Our campsite this week is in the driveway of son Jake’s house in Helena, Montana, where he lives with his girlfriend Page. We got here yesterday after being in Glacier National Park (U.S.) for 8 nights — Because we had no internet, I kept a journal and I’m posting that now (with some editing )
GLACIER National Park – June 29 – July 7, 2014
Many Glacier Campground is the most popular campground in the park; in summer it can be filled up by 10:30 A.M, often earlier. It is beautiful, and many trailheads are located within walking distance. It is at the end of a rutty, potholed road — with unpaved sections — with glorious views all the way. The Many Glacier Hotel, built in 1914 is nearby and there is also the Swiftcurrent Motel with a small camp store and laundromat and showers. There is no cell phone service, none of the pay phones work and no internet.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
We traveled from Kootenay National Park in Canada to St. Mary’s Campground in Glacier National Park (U.S.) on Sunday, June 29.
St. Mary’s was only meant to be a short stop on Sunday so we could race over to Many Glacier Campsite early Monday and get a campsite. We set out with just Lulubelle.
We got to Many Glacier, found a site and returned for the trailer, Terry muttering all the while that if the National Park Service was given the money that it costs to fund two hours of war in Iraq, they could pave the road.
Anyway, we’re here, and Jake and Page will be here tomorrow.
. . . . .
July 2, 2014
The logistics of my life often seem fascinating to me, but upon reflection I realize that they won’t fascinate everyone. So without elaborating I will just say that after our first day in Many Glacier Campground we managed to get two sites directly on the river — one for us and the other for Jake and Page.
Someone asked me once what we do when we camp, and it was hard to answer because much of the time is spent just being. In Yoho we literally watched the snow melt. We didn’t realize at first that the huge mass across the Kicking Horse River from our campsite was actually dirty snow several feet thick — and not rock. And then Terry saw that the waterfall way above was going underneath the snow mass and feeding into the river. We hadn’t understood at first why the waterfall seemed to just end. Here in Glacier it’s the same — we watch the river, the clouds and the melting snow.
July 4. Independence Day
Is just like any other day – there are no fireworks allowed. In Canadian National Parks it is illegal on long holiday weekends to consume alcohol or to possess it. Not so in the U.S.
July 5, 2014
Bears are sighted everywhere – It is the rangers’ goal to make us visitors “Bear Aware.” It is working I think – The stores are out of Bear Spray. We have seen two from the side of the road but there was no time to take pix. The first time a ranger came along and chased the bear away. We were disappointed, but it is better for the bears.
Last night Terry was face to face with a bighorn sheep in the parking lot of the Many Glacier Hotel.
Life is not all completely mellow. Terry’s back has been bothering him since just before we left Prattsburgh, and yesterday it took a turn for the worse. It is worrisome – We are 2000 miles from home and while the bed in the trailer is comfortable and we could conceivably just stay put for awhile, eventually we have to return. Above is a picture of Terry walking our granddog Nala — His back was sore and he thought walking Nala would be good for it. Enjoy this picture because you may never see one like it again. Terry long ago told me that I had a choice — him or a dog.
July 6, 2014,
Jake and Page pulled out this morning, but we’ll be joining them in Helena tomorrow.
Terry’s back felt better today, so we hiked along a path that took us to a spot where we could see the Grinnell Glacier. Even though it was a pretty easy hike (as in flat) we didn’t meet many people. The first picture is one that I took of the Grinnell Glacier. The second was taken over a hundred years ago in what seems like roughly the same area. And the butterfly picture with Grinnell Glacier in the background was taken by Terry. He worked for a long time to get that picture. The butterfly was not particularly cooperative.
A blog about Glacier is not complete without mentioning the melting glaciers. In the late 1800’s there were 150, now there are 25. They started to melt before the pollution of the planet got so intense, but the RATE of melting has drastically increased since the late 1900’s. There is great debate of course as to whether the melting is directly tied to our abuse of the planet — Respected scientists (as in they are not crackpots) believe the evidence is not conclusive — but what is known is the effects the melting will have — has already had — on animals and plants.
Terry’s sister Barbara curated an exhibit at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wa. this year called “Vanishing Ice.” It takes an artistic view of climate change around the world. It is presently in El Paso Texas and will be traveling to Calgary and then to the Toronto area. If you have a chance, go see it and you will learn much more about global warming than I could share here.
Click on “explore” and go to “tour schedule” to find out where it is and where it’s going.
Thanks to all of you for following along and I do appreciate those comments. I can’t always respond, but I do read every single one.