Animals and more animals—our day started with antelope just outside Great Falls and deer all of the way to East Glacier. And right before East Glacier, we saw the bison herd all bedded down on a hillside: the dark mamas lying next to their golden calves with the snow-capped Rising Wolf, Mount Henry and Dancing Women mountains as a backdrop. Absolutely one of the most scenic views we saw all day.
Then just over Marias pass, a moose was standing in the middle of the road; she darted for the bushes near the shoulder as we approached.
At the bridge by the goat lick, two goats peered at us, and at our short hike on the way home at Three Bear Lake, we saw a young spike bull moose that stared at us until running away as we clicked our cameras. Our last treat was a beautiful red fox who ran across the road and into the fields on our drive home.
But now the hikes: We arrived in West Glacier just before 10 a.m. after a 6:15 start from Great Falls, picking up Marta at Pinnacle along the way. The day was pretty, with a few clouds and a bit humid. We walked three miles up the McDonald Lake Trails, stopping at Rocky Point to get some pictures. We were amazed at all of the bear grass, hawk weed and bunchberry flowers along the trail and the lack of people.
Then we headed to Apgar, stopping at the McDonald Creek bridge to see the bunches of lady slippers that Marta has pointed out to us. There must have been 50 all grouped together. At Apgar, many of us had ice cream and then admired the lake views before heading back out to drop Marta off.
Then at Marias Pass, the nine remaining gals hiked the short part of Autumn Creek trail to Three Bear Lake to see if we could see one of the moose that hang out there, and sure enough we did. We saw the spike bull. We had hoped to see a mama and baby as they are often there too, but not this time. And luckily, we did not get blocked by a train on the way back. We were remembering our snowshoe to the same lake where we crawled under and over idling train cars—a scary decision we hoped not to make again.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye to Glacier for the day as we drove to Buffalo Joe’s for dinner. The server was very attentive and our food came fast, even for a group of nine. We arrived home around 8:30 p.m., much earlier than expected. Who went: Cathy, Linda, Lindy, Catherine, Marta, Gail, Jeanne, Brenda, Sue, Katie