Thursday, July 31, 2008


I'M BACK!! A most excellent adventure! Six days in the "COOL" & Beautiful Northwest were enjoyed by all of us. We came back physically tired and with a few blisters, but well worth the pain and effort! Hiking these long hikes day after day rivals running and training for a marathon as far as the physical effort. Over today and the next few days, I will give you a day by day journal of our days and pictures to go along. I hope all of you friends enjoy it a fraction of as much as I did.

After flying into Calgary, we all loaded into the van and headed to Glacier National Park-in Montana for the first few days. A 3 plus hour drive through RURAL country side that is also very beautiful. We arrived at our hotel, Many Glacier Hotel and finally fell into bed around 11, knowing the next day would start bright and early. After a "Logger's Breakfast", we were off on our first day's hike. A measly 9.6 miles, from the starting point to Iceberg Lake. We caught up with a ranger guided hike after a couple of miles and decided to follow along and listen. We had a lesson in bears and wildflowers while traveling along the steep trail. The wildflowers were thick and the fields on each side of the trail were covered with more varieties than believable.

During the hike, we came upon a Mother Grizzly and her yearling cub. She was slowly making her way up the side of the mountain meadow and seemed to totally be oblivious of our presence. We all stopped and took pictures while the ranger watched carefully for other hikers behind us. They never got in any hurry and crossed the hiking trail and kept on going up the mountain. We then hiked the rest of the way to Iceberg Lake. The Lake is full of icebergs year round and is quite beautiful. We ate our lunch by the lake and headed back to the trail head.

We felt so good that we decided to hike up to Tarmigan Tunnel which was an additional 5 + miles. OH BY THE WAY STRAIGHT UP!!!! After we had hiked FOREVER, we then hit the switch backs going STRAIGHT UP. The tunnel was at the top-but so small-because of distance that you could not make it out. The tunnel was dug for a horse route through the mountain. REALLY SOMETHING! We finally made it through the tunnel and over to the other side which was unbelievable! IT WAS A LONG WAY HOME on very tired legs. PERHAPS A LITTLE LONG for the first day's hike considering we are all flatlanders who live about 100 feet above sea level the rest of the year. LIVE AND LEARN!

Here we go-off for the first day's hike. The pavement runs out after about .3 mile and it is dirt and rock the rest of the way.
The ranger stopped to show us a tree where the bears have been scratching and give us a lesson on bear etiquette.

Babs does not seem very happy during the bear lecture!

A little rest by the stream for water and a snack. Sonja is meditating and enjoying the scenery while Sandra is testing the COLD mountain stream.

A small example of the field upon field of wildflowers that we hiked through. The pink flower is a wild spirea that we pay plenty for around here.

Look down through the meadow. The brown thing is one of the bears. We were about 100 feet away from Momma and Baby.

Here we all are in front of Iceberg Lake. It was COLD!

On the way to the tunnel, you will note the trail over to the right of the picture. There was still snow left-everywhere we hiked.

Here we are at the top of the mountain in front of the tunnel. Note behind Sonja's back how far down you can see.

Almost everywhere we went, the chipmunks were. This one let Sonja feed it from her hand.

The Tunnel. It is really unbelievable that they drilled through SOLID rock to get to the other side!

The view on the other side of the mountain. It made the really hard climb well worth the effort.
15.1 miles on the first day. We ate dinner at the trailhead restaurant and headed back to the hotel to fall in bed after a short soak. Tomorrow is coming and another long hike is planned with a early start. Stay tuned tomorrow for part two of A Most Excellent Adventure.

A view of just one part of the switchbacks that got you up and down the mountain.


Anonymous said...

"Mountain Boss"

The Tylers said...

Love the narration and the pictures. Can't wait for tomorrow's adventure!!!!

adrian seney said...

Love the pictures! Glad you are home safe and sound!

Hannah Lee said...

How Glorious! I am so glad you guys had fun and are back safe and sound. Since school is wrapping up I may be joining yall for aerobics T/Th. I really enjoy the MWF class with Sharon! I am going to try to really push it, though, and join with yall to get "beach ready." The classes are so much fun!

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