Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation (Pt. 1)

Ok, so I did say that I was going to subject you to posts about my recent vacation once I got the pictures sorted and I wasn't joking. Be comforted though, by the fact that it'll mostly just be nature photos. And there will be animals (although not today). Baby animals, even. I'm just saying.

A few years back, my sister Erin and I spent 6-7 weeks driving around the country and went to a passel of national parks but decided that Glacier was just too far out of our way. It didn't help that by that time we were sick of driving. So we turned East at Crater Lake and cut straight across Western Oregon and Idaho (and talk about a boring drive) to the Grand Tetons. Thus Glacier seemed like a pretty natural choice for a family vacation this year. And then my mother decided that she and my brother wouldn't come so it ended up being my father, sister, and me. Which was fine since that's what our hiking and camping trips generally are.

Flying into Montana we saw forest fires and smoke out the plane window, which was new for us. Being from Buffalo, when people comment about the snow, you often wind up saying things like, "yeah, but at least we just get snow, not earthquakes (usually not anyway), tornados, hurricanes, forest fires, etc. Snow isn't so bad."

(out the plane window)

The first night we stayed outside the park at a hotel next to train tracks called the Isaak Walton, which had a neat, rustic little train theme, using old railroad stakes in the decor and such.

(the lamp switch-not a particularly useful mechanism when you could just pull the chain but kind of neat anyway)

And the next morning off we went to the park, going first to Two Medicine, passing alongside Blackfeet country on the way.

(this statue is by the sign for Blackfeet country)

In the Two Medicine area we did a little walk to Running Eagle Falls/Trick Falls. We picked thimbleberries on the way (Erin took a class in the Pacific Northwest this summer and now she knows the name of all kinds of plants).

(the falls-when the water is higher, earlier in the year, water pours over the top as well, concealing the lower source)

And then, on the spur of the moment, we decided to do a 10-mile hike (more of a walk really) to Upper Two Medicine Lake. Not a lot of views or anything but nice anyway. And a ranger pointed us to a fantastic huckleberry patch.


(Upper Two Medicine Lake)

On the way back we took a tiny detail to see Twin Falls, which is exactly what it sounds like.
(the more picturesque side of Twin Falls)

That night we ate dinner at a place called the Park Cafe in St. Mary.

Erin's kind of place, lots of organic and vegetarian food--the latter of which was in short supply in the area. Stayed the night in the St. Mary campground just inside the park

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