Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 11 - Glacier National Park

Tuesday, August 24
Woke up and hiked the Avalanche Lake trail, right from our campsite.  We left about 9:30 am.  This was one of the hikes that Dan and I did on the way home from our wedding in 2002.  Avalanche Gorge is so amazing!  When we reached Avalanche Lake, there were a lot of people, but the weather was sunny and spectacularly beautiful.  All the kids did a good job hiking except Anna, who was a little whiny and tired out.

After finishing our hike, we ate lunch and packed up the campsite.  We did some more sightseeing from the car while driving to Many Glacier.  There we did some grizzly bear watching on a grassy mountain slope directly across Swiftcurrent Lake from the lodge.  All together, we saw 6 grizzlies and one black bear on that slope.  There was a mother grizzly with two 2-year old cubs and another mother with two yearling cubs.  The black bear was alone.  A  little further down the same road, we saw the black bear again, even a little closer to the road.  That's definitely the most bears I've ever seen!  There was obviously something tasty eat on that slope.

Finally, after our big gawker slow-down at the bear slope, we got on the road home. I drastically underpacked in the food area, so with empty cooler and empty stomachs, we started searching the navigator for a pizza place on the way home. After a stop at the delicious Mackenzie River Pizza in Kalispell, we rolled on towards T Falls with full bellies. Since we had eight in the van (am I going to jail for posting this?), we buckled Elsie and Ethan together in one seat, and it was a long, tired trip home for them. To add to the fun, there was still road work near Hot Springs at 11 at night. We waited impatiently for the a pilot car (twice) to lead us through the construction zone. When we finally piled into our beds, it was well after midnight.

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