Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer in Montana, or "Why We Put Up with Nine Months of Winter"

Warning:  There are a gazillion pictures in this post.  If you want to look at it, you can probably click and then go get a cup of tea while all the pictures load.  :-)

We have a family tradition of hiking the Hidden Lake trail in Glacier National Park every year.  Not many people who live around here do it, because it is the most popular hike in the park and it is always crowded with tourists.  But we usually do it in late August or early September when the crowds start to thin, so it's not too bad.  This year, PellMel is moving to Bozeman in a couple of weeks, so we had to go ahead.

This was supposed to be the picture of all the tourists, but it didn't turn out very well-- if it were a better picture, you could see little bitty people all the way back to the visitor center:


But in spite of the crowds, there are lots of reasons why it is the most popular hike in the park.  For example, bighorn sheep in the parking lot:


There are plenty of wildflowers:


And it's not a very difficult hike.  It goes steadily uphill for about the first mile, but then you're just walking along a trail:


There are gorgeous views everywhere you turn:




There's enough snow to lob a few snowballs:

PellMel and MadMax practicing their skills for next winter

And there is plenty of wildlife to see, like marmots:


and picas (he's exiting the picture on the right, they move so fast it was hard to get a good shot):


and the crowd favorite, mountain goats:





Then, when you get to the top, there is yet another spectacular view:


We were going to hike down to the lake, but it was roped off this year:


So since our hike was cut short, we decided to end by doing the first bit of the almost-as-popular Highline trail, which leaves from the other side of the road, where I made a complete fool out of myself.  Stay tuned.  Tomorrow, Summer in Montana:  The Hike of Shame.

9 comments:

  1. Oh my! That is GORGEOUS!! *off to plot reasons for me to go to Montana*

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    Replies
    1. Reason #1: VISIT BARB

      :-)

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    2. Well, yeah!! I'm having trouble with #2 & 3 tho!

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  2. One of these days I am coming to visit you!

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    Replies
    1. heck, yes, you are! and maybe I will get to come visit you, too!

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  3. Seems like a Betty meetup in Montana is in order. In the summer, cuz I don't do snow. :)

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    Replies
    1. Wish I could say the same. :-)

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  4. Your front yard is going to look like a KOA!

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    Replies
    1. which would make me so, so happy!!

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