Monday, September 9, 2013

Mini-Vacation to Glacier National Park Part One

I promised more pictures in my last blog post if the internet cooperated.  It didn't (I first tried posting that Thursday, ended up posting it Sunday night when I got home and had good internet).  So I guess I'll post some pictures now, more later. 

All these pictures were taken with an iPhone 5.  Also, the weather was not cooperative and we didn't see much blue sky.  Here is a selection of the best pictures of the approximately 80 pictures I took (thank heaven for digital).  As my friend Gavin Seim would point out, they are "snapshots" but even then I tried to take the best pictures I could.

We arrived later than planned due to road construction delays and me taking a wrong turn.  By the time we had dinner and got to our hotel parking lot, it was dark.  And we were greeted by this fellow: a coyote.  He didn't seem to want to come into the lighted parking lot so I snapped his picture but due to low light and zooming it, the picture is very poor quality.  I wondered at that point how much wildlife we'd encounter.  And actually, it wasn't much.

Parking Lot Coyote
The next morning we drove into the park from the east side on the Going to the Sun Road and when we saw the scene below was when we first got a clue we were into something special.  We stopped by the road to take this picture of St. Mary Lake along with some of the mountains in Glacier National Park.

St. Mary Lake and Mountains
After seeing that we stopped to take a picture of Wild Goose Island in St. Mary Lake and that picture is here.
Glacier National Park was named so because of the abundance of glaciers on the mountains in the area.  This was the first glacier we saw that morning.
Glacier in Glacier National Park
The mountains and valleys of Glacier Park are just breath-taking.  Verdant low-lands rise swiftly to rocky, craggy mountains, as in this picture:

Mountains and Valley in Glacier National Park
Because of the low clouds, rain, and haze, it made the lighting in some spots interesting.  This picture seems to capture it best (taken at Logan Pass on the Continental Divide at the visitor center parking lot).

Logan Pass Visitor Center Parking Lot
There are still more valleys to see as you descend west-bound from Logan Pass.  It started raining which added another dimension to our pictures' lighting.

Glacier National Park valley
It rained until after lunch at the nearly west-end of the park and the Going to the Sun Road.  But then the sun came out and we actually saw some blue patches in the sky at the west end of Lake McDonald.
Lake McDonald at Apgar
 We turned around and headed east on the Going to the Sun Road, stopping at Lake McDonald Lodge to snap this picture.
Lake McDonald at Lake McDonald Lodge
When I first thought of going to Glacier National Park I thought "Mountains, trees, lakes, hmph, a Jedi seeks not these things." No, what I thought was "Been there, done that." But what amazing mountains that seem to claw at the clouds with their jagged sides, what pretty trees (as the leaves were beginning to change on the aspen and the evergreens were everywhere) and what blue, calm, pristine lakes.

More pictures tomorrow from this amazing place.

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