I was fortunate to ride through Glacier National Park back in 2005 when I was touring the country. I rode it West to East on a Saturday in the middle of August. The weather was sunny and hot. The next day the volunteer group I had joined (Global Volunteers) was taken from Browning to the St. Mary's entrance and we toured back to Logan's Pass. The smoke from the fires that year blew in overnight and I saw a totally different view of the park.
Today Stu and I rode through the park, West to East. We started out with breakfast at Glacier Highland Resort. It was okay...nothing to write home about. We gassed up and headed to the Going to the Sun Highway.
The first difference was the long line waiting to get in....in Aug 2005 there was no line even though it was the weekend. We showed my National Access pass and headed to the Apgar Visitor's Center. A quick stop where we picked up our walking stick medallion (we are collecting them as we travel and attaching them to our walking sticks). We snapped a few shots before heading back to the main road.
From here on....beautiful! There was much, much more snow than when I was there. We saw it up high and down low. We saw waterfall after waterfall...some seasonal, some not.
Besides the cars there were motorcyclists galore and bicyclists as well. We walked down to one waterfall and watched a group of trail riders crossing the bridge to the other side.
Just before our lunch stop we were surprised with a roadside viewing of a Mountain Goat! This was a first for Stu. In the meadows below the road we saw at least three more amongst the hikers.
We stopped for lunch at Logan's Pass and just as we readied to leave we were again surprised even more to see a Big Horn Sheep (a ram) leaving the parking lot. He eventually headed down the road before ducking back into the parking lot. LOL! Great day....a first for both of us. I was SOOOO excited!
We continued on a short way and hit the first section of road construction. The sign warned of delays up to 30 minutes but we lucked out with about a 10 minute wait. The next delay was another 10 minute wait to go through the one lane tunnel. Since the temperatures were cool, it wasn't bad at all.
A stop at Jackson Glacier, more photos at the lake and we continued on towards the St. Mary's exit
I continued to enjoy the wildflowers and other nature sightings. Once outside the park we stopped for a rest, some coffee and dessert... huckleberry-apple crisp. YUMMY!!
The ride back home turned out to be pretty scenic as well. We headed south on US 89 and then back east on MT 49 before hitting US 2. I well remembered US 89. Twisties, beautiful scenic views and open range. A few changes in five years. The beetle infestation has decimated much of the forest...so sad but it did provide even more vistas. As to the open range, I ran into horses crossing the road.
This time it was on MT 49 where we ran into a mama cow and her two calves, stopped in the middle of the road and staring us down. I was so concentrating on her that I forgot to take a photo. They finally moved to the other side of the road and we continued on. Further down the road we were once again slowed, this time by horses grazing on the side of the road. Phew!
Soon we were home...8 hours of riding (okay, and stopping....LOL) and 140 or so miles. An absolutely awesome day!!!!!
Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu
Be sure to check out the rest of the photos in our SmugMug album. You can also view my photos from my 2005 trip through the park.