August 2011

August 21st, Sunday

Didn't leave Libby until after 2:00AM. We were dissappointed the Skipper's in Kalispell was no longer there. We ate there every night when there with the boys about 12 years ago. We were nearly in the park when Cyd read an email from Ross. He needed money for rent. So we drove back to Kalispell to get a good signal and I transfered some money with my phone. We entered the park and drove the "Road to the Sun" to Logan Pass. We were treated to a lone goat and four sheep at the pass. The sheep were loitering around the parking lot, licking something off the ground. Rumor was it was antifreeze? Crossed the park and settled into the KOA at St. Mary's shortly before dark. Hot dogs, Blue Moon and smores for dinner. The restrooms near us had individual shower rooms with sinks and toilets.

Heading up the "Road To The Sun" The pavement is poured right up to the rocks Single Mountain Goat near the top of Logan Pass To get this spectacular Big Horn Sheep we hiked 12 miles, up 3400 feet to a remote ridge and used a 800MM lens. (Not really, he was actually only 50 feet from four sani-cans at the Logan Pass parking lot).
  Knocking heads in the parking lot. They were licking something off the pavement
Site A20 at the KOA in St. Mary   Riding horses in the park

August 22nd, Monday

Slept in this morning. Entered the park via the Many Glaciers Road around noon. Hiked a very flat trail out to Grinnell Lake. It was a welcome relief from the climb to Leigh Lake. It was just what we needed. We were able to purchase a ride back on the boat from the hotel, $11 each. We opted to finish the trip walking at the break between the lakes. The lady Cyd sat next to was not happy with us. The boat guide pointed out four grizzlies on the hillside above the lake. The stablizing binoculars work great. Met two ladies on the trail who had seen and heard reports of a big moose at Red Rock Lake. Drove to the little Swift Current Hotel and had some ice cream. They sell bear spray there for $48 per can. It is very windy here! Hot dogs and beer for dinner again.

Many Glaciers Hotel Our first full day we hiked the trail to Grinnell Lake Peak along the route
Looking towards the end of Stump Lake The tour boat  
  About 50 flies on mountain parsley plant The boat dock
    Grinnell Lake
Sleeping hiker   Grinnell Lake
Crossing the swinging bridge Showing my "Michelsons", good grief!  
The brush was cleared back from the trail so it would be easier for bears to see and hear humans coming. The boat and Many Glaciers Hotel in distance.  

August 23rd, Tuesday

Up and on the trail out to Redrock Lake about 8:30AM. We causiously hiked the chain of lakes to the approach to the Swift Current Pass trail. We discussed turning back several times for fear of bears. We were passed by an elderly park ranger just before reaching Bullhead Lake which helped settle us into the rest of the hike. We heard him hauller loudly at blind corners. No moose. We stopped at Red Rock falls on the way back. We heard a big bull moose was spotted at Fishcap Lake earlier in the morning. Before driving out we saw three big grizzlies on the hill above the Swift Current Hotel. A female with two big cubs.

Red Rocks Some geology Mr. Ground squirrel
Small swinging bridge Bullhead Lake  
Reminds me of Herb Crisler    
  Red Rock falls with camera set to "auto" Camera with slower shutter speed.
    Some of Cyd's art work. Very nice.
  Saw several Grizzlies on the ridge above Swift Current Hotel A "snow-goat"
Sow grizzly with two grown cubs    
We moved into a cabin for our last two nights. More hotdogs and beer. There was a fire ban the last night.    

August 24th, Wednesday

We left the cabin early, 7:00AM. Saw a small bear on the entrance road. It crossed the road after drinking from the river. It looked small to be alone. Saw a second bear before the turn to the hotel. Hiked into Fishcap Lake and settled into a spot across from the inlet stream. We were looking for the big bull moose. To our surprise a female moose with a calf in tow walked into the lake from the stream just five minutes after we sat down. They walked the far shore and out the outlet stream. Next we drove to Waterton Lakes. A Canadian National Park. We had to give up our firewood at the border. Waterton village was very nice. Built to a european style with a grand hotel. The Prince of Wales Hotel. We returned to Fishcap for an evening stake-out. We were again treated to a single female moose that spent over an hour feeding in the shallow lake.

Little bear Mountains above the lake. Fishcap Lake
Mom and baby walking up the inlet stream    
The moose across the lake Fire Lookout Chief mountain on our way to Canada
Border crossing Waterton Lakes park scenery Mountains about Waterton
The grand Prince of Wales Hotel Cameron Lake  
Moose hunters back at Fishcap Lake. We waited for 3 and a half hours before the femaile moose appeared. The moose entered the lake from the brush behind her.  
Lifting head out of water to chew. Cyd approaching MMoose at the far end of the lake

August 25th, Thursday

Up at 5:15. showered and going back to Fishcap for one last try to see the big bull. Reached the lake at 7:05AM. I sat down in my chair and we were joined by a group of Amish. They hired a driver to bring them from Iowa. Seven men and two women. They helped us spot five goats on the far ridge. They left the lake at 8:45AM. We were going to leave at 9AM, but were still there at 9:15 when not one, but two hugh bull moose step out of the forest into the lake. Spectacular! A nearby Minnesotan estimated there horns at 5 to 6 feet across, making them both trophy size. One walked the lake and exited at the outlet stream The other waded around the lake eating for an hour. We left the lake excited, ate our cereal breakfast in the park and headed home. We reached home at exactly midnight.

Glacier Sunset Goat high above the lake Amish friends
Amish moose hunters, they left 30 minutes before the moose appeared    
Glacier tour car.