Our intention today was to get up and head out nice and early, but we all slept in to almost 8:00. We finally got everyone into the van and started driving back to Glacier. We made it about 15 minutes away from the campground when we realized that no one had grabbed the breakfast food for the kids (we were going to eat breakfast in the car to save us time this morning). I let everyone know that it wasn’t a big deal – we would just stop at a grocery store and pick up something. Probably two hours later we still hadn’t found a grocery store. We did finally find a gas station, so I ran in there and bought peanut butter crackers and pretzels for everyone. We had wanted to get an early start because we wanted to get to the eastern side of the park and hopefully see some wildlife over there. Several of us really wanted to see moose, and a ranger had told us that we had the best chance of viewing moose on the eastern side of the park.
After a 3 ½ hour drive we finally made it to a Visitors’ Center where the kids were able to buy their postcards and such. Then we drove to the Many Glaciers entrance to the park for some wildlife viewing (hopefully) and some more hiking as the weather had cleared up from the very rainy morning that we had started with. We did another wonderful hike to the Redrock Waterfall and got off the trail just in time to avoid the brewing thunderstorm. We made another quick stop for some of the older kids to stick their feet in one of the lakes up there, but they came whooping and hollering back about how cold the water was. Unfortunately, the only wildlife we saw were a couple deer on the trail and about 4 horses that we encountered hanging out in the middle of the road. We wondered if they were wild, but they had brands. We had noticed signs to watch for ranging cattle and had crossed cattle guards going into the national park, so we figured there were just free-ranging horses too.
I did ask a ranger about the purple and green rocks that I had seen. She explained that they were argillite. There is a small amount of iron in their makeup. If oxygen was present when the rocks formed, then they took on a red color (or reddish-purple in my opinion). The lack of oxygen present at a rock’s formation created a green color. Anyhow, they are beautiful. She also explained that the rivers were a beautiful green color and the lakes a beautiful blue because the water came from the glaciers, and as the glaciers move they have ground some of those colorful rocks up so finely that the rock particles end up in the lakes and rivers giving them beautiful colors.
After we finished our hike, we drove up to the Canadian border. We were only about 15 minutes or so away from it. As I have never driven out of this country, it was very different to see signs that said, “Leaving the USA”. Of course, none of us has valid passports anymore, so we couldn’t venture across the border, but the kids really liked the idea that they could look down the road into Canada.
The kids have been busy working on their Jr. Ranger booklets again, so tomorrow we shall go back to Glacier so that they can turn the booklets in and get their badges. Tonight we decided to try someplace local for dinner on our way back from the eastern side of Glacier. We stopped at a place called Elk Grill. I have been wanting to try elk, moose, or something of the sort, so I ended up ordering a Bison chopped steak with mushrooms and onions. Boy was that good! Ryon also was adventuresome with his food choice, so he tried an Elk burger and enjoyed that also. Charlie doesn’t step out of his comfort zone in terms of his food choices very often, so he settled on a grilled sirloin steak, but he did try a bite of my bison.
What a beautiful country we are blessed to live in! Glacier National Park is only one of the many treasures that the United States has to offer. However, I have also experienced over and over on this trip that our most important treasure this country has to offer are the wonderful people who live here. We have been so blessed by all of you, our friends and family, as well as by the many people we have met on our journeys. Thank you for the blessings that you are to our lives!