Sabbatical Days 77 and 78: The drive from Yellowstone to Glacier and Hiking to Hidden Lake

We arrived in Glacier from Yellowstone after 14 hours on the road, tugging the Freedom Machine behind. A few stops along the way to eat and grocery shop, but mostly driving. The supposed 9 hour drive was only a tease to lure us northwards. 

Observations along the way:

  • As soon as we left Yellowstone, there were bison (aka Buffalo) ranches, and I realized the glorious animals that would have stopped us in our tracks a few miles earlier so we could take a picture were just another captive commodity outside of the park. Made me a little sad. 
  • At one point it reached 102 degrees outside. I hope the glaciers don’t disappear before we arrive. Thirty years ago there were more than 50 and now there are fewer than half that many glaciers in Glacier National Park. By 2030 there will be zero. 
  • Best meal of the trip so far in Livingston, MT: lunch at The Montana Rib and Chophouse. Fresh seared halibut on wilted spinach, Alaska crab stuffed mushrooms and sweet potato casserole just like mom used to make. Legit. We always split meals on the road and we both agreed that this was one of the best. I can’t get enough fresh fish. 
  • We saw our first Animals Bridge on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. The rainbow over it was a bonus. Very moving experience for us as we drove through this sacred land and observed the ways in which the Native Americans honor the earth, including this grass covered bridge, which gives safe passage to the animals. When I read a sign that said This is God’s Country, Trent said, “no this is The Great Spirit’s country.” 
  • Lakes. So many lakes. Big lakes. Farm land. Big sky. Beautiful drive. 

    • The sun set at 9:35pm, and there was still light in the sky as we pulled up to our camp site at Fish Creek at 10pm.  Long days ahead…

    • Also we saw a family of deer as we drove in. The place definitely felt mystical and special. 
    • Now, show me the yeti!

     Glacier is accessible only by a limited number of roadways, the main one being Going to the Sun Road, which is often called one of the most beautiful drives in America. It is. We took this road to most of our hikes. 

    Bird Woman Falls on Going to the Sun Road

    Fireweed grows in burned forests. This portion burned back in 2003 I believe. A necessary cycle for biodiversity…

    Hike #1 in Glacier : Hidden Falls Overlook (3 miles round trip, 750 foot elevation gain). The trail from the overlook to the lake was closed because of “evidence of aggressive bears.”  Happy not to discover what that means in person, even though the extra 3 miles would have been good exercise. 

    I should have worn different shoes (and crampons) to cross the three or four big snowfields to the overlook.  

    Number of times I fell on the snow: 6

    Number of times I wish I had worn waterproof shoes and had brought hiking poles: infinite

    Wildlife spotted: mountain goats galore! They crossed the trail multiple times ahead of us and seemed fearless of humans. Probably got within 15 feet of us or less. The ranger said that they like to lick the salt off the hand rails at the overlook. 

    We also saw a grizzly and cub from a long distance with the binoculars. Pretty spectacular and made me glad that we bought bear spray. 

    On the way back to camp we stopped at a lodge restaurant for dinner–Two Dog Flats for a BBQ plate with huckleberry BBQ sauce. Delicious! I’m surprised by the versatility of the little huckleberry. 

    Next up: More hiking adventures!


    2 thoughts on “Sabbatical Days 77 and 78: The drive from Yellowstone to Glacier and Hiking to Hidden Lake

    1. Was the heat wave on the way to Glacier NP? You and Trent look fairly well “layered”. I’ll bet you two never get accustomed to all that natural beauty. Wow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was on the way and while we were there. We layered with wicking sun sleeves so as to avoid sunburn. And the buffs on our necks and heads are to protect from sun and bugs. The bugs were out in force!

        Like

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