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2001 West Vacation - September 4 through 15, Part 2

Index

2006pnw_map.jpg
My 2001 West Vacation - 12 days, 5400 miles.
Days 4 (continued) and 5, Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park, Day 1 - Part 2, September 7

Not long after leaving Trail of the Cedars, the road starts to climb toward Logan Pass, the continental divide.

By the time we got to "The Loop", which is nothing more than a switchback halfway up a mountain, the road you were on next to Lake McDonald Creek and Trail of the Cedars appears to be just a narrow ribbon. And the road continues up.

You can actually see the elevation it's snowing at, and the white line gets closer the farther we drive. Not soon after we pass the snow line, we get to a locked gate that prevents anyone from proceeding, and there's a dozen cars just parked, hoping they'll have cleared the road. Doesn't happen, though. At least not while we were there.

Nevertheless, it's a magical moment watching it snow over the mountains and glacial valley...

Glacier National Park, Day 1 - Part 2
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Glacier National Park, Day 1 - Part 3

While we didn't get to Logan's Pass, we did make sure we had a suitable site for the sunset. We found a clear piece of shoreline which would have the sun setting over Lake McDonald.

Glacier National Park, Day 1 - Part 3
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US-2 / Marias Pass - September 8

Our plan for day two, was to double back down US-2, and visit the East side of the park. So even if Logan's Pass remained closed, we could still visit the sights on the other side of the mountains.

It was cloudy and crappy until reached Marias Pass, the continental divide on US-2. The skies then became extraordinarily blue, if not darned cold...

US-2 (again)
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Glacier National Park, Day 2 - September 8

Our first stop in the park would be Two Medicine Lake, and a visit to Running Eagle falls. Running Eagle was a real person, a female Pikuni warrior of renowned skills in battle. She was killed in battle by the Flathead, and was buried in a tree overlooking the falls. The place does feel special, perhaps she is still watching.

The falls are also known as the Trick Falls. During the spring run-off, water comes over the top, and appears to be a single waterfall. As the snow melt diminishes, it appears to be two falls, one over the top, and one coming out the rock. By summer, it is again a single fall, that appears to flow right out of the rock.

Glacier National Park, Day 2 - Part 1
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Glacier National Park, Day 2 - Part 2

Many Glacier
The postcard view of Many Glacier Hotel in front of Swiftcurrent Lake. Glacier National Park.
We also stopped in at Many Glacier, where Swiftcurrent Lake backdrops the Many Glacier Hotel, and goats pose for the tourists knowing that they can scramble across the rock faster than any of those funny looking two legged things can.

But the centerpiece of this park, is the Going to the Sun Road, completed in 1932. It was quite an engineering achievement for the time, a 50 mile road across the park, most of it a narrow strip of asphalt etched into the side of the mountains. We had taken the first third of the road the day before, before it was closed due to snow, but it was completely open today. It's a magnificent drive, definitely in my top 10.

Glacier National Park, Day 2, Part 2
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End 2001 West Vacation - Part 2.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Revisions:
  • 08/17/2013 - Rewrite and update to v3.11
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2