Thursday, August 8, 2013

Glacier National Park

When sister, Mary, was with me in Oregon she kept warning me about the Grizzlies I was sure to encounter when I got to Glacier National Park.

"There are more grizzlies per square mile in Glacier than anywhere else in the U.S." she advised me. (The park boasts over 300)

As I drove up to the entrance to the park the ranger, first, warned me about the bears and, second, informed me that all the campgrounds were booked solid. It seems to be against my nature to make reservations in advance for a campsite--who knows what other opportunity you might have to pass up because you prepaid for a campsite?

So I drove south through the Blackfoot Reservation until, late in the day, I came the the southernmost entrance to the park, then drove in to a small picnic area and decided that would do for the night.

I was completely alone, just me and those bears that were hiding behind the trees.

There was one old abandoned truck almost completely overgrown with bushes.  The driver had probably been eaten by bears some years earlier.

People often ask me if I ever get scared and I tell them, "No,"  Cuz I never am scared--but this night I was--just a little.
I kept hearing Mary; "A big grizzly would start rocking this RV until it turned over.  He would think you were just an hors d'oeuvre inside a tin can on wheels!"

It was a very long night--I heard every rustle of leaves, every crack of a twig.  Thanks, Mary.  

Early the next morning I drove to the west entrance of the park and started the long, long climb up the "Going to the Sun" road.  (I think that is a lovely name for a road.)

The road is narrow and two-laned and the views are breath-taking.

The current shapes of the Lewis and Livingston mountain ranges show the telltale evidence of massive glacial action, which carved U-shaped valleys and left behind moraines which impounded water creating lakes. 

The road tightly hugged the mountain, and climbed and climbed.  And glaciers were starting to appear.

Water falls were everywhere--even, occasionally coming down onto the RV.

492 Ft. high

 Of the estimated 150 glaciers which existed in the park in the mid-19th century, only 25 active glaciers remained by 2010.   

Scientists studying the glaciers in the park have estimated that all the glaciers will disappear by 2020 if the current climate patterns persist.  (Folks, that is only 7 years away!)

They appear to be mere remnants of past glory...

Fading quickly to expose rock and stone that has been hidden for thousands of years.

Nature does some very interesting art ice,

and in stone.


At the top of the mountain is an Interpretive Center....

Which is where I decided to turn around and retrace my drive back to the west side of the park. The campgrounds were still all full and I did not want to get trapped with no place to park for the night.

I finally found a wild animal, though I think she needed a good hair-brushing.

She had a cute little one that seemed unafraid of all the people taking her picture.

And finally, back down the windy road, spend the night behind an all-night gas station in the town of Kalispell, Montana. At least I wasn't worried about grizzlies.

1 comment:

  1. Mary does advise caution for others. Anyway,you are a great adventurer.