Monday, September 8, 2014

Glacier National Park

Our last major vacation of the summer was to Glacier National Park in Montana in August. It was sooo beautiful! Everything was soooo green! I realize why people live in places like that, even though it's cold!!

Oh and be prepared for picture overload!!! But they were all so neat I could leave too many out!

Kate helping pack! She carried my hat out towards the car! :)

 Lunch time on our way from Challis! Yummy food and cutest little cafe!

Emery Bay @ Hungry Horse Reservoir

Running Eagle Falls Trail


All the rocks were bright green and red!

Kate managed to get her PB&J sandwich all over her face and hands, but amazingly none on her shirt!


Whoops! Ty slipped!

Something jumped in the bushes and it was this Guinea Hen. There is another one hiding, just to the right at the very top of the picture!

  A neat Panoramic view on the way back!

The next day we headed up the Going to the Sun Road to Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake.
 This is Lake McDonald

  This is Josie's determined look!

 The boulders here were enormous!

A giant tree root!


 It was so green everywhere you looked!

 These 2 are crazy goofs!

 Scrambling to the top of this huge boulder!

 She made it!


 Josie's boat! She made it with only a little help from Grandpa!

 Well since we didn't plan on hiking today Josie ended up walking 4.5 miles all by herself! She did soooo good. For the last mile we had to distract her by talking about her favorite Disney princesses.

The next day we relocated camp to the Many Glacier's area. We went on Going to the Sun Road while my parents took Josie and went around the park.

...and Kate conked out after just a few minutes.

 I still couldn't believe that everything was so green!

 Jackson Glacier Overlook

 Silly Kate! Every time she wear this yellow jacket, it reminds me of Paddington Bear.

After we got settled into a campsite we decided to head up to Canada and the Waterton Lakes area. If was quite foggy so you couldn't see very far, but it was pretty neat still.

Josie was so excited to see the Hotel. She saw some pictures of it at home before we left and said , "Mom, let's go see that Castle!" Ty even asked to see if there was a room for the night for a couple of little princesses, but the only one left was the Grand Suite with an unknown price tag! Yikes!

 She kept climbing all the way to the top. The stairs literally narrowed all the way to the 5th floor, where there were at most 18-24" wide.

 The view from the Huge wall of windows. You could come sit down and enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea! How fun!

The quaint little village of Waterton down below.

A true canadian thistle!

One of the only phone booths I've seen in years.

The following day Grandpa and Grandma decided to drive the Going to the Sun Road and offered to take the girls with them so Ty and I could do a long day hike.

We wanted to do an overnight backpack trip to Sperry Chateau but there weren't any openings. Oh well. The hike turned out to be really really neat!

 Our first encounter of the day with a moose and her baby.

  I love how flat the rock it at the very top! It almost looks fake!!

Our second encounter with another mama moose and her baby!

 BTW I do not have a telephoto lens! They just kept munching their way closer and closer to us...and we kept moving further and further back down the trail!

These flowers are called the Bear Flower, and they only bloom once every 7-10 years. We talked with a guys that has been here for the last 19 years and he said this year is the best he's ever seen them in bloom!

 Iceberg Lake!!

 Ty and I jumped on an iceberg and ferried around a bit. Our "Iceberg Selfie"!

Then I jumped from that one to another one and to this one. Ty couldn't make it as my jumping pushed his further away!

 But Ty made it back to shore and found this nice little paddle bough and sailed them out to get me.

Although this doesn't look like much the edges of the iceberg are very melted so I had to jump at least 8 feet to get to the middle of the next iceberg, but I made it! Thanks to Ty for the cinematography. :)

Then I had to paddle my new ship back to shore! But I can honestly say this was one of the coolest things I've ever done in my whole life!

 We then found another one further up river to ferry across to the landmass in the middle.

Everyone there (about 150 people, quite a popular place after a few hours) thought we were crazy, but a gal we met at the trail head drove in in her swimming suit!!!
 We got a couple to take our picture with our camera that we left on the shore...just in case we had to do any swimming! I anchored the "boat" there while Ty went to explore and vice versa.

 We "ran aground" on the way back to shore and had to wade the last few feet. It was mighty cold water, as you probably figured!

 After we were done there we headed up to Ptarmigan Tunnel.
 It started raining the last 45 mins towards the tunnel.

It's pretty hard to tell, but there is a really thin trail starting on the left hand side of the pictures that cuts all the way across the bowl and zigzags about three times before reaching the tunnel. It was super steep, but we didn't even stop until we got to the top!

 This one's for you, Beau!

And there's the trail cutting back down the other side!

 We hung out here for a little while until the rain stopped as we ate our lunch. We met up with and chatted with the same people that had taken our picture on the iceberg. They were continuing on to Elizabeth Lake at the bottom of the trail for the night.

As you can see from the super steep rock walls, the tunnel made it possible to get to the other side of the mountain. For all you history buffs, check out more about it here.

 This was the only guy who passed us on the whole trail, but he was nearly jogging. He sat on this ledge on played his wooden flute the most peaceful Tibetan sounding music! Also here are the steel doors into the tunnel.

 Here you can see the trail below us!

Just a little potty humor!

 After our long 15 mile hikes with 3000+ ft elevation gain we relaxed back at camp with a nice cold one! :)

Meanwhile Josie and Kate and Grandpa and Grandma were busy on the other side of the park.


Apparently this Wild Goose Island! We spent at least an hour driving here on Saturday because that's where Josie wanted to go. Little did we know she had already seen it the day before!

 The wild goose chase for Wild Goose Island...nope not here!

 It was really windy!

There it is! Josie and I hiked down this far and then she said, "Let's take the trail to get to the island!" Ha!

 But we decided to take a fun pic instead!
 We headed towards home after that! We wanted to stop at some hot springs and my dad helped us find some in Fairmont, MT, about half way home.
Josie absolutely loves hot springs and was even more excited to see the water slide. She went down about 15 times or more! Only 3 times or so with Ty and I! A lady nearby took a video of her coming out of the slide, but the best part is the audio. You can hear her from all the way at the top! She did this every time she came down the slide!

We were going to stay at the hotel that night, but it was booked. So after calling around a nice guy from another booked hotel said to call the Celtic House Inn, "They are the cheapest in town." I wasn't sure about this, but the total came to $48.54 and it wasn't five stars by any means, but a perfect place to sleep for one night.

We were headed to get breakfast the next morning and Ty couldn't find his wallet. So the girls at some snacks on the sidewalk while we called for the owner to check the room for the wallet. Sure enough! It was under one of the beds!

 A cute little place! Each of the doors had someone's name plate on the front of it, since these were residential apartments way back in the day. Our's said John H. Durston, of whom you can read about here and here! Pretty neat!

There was no LDS church in Anaconda to go to, so we decided to stop by the temple in IF on our way to my mom's house. Josie and Kate loved it!

It was my grandpa birthday, so we had a BBQ with the family and a "slide show" from the trip.
Happy Birthday 85th Woody!

Just a fun picture on the way home! It was definitely a fun trip. One we'll have to take again when the girls are big enough to backpack with us! :) Josie was sad she didn't get to stand up paddle on an Iceberg! Maybe next time little princess!

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