We began our day at a WalMart in Kalispell, Montana. After running into WalMart for “just yogurt and sandwich meat” and coming out with a whole lot more than that as well as Charlie having to make a quick repair to the cable that hooks up the camper breaks and lights, we were finally on our way to our campground where we dumped our camper so as to head off into Glacier National Park.
We had a nice picnic beside a quiet lake, but we were attacked by large black flies, so we didn’t stay for long. It was nice to have flush toilets in that area as much of what we have encountered within national parks are pit toilets aka vault toilets. We headed off to the Visitors’ Center to get information on area hiking. I learned that Glacier National Park had an estimated 150 glaciers in 1850. Today they are down to 24 glaciers and are estimating that the glaciers will be completely gone from the park by 2030. We were all a little disappointed that we wouldn’t actually be able to get close to a glacier. The hikes that allowed this were not in our ability.
After we decided where we wanted to hike, we made sure we read all the safety information regarding bears as grizzlies and black bears are common in this area. We finally went on a hike to Avalanche Lake that was about 2.5 miles in. These hikes take us forever due to one little boy who is very pokey and distractable. Even his younger brother will hike quicker than he does. When we finally get there, we are rewarded by seeing three waterfalls coming down the side of the mountain behind Avalanche Lake. The kids had a great time skipping rocks on the lake and putting their feet in the cold, glacial water. On the walk back I became very curious about the green and purple rocks that we were seeing in abundance. I shall definitely have to ask a ranger about that in the future. We saw a big doe that liked to wander along the edge of the trail. Some of the kids and Charlie even saw a black bear further up in the woods. I just tried to hurry the littler kids along and continue to make a good deal of noise so it wouldn’t want to come close to us. Making noise for us is, obviously, not a problem. Towards the end of the trail we ran into another large family and stopped to talk with them. They were a local family with 10 children and had another family with 6 children visiting and hiking with them. Again, we enjoyed visiting with another family with similar values and life situations.
After we finished our hike we began our drive back to our campground. I was fortunate enough to see a black bear at the side of the road – the perfect place to view a bear is from the safety of my van. We made it back pretty late, but we all fell asleep quickly tired from our adventures.