Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial weekend, a Glacier preview

Katie at Josephine Lake dock at Many Glaicer

Crossing Paradise Creek at Two Med

We've got company on the Firebrand trail

A Shooting Star display in Cut Bank Valley
Unsettled weather didn’t stop us from checking out Glacier National Park over the Memorial Day weekend.
We hiked a nature trail around Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier, did a waterfall tour around Middle Two Medicine Lake, and walked toward Firebrand Pass before rain drove us back.
We saw a young grizzly, a bighorn sheep and a moose at Many, and numerous flowers and great scenery elsewhere.
Early Indian Paintbrush
There is still significant snow in the high country, that kept us from testing the walk between Two Med and East Glacier Park along the Scenic Point trail.
The resorts around Many, St. Mary’s and East Glacier Park are still in their winter dormancy, not scheduled to open until next week.
There weren’t many places to catch a meal, but those that were are old reliables like Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant and the Two Medicine Grille in East Glacier, and the Park CafĂ© in St. Mary’s.
We stayed at Terry Sherburne’s Mountain Pine motel in East Glacier, which we used as a base.
It is clean and affordable at the off-season rates ($51 a night that jumps to $66 next week).
Plus, Terry is such a hospitable and knowledgeable host.
It was fun to see East Glacier Park bustling with arriving seasonal workers and the winter plywood boards coming off the buildings.
The towns and trails are clear of tourists. We found old friends to talk to from those places. This was a great time to be in the park. It is uncluttered and there’s no frenzy that accompanies the tourist season.
As for hiking, we found the valley bottoms clear of snow and loaded with wildflowers and greenery.
On Memorial Day on the Firebrand hike we were even treated to snow.
We could have gone high if we wanted. I looked at Appistoki and Scenic Point in Two Med, and Altyn at Many Glacier. They were all climbable.
We enjoyed our lake traverses, pausing to drink in scenery, take photos and marvel at the wildflower show.
This is camas season, the camas being my favorite flower.
We got caught in rain in Two Med and Firebrand. It was a light drizzle, though.
We enjoyed this realizing that the tourist season now begins full throttle.
Tourists are going to be surprised by what the fire did to the St. Mary valley, which has reshaped the whole gateway to the park.
Go have a look!
My favorite wildflower at Two Med:  Camas

No comments: