Monday, September 8, 2014

Glacier National Park

We made a quick stop in Glacier National Park on our way back.  It was also the parting of ways for Jan and I, and Karen.  We stayed at the KOA in West Glacier, MT.  It is a very nice campground and happened to be where Jan and I were on 9/11.  Jan and I, Jan's parents, Vern and Viv, and good friends Ray and April were all parked in the campground that morning getting ready to leave and head down to Coeur d'Alene when Ray ran over and announced an aircraft had crashed in the World Trade Center.  We raised our satellite dish and we all huddled around the TV to watch the horror unfold.  Our visit this time was on a much happier note.  It was Karens and Jordan's first visit.

We started off with a run to Costco and the grocery store, and a Chinese food fix, and Karen and Jordan went off for a hike, then we ran up to tackle the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  What a engineering marvel it is!  It is a road along the edge of a cliff, running about 50 miles from each border of the park and was built in 1932.  And when you see it, it is hard to conceive it could even be built let alone then with the equipment available.  It is narrow, winding, and terrifying to those of us who have a fear of heights, but absolutely worth it, the views are incredible.
Here we go

Part of the road

A bit narrow

What a marvel of construction!

Some places very narrow
And of course a taste of some of the views.

So Karen and Jordan were raving about their hike to Avalanche Lake, so we decided to do that the next morning.  We extended it a bit by going all the way to the other end of the gorgeous lake so Jan could take some pictures.  We needed to as the sun was right in front of us as we arrived, and it was worth it.  But I'll tell you 6 miles was a bit of a hike, especially at 4000'!  We had a great time.
Through the woods and over the rocks we go

Quiet in the trees

A view of the stream

Clear, clear water!

The end of the lake was another .75 miles but as I said we needed to go there to accommodate the sun, and I think you'll agree it was worth it.
We had a snack, relaxed by the pristine lake and headed back down.
Just to prove I made it

And everyone already knows Jan made it, but here she is!
The day was gorgeous weather wise, not a cloud in the sky, and although it started at 36 degrees, it was bumping into the 60's when we got back.
On the way back

A beautiful grotto almost all the way back
So we had a celebratory and farewell dinner to reflect on our very successful and enjoyable 3 1/2 month journey together, and to say good bye to Karen and Jordan as they were heading to Denver early the next morning, and we were going to Yellowstone on our eventual path to Boise for an unusual journey for us.  More on that later.  Karen, see you in November!

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