Glacier National Park, Montana

August 16 - 18, 2006

Dave Svilar, Dan Svilar

Join me on a photo essay into the bowels of the Glacier National Park...

Instead of driving direct from Lopez Island to Colorado Dad joined me for a short trip to Glacier.  Dad thought we were just going to take a few photos and leave, but with so many trails and peaks it didn't turn out that way.

Father and son posing in front of what's left of the Grinnel Glacier.
Avalanche Gorge.  We rolled in late the first night staying at the Avalanche Creek campground.  This little stretch of creek is renowned amongst photo trophy hunters.  I assume the water level would be much higher in early summer, but I still found it picture-worthy.
Dad reluctantly prepares for another tailgate oatmeal breakfast.
Going to the Sun Road.  This road is worthy of a fancy nickname as it crosses Logan Pass, bisecting the north and south ends of the park.
Looking for bears or whatever else may have been crawling in the bushes along the roadside.
Popular overlook of St Mary's Lake along the road.  We hiked a short distance down to the shore and found an outstanding shoreline highlighted by a secluded beach with some of the best skipping rocks ever created.
Crystal clear waters of the rocky St Mary's Lake shoreline.  Over 99% of car-loving tourons will never visit this spot, which was easily the best I saw in my short time in the park.
Skipping rocks shimmer below the surface while Dave wades.  Meanwhile, Dad takes the opportunity to, not surprisingly, nap along the beach.
Later that same day we hiked the Grinnel Glacier trail.  Much of the trail hikes above the aqua-blue colored Grinnel Lake.
There isn't much left of the Grinnel Glacier or for that matter, any of the tiny pocket glaciers in the park.  So, my question is how did the park get its name?
After a second night in the park campgrounds we woke early and returned to "our spot" underneath the pullout above St Mary's Lake for sunrise.  Our proximity to campground bathrooms had to led to a lack of sleep.  That's what happens when you're so close you can hear patrons of the restroom zipping their flies.  Don't be the last to get a spot at a campground.  Better yet, just go sleep somewhere in the back of your car.
Dad and I snuck down to the spot while a herd of tripod totin' photo geeks stampeded each other to take the same picture.
Dad sniffs wildflowers along the cow trail to Hidden Lake Overlook.  The plan was for a short hike, but upon seeing the Hidden Lake and its surrounding peaks I decided that bagging a summit was of the utmost importance.  He was none too pleased, but his 60 year old body finally acquiesced to a body exactly half its age.
Alpine grandeur.  Hidden Lake and the peak to its right (never did get the name) was our destination.  What?  You say that peak looks like a pile of choss?
Dad, cursing me under his breath, sidehills his way out of bear country and onto the brutal choss of our objective.
Dad gets a short reprieve from the never-ending scree.  Shortly after Dad decides to call his high point citing steep terrain and crumbly holds as a perfect excuse to find a large flat boulder and ... snooze.  I foolishly go on to the top getting my first Glacier summit, and almost surely my last.  Glacier is a place for hiking, swimming, and fishing, not climbing.  We returned to the car, drove to Bozeman, and staying with the trend camped near a bathroom at a rest area.  Another excellent, albeit unexpected trip with Dad.

- written August 2006

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