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.
Wow!!! Your pictures are so beautiful!! It is so sad to hear that the glaciers will all be gone by 2030. That is only 15 years away, how traject. I Cannot believe that you saw green & purple rocks! They would go very well with my old room @ Gran & Grandpa’s house. Glacier Park looks so beautiful. I know that it is a blessing that you did not run into any bears. I am sorry that you did not get to see a moose or elk. When we were in Maine last summer there was a sign that read ” Moose crossing” or something like that (we were on a very busy highway). My little ones & I started to laugh because we had never seen anything like that before, but at the same time I drove slower & with added caution because I definitely did not want to hit one of those.
We are so glad that you are having a beautiful & wonderful time on your trip. we love you & hope that your trip continues to be happy, healthy, and safe.
Lots of Love,
The Helmueller Family
Great photos! Especially of my grandsons! I like the way AnaClaire is making sure that she is in the group photo.
I pity the poor bear that stumbles across the Whisonant Clan. He may die of fright.
“One little boy who is very pokey and distractible”? You guys be nice to Dominic. He is enjoying nature and appreciating God’s wondrous creation. I know an old man who is the exact same way. Just ask Gran.
Glaciers gone by 2030? I better hurry up and get there. The fact that our climate is changing is well documented through the physical evidence. Although some people still don’t believe that mankind is responsible.
Great pictures! They definitely make me want to go visit. I looked online at directions from Coeur d’Alene to Glacier National Park and it’s about a 4 hour trip. Gran, Grandpa and I are considering it after my race (but it would be a lot of driving). I’ll have to pick your brain for more insight as to exploring some of Coeur d’Alene’s National Forest or making the trek to Glacier.
I too can relate to Dominic, since I have been known to have the attention span of a gnat and routinely get lost in my own little world at times. However, he definitely beats me with his ‘no fear’ attitude and boundless energy.
Rebecca – you are doing an awesome job capturing everything! Still, I’m anxious to hear from Nicholas on some of the things he has learned in Earth Sciences (very impressed when we talked in Barstow).
Love you all!
We found your blog! How fun to run into another family with 10 children! Hope you are enjoying your time in Glacier National Park. You might Google Lewis and Clark Caverns, also, Gates of the Mountains. A quick view is the sleeping giant. (He can be seen in Helena Mt.) If you are through Helena, they have a great history museum and a trolley through town that gives history of the town. Helena is a very catholic town as well as Butte. Butte has a statue of Mary on top of one of the mountains. This information will be helpful only if your heading east in Montana. :). If your heading back to Idaho via Hwy 2 I can recommend some stops your family might enjoy. I’ll think through other stops you might enjoy! Though you probably have your schedule filled at this time. Oh yes, huckleberries are out of season right now. The earliest they might be ready is mid August, but late August is your best bet. Maybe when you come back it’ll be August and we can show you our secrete picking spot! ;). Bring your bear spray…
I see that Isaac is throwing a secret sign with his left hand. He is saying ‘I love you,’ in sign language. Tell him that I love him too, and also relay the message to everyone else. I love to see all the authentic smiles in these photos. Beautiful! I wish I were with you for a few days; I am missing you lots.