July 25, 2014

7/14/14 - Glacier National Park

Glaciers on the mountains
Two years ago we visited the west side of Glacier National Park, but didn't make it to the east side.  I figured we should make sure we saw the glaciers before they melted. We stayed in East Glacier, and spent one day in the Two Medicine region and another in Many Glacier.

Two Medicine?  Two Medicine WHAT???  Two medicine men?  Two kinds of medicines?  Two medicine plants?  (I forgot to ask a ranger, but I found a webpage (Glacier NP Place Names) with the origin of place names within Glacier.  There are some funky names in Glacier, so I'll keep it handy.)  So...Two Medicine was derived from the name "Two Medicine Lodge Creek," so called because there were two "medicine lodges" located on either side of the creek.  (Do you care about any of this?)
Rising Wolf Mountain at Two Medicine Lake
And to confuse me even more--there are three (3!!) Medicine Lakes:  Lower Two Medicine Lake, Two Medicine Lake and Upper Two Medicine Lake.  Apparently someone had no imagination...
Take your pick:  tour boat, canoe or kayak

We skipped the water rides and, after stopping at the Ranger Station, went on a hike to Appistoki Falls instead.  
Two Medicine Campstore
Bear Grass
Bear Grass is all over the place.  The Ranger told us that Lewis and Clark saw a bear in a whole field of it when they passed through the Rockies, so they assumed bears ate it.  (They don't.)  "But," the Ranger said, "deer do."  And he said it's in the lily family--wonder if Meriwether Lewis knew that?

Appistoki Falls
Appistoki Falls isn't real impressive, but it was a nice walk.  We didn't get too many bug bites.  Named by a topographer making an early map of the park, the name is a translation mistake. He asked his Indian guide what word the Blackfeet used for "looking over something," and the guide, misunderstanding the meaning of his question, gave him the name "Appistoki," for the Indian god who looks over everything and everyone. So he named a mountain, a creek and a waterfall after the god.

On the way out, we went on the short Running Eagle Falls Nature Trail, named after a warrior girl that led war parties on many highly successful raids and was the only woman in the Blackfeet tribe ever to do so or to be given a man's name, Pitamakan.  Now that's a pretty waterfall!
Running Eagle Falls
The next day we headed back up the same direction (that would be north) to the Many Glacier area.  There are still a lot of glaciers, but they've shrunk since the park was established.  We drove past Lake Sherburne and saw a bunch of them.
We had seen a beaver lodge in a little creek beside the road to the park, but didn't see the beavers who lived there.  After lunch, we hiked around Swiftcurrent Lake, starting at the picnic area, and could see evidence of trees beaver had cut down...and still didn't see any beavers.
Beaver Lodge
Tree Cut By Beaver
The historical Many Glacier Hotel was designed as a series of chalets.  Pretty impressive seen from across the lake.
Many Glacier Hotel
This little orange canoe with a stubby tail was near the winter boat house.  I like the contrast.
Boat on the shore of Swiftwater Lake
On the walk around the lake, the view of the mountains constantly changes.  
Mountain view from Many Glacier Hotel
Mt. Wilbur
Grinnell Point
When we were walking by the hotel, George noticed a license plate that in all our travels we'd never seen before.  (This is an old habit from a previous occupation.)  

On the way out, we stopped to look at Swiftcurrent Falls.  This one is even prettier than the one the day before.
People were staring across the river--finally figured out it was a mother bear with a couple of cubs.  I'd put that picture in but you'd have to save it, and then blow it up really big, and I'd need to be there to point out exactly which little black spot was a bear.  

Probably wouldn't work very well, so we'll just skip it this time...

For more pictures of Glacier NP, click here:  Glacier National Park 

Post a comment.

  1. Crikey ..... how beautiful and what wonderful pictures. That's sure some adventure your on. All those medicine places were fascinating, aye?? Maybe if you drink from the medicine lakes you don't get crook. Oh and who knew there were cars in Antarctica!! I would like to visit all those beautiful places but I'd have to have rabies shots and I don't like shots and then I'd have to go in quarantine when I got back home to Australia and I wouldn't like that at all.


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