Friday, August 11, 2006

Glacier Journeys – Part 3

Our last four days in Glacier National Park were centered around Two Medicine Lakes in the southeastern portion of the park. A bit less dramatic, a bit drier, but still rich in wildlife and glacier-carved landscapes.

On our way to the lakes, we drove through the town of Browning. Located within the Blackfoot Indian Reservation, it had the typical drabness and rundown feeling of a reservation. The grocery store, however, was well stocked in produce, and we loaded up after more than a week of dehydrated and canned foods. We had quite the variety of fruits and vegetables, causing the man in line behind us to ask, “Are you guys vegetarians or something?”

John and I headed to Chief Lodgepole Peak via Cobalt Lake for a day hike. It was over 15 miles roundtrip, so we again got an early start. The top photo shows John gazing from the peak. We were rewarded by being the first on top, and on our descent we came across a group of mountain sheep, which included a mother and her kid (second photo). Click here to see a video of them in action.

We followed that day hike with an overnight backpack trip. We made a loop trip around Rising Wolf Mountain, camping one night at No Name Lake. The third photo shows reflections of the early morning light on Two Medicine Lake looking up towards the canyon we were to ascend. It was a short day in, and we were at camp by noon. We spent the afternoon lolling on the lakeshore reading magazines and solving crossword puzzles. The next morning we completed a total of four passes, the named ones being Dawson Pass and Pitamakin Pass. This trail followed the grain of the sedimentary layers along the ridge on the backside between passes, as shown in the fourth photo.

We ended our Glacier journey with a rest day in camp. All summer we told people our goal was Glacier National Park, but we tend to live by the edict that it is the journey, not the destination, that makes the trip worthwhile. Glacier was more than I ever expected, and even if it was a destination, our time there was a journey in itself.

Posted using wi-fi access from Missoula Public Library, Montana.
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