The heat continued, not a stifling humid heat, but a dry heat that still made for some discomfort. We decided to drive back up to Logan’s Pass, and we knew we needed to get a really early start to get a parking spot in the Visitor’s Center lot. We drove once again on the Going-To-The-Sun Road and continued to marvel at the views and wonders of nature. Even though we had driven this route just a couple days ago, we never tired of the views and it was like seeing the jaw dropping beauty for the first time. The drive was faster since we didn’t feel the need to stop at every overlook to take pictures. We arrived at Logan’s Pass by
10:00 AM and even though the sign said the parking lot was full, there was no Ranger to stop us from entering. It took quite a few times circling the lot before we finally spotted someone leaving. We spent time taking pictures and enjoying the scenery and by the time we left the Rangers had once again closed the lot and were directing traffic further east for the elusive parking spots. We returned home by heading west so we could see the views from the opposite direction, stopping for a picnic lunch at one of the scenic overlooks. We arrived home early enough in the afternoon to escape being out in the worst heat of the day. Unfortunately as I was fixing dinner the power went out throughout the campground. At 91+ degrees outside, the inside of the RV quickly became uncomfortable, driving us and our neighbors outside. After an hour and a half the power was restored.
Friday we spent the day exploring the east side of the park, even though we knew it would mean a lot of time in the car driving. We decided to drive west on the Going-To-The-Sun Road and then come home on the southern route outside the park. The heat was not quite as bad today, but the number of cars and people seemed to be growing and the traffic
through the park was heavy even though it was early in the day. Our main destination today was “Many Glacier”in the northeastern corner of the park, considered to be the heart of the park and one of the less visited areas. The views here were gorgeous and we hoped to see a bear or two since we were told it was more likely to see one here. There were trails throughout the park which had been closed to hikers because of bear activity on the trails. Even though we kept a sharp eye out, we failed to see bears or big horn sheep or even mountain goats on this day.
We wanted to find a geocache located seven miles from the Canadian border on the Chief Mountain Highway which connects the U.S Glacier Park with the Canadian Glacier park. The geocache was located at a scenic spot with a view of Chief Mountain. Legend has it that an Indian Chief was killed in battle and his wife, crazy with grief, leaped from the mountain
with her baby. Supposedly you can see the shape of a woman and child in the face of the mountain but we couldn’t pick it out. Bill had to roll under a barbed wire fence to retrieve the cache, somehow managing to dodge cow patties in his path. We encountered quite a few cattle on the road, including one standing in the middle of the road. We also saw many horses along the side of the road with no fence between them and the road.
We headed home on the long drive around the southern tip through the Blackfeet Indian reservation, a little disappointed with our lack of bear sightings. We were traveling down the highway when we saw two cars stopped in the middle of the road. In this area, that could only mean one thing, someone had spotted something. Sure enough we stopped and on the side of the road and up a small incline was a large brown bear. I have since learned they
are all called black bears even though they can be black, brown or blonde in color. Bill was able to snap some quick pictures before he lumbered farther into the brush and out of sight.
We really enjoyed our time in Glacier National Park. We had hoped to do more hiking but the heat made it somewhat difficult to do any long hikes. Truthfully, while the park is beautiful, we both felt that the Northern Cascades were prettier with many more glaciers and much more snow. A Ranger told us in the North Cascades that there is more water in one glacier in the Cascades than all the glaciers in Glacier National Park and we could see that is true. In 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park and by 1968 there were around 50. Today there are 25 glaciers and it is estimated that they will be gone by 2030 due to climate changes.