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Tag Archives: Glacier National Park

Glacier Park Mountains, Glaciers, and Logan’s Pass

Kathy took most of these pictures driving through Logan’s Pass. Glacier National Park is appropriately named. Most of the white spots in the pictures are glaciers or snow pack. There are about 37 glaciers left in the park and most of them are receding or shrinking in size.

We came through the park a later in the summer, but there we saw some of the wildflowers in bloom on the way up Looking Glass Hill overlooking Two Medicine Lake. The mountains and lake serve as a spectacular backdrop. We walked around the lake later.

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This is looking downstream from Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. The glacier on the mountain would likely be considered one of the 25 active glaciers in the park. An active glacier is one that is 25 acres or more. Over 90% of the park is wilderness.

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This is Jackson Glacier. Although it does not look very high, it is deceptive. The roads climb well up into the pass and travelers end up closer to the mountain tops.

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This is the tourist stop in Logan’s Pass with the mountains in the background. Parking is at a premium here so we did not get to stop.

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Most of the pictures we took going through the pass were from the car without stopping. Again, the peaks are not much above the road level.

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Waterfalls ribbon the mountainsides as they are constantly fed by the glaciers.

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If you look closely at the picture below, you can see about 3/4 of the way up the road on the left side. It is a slight darkening. The middle of the picture, below the background peak, is basically where the road reaches the summit of Logan’s Pass .

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Glacier Waterfalls

I am fascinated by waterfalls. It could be they offer paradox in their fury and the stillness found in their sources or in the pools that lay at the base of the falls. Glacier National Park offered opportunities to see waterfalls up close and from a distance

We saw this one from the car as we drove through Logan’s Pass. We saw several waterfalls that fell either right on the highway or right beside it. Literally, we shot pictures from the car as we drove. Parking is at a premium throughout the pass.

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I want to give perspective on driving through the pass. This is common with even more pronounced switchbacks in places. I can look out of the car window when there is vegetation along the side of the road, but my fear of heights is paralyzing. I don’t drive these roads. Kathy was a mountain goat in an earlier life and is far more comfortable with this driving.

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We walked in to Running Eagle Falls or Trick Falls. Earlier in the summer and spring, there are two waterfalls caused by spring run off from the snow melt. I copied a picture, which shows the second waterfall above the one in our picture. The link I used rated these falls among the top in the Pacific Northwest.
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We hiked into Avalanche Lake. We took pictures from both ends of the lake. The first picture shows a series of waterfalls coming down from the mountain side. The snow on the mountains is actually in the form of glaciers.

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We hiked around the lake and were able to take a few more pictures. Another hiker told us he tried to get closer, but once he was a few feet into the trees he said it was impassable. You can see in this picture that it does not look far but the underbrush is heavy. The link to Avalanche Lake has some pictures taken by someone who was able to get closer to the base of at least one of the waterfalls. As we got closer, the waterfalls look quite different with more ribbons appearing.

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We were furthest from this waterfall, but the ribbons were clearer as we got closer.

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I took two pictures in Logan’s Pass. This was one. Once we got to the top of the pass, it was less open and I was able to manage a camera shot. It was right beside the highway. I rolled the window down, as there was no parking and took this picture.

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Glacier Wildlife

Kathy and I went through Glacier National Park in Montana on our way home. Kathy traveled the route on her way to Spokane. Americans seem to build mountain national parks around the geography which means we saw little wildlife, but we did see some we don’t in Canadian mountain parks. This was clear on the Going to the Sun Road where we saw mountain goats. When we travel through Canadian mountain parks, we see mountain sheep which come down into the valleys during the summer. Goats stay high up where it is cooler. Unless a person hikes the back country, Waterton Lakes National Park, which borders on Glacier, does not have the goats for people to see easily.

This one was on the patch of glacier on the side of the road where it was able to stay cool.

Goat 1

This one posed. You can see they are somewhat comfortable with humans being around, but I still think of them as wildlife. It almost looked a statue.

