took in the lake, a lily-pad covered lake surrounded by forest and then took a detour and ended up at McDonald Falls. We took in the beautiful falls and headed back to the lake. On the way we met a deer, complete with antlers...a cool sight!

We decided to take in a trip to whitefish, a nearby town, and host to a local brewery called the Great Northern Brewing co. It was surprisingly, quite a neat location with some very good beers. We sampled the wheat beer, Huckleberry wheat, Schwarzbier and porter. We also sampled their experimental between-IPA-and-pale-ale

We doubled back to Glacier and booked our first ever white water rafting trip! We were so excited for this trip. We paid $50 each and headed back to our campsites for a nice dinner and fire!

The Next day, We were a little anxious about the rafting trip because the weather did not look good. However, we decided to press ahead . We headed to West Glacier and booked in to the tour. The weather was now fairly clear, and we were happy we did not cancel. A bus trip of approximately 8 miles took us to our destination on the Flat head river. The river and area we were in were featured in, apparently, a Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep movie, River Wild. We boarded raft #4 with 6 other people and a guide named DJ. The rafting trip was great. We went through 9 rapids, some scary, with the trip in between being very calm and provided lots of time to take some scenic photos with our waterproof camera.

On the rafting trip, we met Doug and Ellen Williams from Raleigh, NC. They knew our guide, DJ, via family and invited us back to the place they were staying. The house they were staying in was owned by a generous relative, Jack, who offered it to many
people when he was not there. Anyway, it was something else: a big beautiful log cabin, which seems to be a Montana thing..complete with a hot tub and outdoor deck. We sat in the hot tub and exchanged travel stories. Doug, being a pilot, former piano technician and lover of motorcycles and Ellen, a classical professor provided many interesting stories and experiences. We sat in the hot tub so long, we were a little queasy coming out of it...We said our goodbyes and hoped we can see them on the east side sometime in the future.

We went off to Columbia falls, a nearby town for some grub. We found a place called the three forks that Doug and Ellen had recommended and ordered some micro brews and food. In the meantime, who should arrive in but Doug and Ellen. We joined them and exchanged more stories and laughs.

We headed back towards the park. We stopped off at a local church that was selling firewood. We knocked on the door and Mike had to go in and exchange some money with a hugely obese dude wearing nothing but a heavy rug in 90F weather in a dark cabin. Seriously weird and scary...With that, we headed back for a nights sleep.