Monday, July 30, 2012

Glacier National Park - Going to the Sun Road

Today the plan was to go from the west entrance to the east entrance along the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier, and that is what we did.  It is hard to find the words for that which we saw.  Even though they are working along the road near the summit just before Logan's Pass, the wait that we experienced was totally forgotten due to the views we had, the pictures we were able to take because there was not any pullouts there, so as we stopped, we could snap our lives away, and for the people we ran into, including the former provost of the University of Pacific, which is located in Stockton California, about 30 miles south of my native hometown of Sacramento.

Since words cannot tell the story, I will let the pictures we took tell it...with little commentary.

 You can't go far down the road before you start seeing the mountains...

And Lake McDonald runs along the first portion of the trip along the left side (remember, we are heading eastwardly)

 ...and McDonald Creek takes over when the Lake disappears.
 Yes, every mountain peak has a name...but I am not going to even try to identify them...
 ...we just enjoyed the view, and enjoyed the view, and enjoyed the view.

There was a tunnel or two, and many pullouts, however some pullouts were being worked on due to the road construction.

 At times the road got narrow...real narrow in a few places
 ..and many little waterfalls and streams ran under, and at times over, the road.

 But those views just kept coming...

 We saw many waterfalls, and many little streams....
 ...and like I said, some of them were up close and personal with the road and the cars.

 And did I mention how....
 ....the views just kept coming and coming?
 We did hit the major construction area which had us stop twice for perhaps up to 20 minutes.

 But we did not have to worry about oncoming traffic once we did start going....

 ....and the views just kept coming and coming and.....
We finally made it to Logan's Pass, where there was a rest area, a large crowd, and thank goodness, an ada parking place right at the bathrooms.....and just 1/4 mile further down the road, we found our place to eat.
But we had to deal with the views again as we ate from our car...
 ...we even have a make-shift table to make our PB&J sandwiches on...
 ....and we had to deal with our own little crowd in the back, one of whom (Skruffy, of course) has to try and stick her nose into it to try and get a free snack.
And, of course, there is that view again.....the one out the front (above) and the one out the back (below).
Now the summit is about 2/3rds of the way from the west entrance to the east entrance.  So we still had some more of those views to put up with....
And those views....hey, wait a minute, who invited Skruffy in on the action?  Well, like we have done before, the little girl has to get in on the action now and then....
 But those views....
 ....they did not stop.

 And as we got close to the east entrance, we came upon Saint Mary Lake.
The bad part now...we had to turn around and see it all going the other way!  (tears, tears, cry, cry, cry!)

This time the parking lot was not as busy at Logan's Pass, so I decided to try and see if I could find some of the famed Mountain Goats that are around the pass.
 "Where are the Goats?" I asked..."Take that pathway to that mountain, you are bound to see them...
A very young girl assures me, as I walk along, that she saw 6 goats with her mom..."just go to the snowy area", she says.   But I am over half way to the mountain, alone because there is no way the GoGo could go up the many stairs, and I ask someone else.  "Have you seen the goats?"  "No," she says, "although this little girl said that her and her mom...."   Well, you don't need to go any further...and I definitely wasn't going any further...I sat and rested and got the above and below shot.   
Just as I was getting ready to go, I see a ranger walk by, he stops and looks behind me.  I turn, and what do I see?  Not a goat, not a deer, not an elk, not a bear....but it was a Marmot.  The ranger tells someone, "Yep, that little guy comes out 3-4 time each day...."  The arrow, in the picture below, shows the "big game" picture of the day....
Another thing I heard was that a Grizzly Bear was on the loose about 2 miles further.  They had closed the pathway about a mile away due to "hazardous conditions".  Yep, I guess a Grizzly makes it a hazardous condition.

Needless to say, we really enjoyed our drive....the scenery is fantastic, and we plan to drive it again later in the week, but leaving much early...perhaps around 6 am.

I do want to leave you with three panoramic picture views that I spliced together....


And if you think we enjoyed the day.....well, Bubba below says it all....
 FINALLY!  They let me out of that small car and I am back on grass again! 

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