Monday, August 20, 2007

Vacation (Pt. 3)

So...the day after the Grinnell Glacier hike we took a day off and hung around the Many Glacier Lodge, reading and spending a bit of time Grizzly watching.

(A cropped and rather blurry picture of bear and cub--they were far away)

(and another...apparently the cub was born this year but is rather a large one)

We had been planning to rent a boat and go out on Swiftcurrent Lake but as it turned out, it was too windy and cold to take a boat out. So we drove a ways down the Going-to-the-Sun Road, past St. Mary Lake.

We parked at Sunrift Gorge (nice name, that) and while Erin and my father hiked up to St. Mary Falls I sat around nursing my blisters, taking pictures, and reading my Millay biography.

(Lots of Aspen around the gorge--the bark is green because it has chlorophyll in it. Erin tells me that the younger trees tend to be greener.)

And Wednesday we decided to go up to Waterton in Alberta because the smoke was bothering my dad and he was convinced (mostly incorrectly) that it would be clearer there than in Many Glacier. They gave us a hard time crossing the border with only drivers licenses. I don't know if it's a western thing or if they're tightening up security in preparation for the upcoming--and totally stupid, for the record--passport requirement, because I've never been asked for more than my license when traveling from Buffalo to Canada. Had become quite accustomed to just crossing the border at the spur of the moment so it's a shame to lose that.

(Blakiston Valley)

We did a short walk to Blakiston Falls and saw Red Rock Canyon.

Then we drove over to Cameron Lake. On the way we saw some bears (Black bears this time), a mother and her two cubs checking out a picnic area. Now we've seen Black bears with cubs before, wandering through campsites, playing in latrines, and climbing trees in an attempts to get at bear bags, while backpacking in the Adirondacks. But they're always fun to see.
(the other cub is behind the picnic table, I think)

The Lake Cameron walk would have been boring (neither the lake nor the views around it were anything special) but it was saved by some lovely wildflowers and a Mule deer who was thoroughly unconcerned about people.

(Grass of Parnassus--wonderfully evocative name)


And then it was back to Many Glacier. Crossing back over the border the US Customs agent was sure to point out that 1-in-6 New York licenses belongs to an illegal alien.

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