Headed out to explore Western Montana and make our way north to Glacier National Park. Along the way: Wheat, MT makes some gosh darn good bread; and Jim and Terry are super friendly and make beautiful sculptures at Goose Bay Handblown Glass (thank you for the recommendations for the drive from Glacier to Seattle!); and a beautiful winding drive through rolling valleys and along huge lakes at the western edge of Flathead National Forest. We ate burgers out of a truck parked at the edge of Seeley Lake on some super green grass and soaked in the sun.
We were greeted at Glacier National Park with a whole lot of forest and mountains; also big scary bear warnings. One of the reasons we had avoided camping in Yellowstone was because we were a bit leery of bears about with all those campers and their smores’ graham cracker crumbs and who knows what enticing the wildlife to join the campfire. Now, here we sat in our car getting our campsite assignment at Fish Creek Campground with a warning to keep it clean because a black bear went through the camp the previous night. Being almost the only ones in tents in a land of RV enthusiasts, Joe felt we looked too much like pigs in a blanket waiting to be eaten, so no human food was going to be consumed on our little patch of rented earth for two nights.
Still, it was super pretty and amazing to be sleeping in a park that is 93% wild. Fish Creek Campground sits on the northwest portion of Lake McDonald and we took our first short hike there through some burned out areas that were growing back. Our hike was cut short by the realization that it was completely deserted and we ought not be messing around and maybe we needed to most definitely seek out this mythical bear spray we had been hearing about (which indeed does exist and is like pepper spray on steroids: a large canister meant to sit on the waist and be dispensed in the direction of hostile acting bear if it just won’t stop coming at you). Our path back was blocked by what we learned was a grouse that was not at all perturbed by our presence and cooled itself by burrowing into the dirt path and then relieving itself very loudly right in front of us. Nature!
Next, on to the Trail of the Cedars (any Harry Potter/Lords of the Ring/and/or fantasy game can be filled in here to explain that hushed and grand feeling of otherworldliness) with simple boardwalk path winding through ancient tree;, along water that diverts in its rush, lapping the trunks of trees and making islands; waterfall rushing with a bird swooping along its mini canyon currents over and over, making us jealous of the soaring game.
Dinner at the lodge for a meal and watch the sunset over the lake, drinking more local beer and debating whether or not to try the ever-advertised huckleberry pie (we never do).
Return to camp and our comfy tent for only a couple of hours before we are awoken and mentally plead with an approaching thunderstorm to just go away. And ever since we read that article on how to keep one’s self from being filled with lightning and potentially looking like this or being dead, we knew that staying in our little lightning rod hut was not a good idea, so into the car for the remainder of the night.