. The color of the water is caused by the sun shining on the water filled with “glacier flour” which is a dust created from the glaciers’ movement along the mountains which generated an almost iridescent glow to the lake. At one point, while trying to catch up to Jeff and the boys, I was hiking alone. At first this was great - no conversation to interfere with the tranquility, but then it was a bit unsettling. Realizing that I was in bear country, carrying snack food, I thought to myself I’d better keep calling out and move a bit faster. Once I saw bear droppings, I was truly frightened and my imagination started getting the best of me. I was nearly running until I finally heard a response to my calls from Jeff. Whew!
Our horseback riding on day two was also quite enjoyable (except for the showers that started about a third of the way that left us a bit cold and damp). Brendan was first in line on Robby, Rebecca just behind him on Crow, Darian was on Patches and Timmy on Roscoe in the middle of the group followed by Sue on Hwt (Hewitt) then me on Smokey, Jeff on Ike, Patty on Buck and Chuck on Moose. Patty had to “get tough” with Buck a few times until he decided to cooperate while most of us experienced the typical auto-pilot movement of the horses on the trail they know so well. Smokey attempted to nibble of few bites of the forbidden plant life along the way
. He stopped to eat but I quickly tried to keep the grass from him, pulling some of the longer pieces out of his mouth. (The wrangler said it would cause colic and other nasty side affects like hallucinations, so I wasn’t just being mean.) We had lagged behind so the wrangler instructed me to speed him up with a kick which led to a short bout of galloping which brought a bit of a thrill compared to the slow trot that took place most of the way. We were lucky enough to catch site of a doe, a 8-10 point buck that was in velvet and even luckier when just about 25 feet away from us was a coyote munching on his kill (squirrel). While that wasn’t a pretty site, it was exciting to be so close to see this skilled hunter in action.
The drive along the Road to the Sun to Logan Pass and then on to St. Mary’s Lake to go kayaking was again so beautiful, seeing the mountains from a higher perspective. We passed long-horned sheep and mountain goats along the way. I guess they are used to seeing so many cars passing by; they didn’t seem bothered at all as they walked along the roadside with our cameras clicking away. We briefly stopped at Logan Pass so the kids could take a rare opportunity to play in the snow in July. Of course they were thrilled to throw snow balls at each other! Kayaking in the lake was a bit challenging due to the weather. The clouds turned dark and the winds picked up causing white caps that fought our efforts to move southwest to the more scenic shores
. Unfortunately, Sue was kayaking by herself and had a much more difficult time so she turned back to shore. Once we figured out the opposite shore line, protected from the winds was much easier to kayak, we decided to stick with it. I did much better paddling with Patty than with Jeff as we were pretty much able to stay in the direction we wanted to go despite the winds without spinning 360 degrees along the way. Maybe it’s the right- handed, left-handed issue or just a husband and wife not able to get them selves’ in-sync. Oh well, we still had fun getting a different perspective of t he lake and the surrounding mountain sides.
To top it all off, we actually saw a black bear! We were shopping at the general store, getting the typical t-shirts and souvenirs when someone came in announcing that a bear was passing nearby. We flew out of the store, and sure enough, moseying along the hillside next to the parking lot was the bear. Jeff was not going to pass the opportunity to get some additional wildlife shots, so he decided to follow the bear (with Darian following from a bit behind). As he described, he cautiously followed the bear, staying at a “safe” distance, he successfully took some great shots. The bear did look back at Jeff a couple of times, but didn’t seem to be bothered although Jeff’s heart was pounding! Then another person came up at another angle and the bear didn’t seem pleased so Jeff took the cue to join the rest of us safely waiting in the parking lot, viewing at a truly safe distance. So, I finally saw a bear on the last leg of our visit to Glacier National Park – thank you, Lord for providing the opportunity to see this impressive creature and keeping us all safe.
This most inspiring park with its magical views and serenity, at times will overpower one’s senses and emotions. The mountains towered above us with brown, red, and cream colored variations in the layered rock and others covered with tall pine that created a lush, green sanctuary for wildlife. As we hiked on the Tall Cedars trail and the Avalache Lake trail, it brought such a feeling of tranquility. As we passed numerous water falls, the smaller ones trickling more soothingly and the larger with their powerful thunder of fast moving waters, we had to stop for a few (actually much more than a few) pictures. As we traversed further on the trail, the wonderfully refreshing pine scent triggered by the light rain that fell, filled the air. I found myself reflecting on the beautiful natural world that surrounded me and wished I could stay for much longer period of time. The hike seemed longer than we anticipated, but the view of the bright blue-green Avalanche Lake surrounded by mountains with water falls that started near the top and flowed all the way down was absolutely beautiful and worth the effort