Goat 3

As we hiked, I came around a corner and this spring’s fawn was separated from its mother and twin. I don’t know who was more surprised: him/her or me. Initially, we were 4 or 5 feet apart. Kathy had her camera and got great pictures. The background is part of an amphitheater and the deer were grazing around it.

Deer 1

The doe and another fawn were across the amphitheater, but I had inadvertently blocked the path for the first fawn to rejoin them. They made a kind of whistling sound to each other and the doe never appeared overly concerned. She actually grazed on the trees and waited patiently.

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The separated fawn took off along a path that was across the clearing.

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The fawn re-appeared across the amphitheater and they went off. It seemed like it was all in day’s work for them.

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Those Images

Kathy went shopping and bought a book. It sounds mundane, but, when she opened the book, she found a small piece of paper with this Yeats‘ poem written on it. We are headed home tomorrow. We will take a few days, travel into Montana, across Glacier National Park, and head north. We will see some of the wild on that trip. I doubt lions will appear but a mountain lion might show up and maybe an eagle on the wing. Certainly, we find better exercise in sunlight and wind.

On the back or it might be the front of the slip, someone wrote the Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world and PEACE”.

What if I bade you leave

The cavern of the mind?

There’s better exercise

In the sunlight and wind.

I never bade you go

To Moscow or Rome.

Renounce that drudgery,

Call the Muses home.

Seek those images

That constitute the wild.

The lion and the virgin,

The harlot and the child.

Find in middle air

An eagle on the wing.

Recognize the five

That make the Muses sing.

Pensive Pirate

Several months ago, Francesca at Words/Love provided advice for aspiring writers. She advised other writers to keep pen and paper close at hand. More and more, I do this. This morning, about 6:00, I woke up with poetry on my mind. I scrambled, grabbed writing gear, and jotted ideas down. I hope I can flesh the ideas out over the next few days.

It is during unexpected times or quiet moments I find creativity. Kathy surreptitiously took this picture at Kootenai Lake in Glacier National Park. I was feverishly scribbling ideas that had popped up during the hike. It was easy in those surroundings. I hope to continue now that we are home.

Pensive pirate pauses

Revitalize one’s spirit

Serenity sought.

I will see you on Monday; oki until then.

International Peace Park

Kathy and I wanted to travel down to Glacier National Park, Montana, but the logistics were challenging. We put this on the back burner this year and traveled to Waterton Lakes National Park in the southwest corner of Alberta. The two parks combine and form the first International Peace Park and are often called the Crown of the Continent, but there is no easy way to see both without a lot of traveling or so we thought. Luck intervened and we found our way down to Glacier National Park.

In national parks you can get up close and personal with the wildlife. They are still wild and skittish, but as long as you are careful they stay and. I took this picture just outside the ticket offices for the boat tours. She grazed, let several of us take pictures, and we were within a couple of metres (five or six feet) of her.

Oh my dear, it’s a deer.

We were able to travel to Glacier via an alternate mode of transportation: a boat. This is the US International, an 85-year-old boat, that makes four round trips on Waterton Lake to the south end. Part way through the trip, we crossed into the US and Kathy and I chose to stay for a couple of hours to do some hiking.

An icon of Waterton is the Prince of Wales Hotel. It was built in 1927 and overlooks the lake. It is open from mid-June until mid-September. We have missed it on other trips due to traveling in the off-season, but this year we are stopping for ‘high tea.’ This is a view from the boat.

When Kathy and I got to the US port of entry at Goat’s Haunt, we stayed and hiked into a small alpine lake called Kootenai. It is about an 8 km walk (5 miles) and took about 2.5 hours. This is the ranger station and border crossing. We showed passports and answered routine questions.

This is a view from the path along the way.

Nature’s cathedral

Light dances with shadows below

A benediction.

This was a small stream we passed over twice. The flow of water has worn the rock flat. Nature is rich with paradox.

Life’ rapid current

Smoothing and shining rough edges

Until next rough spot.

We are off for another day of adventure.

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