Thursday, August 16: Glacier
A bit of mud
We had breakfast at the Grouse. It was rather expensive and not particularly inspiring.
We then drove to the park. Like at Yosemite, there was a long line waiting to get in. However, something strange then happened. I don’t know if this is automatic when the line gets too long or what, but they suddenly just started waving cars through without stopping or payment.
We drove to the trailhead for Avalanche Lake and the Trail of Cedars. It was very packed, and we eventually parked in front of a picnic site. We hiked along the Trail of Cedars, which was a wide boardwalk with self-guiding messages. The interesting part was that the messages were in Haiku rather than just straight “boring” text.
At the end of the Trail of Cedars, we started hiking the trail to Avalanche Lake. It goes up along the stream from the lake, and there are numerous cascades along it. Halfway up, the trail separates from the stream, and then you are just climbing through woodlands until you reach the lake.
The lake is surrounded by mountains and has a good view of them. There were some tall wispy waterfalls falling down the far side of the bowl, but they were too far away for good pictures.
At this point, Michael exhibited perfect timing. I was ahead with Mike, with Amy a bit behind. We got down to the “beach” next to the lake, and I went forward to get a better foreground for pictures of the lake. Between the time when I went forward and when Amy arrived, Michael managed to find a patch of thick, deep, watery mud. He then proceeded to try walking through it. Despite his shoes sinking below the surface, he continued. When I finished taking a few pictures and walked back, Mike had already soaked his boots, covered them with mud, and trashed his socks as well!
Amy had him take off his boots and socks, removed the inner-soles, and laid them out to dry out. While we were waiting for that, I decided to hike the rest of the trail, which ran along the side of the lake. I hoped to get to the base of the waterfalls. However I found that the trail ended at the end of the lake before you got to the waterfalls. A herd path went on afterwards, but it was just one step up from bushwhacking, so I didn’t follow it more than about 10 feet.
On the other hand, a rough path led to the side, down and across a stream on a fallen tree, and led to a gravelly beach on the far side of the lake. It was a bit closer to the waterfalls, but not close enough for good photography. There were a number of people there, some fishing, and one brave soul swimming.
I hiked back, and at one point I put my tripod down to take a hand-held picture. A butterfly came and landed on the tripod. Even better, he sat there for an eternity while I took pictures of him. When I got back to Amy and Mike, I found that friendly butterflies were the norm. One (or maybe different ones?) kept landing on Amy, and I even got one or two to land on me.
By that time, Michael’s boots and socks were acceptably dry, so he put them on, and we hiked back down (with me getting more cascade photos along the way).
When we were planning the day, I had thought that this would be a quick hike--that we would get down in time for lunch and then do something else. In reality, our “lunch” was a granola bar at the lake, and we didn’t get down until between 4 and 5.
Michael had wanted to spend more time at the “resorty” hotel, and I figured that since we were paying for it, we might as well enjoy it, so after the hike we headed out of the park. We got a snack at an A&W Rootbeer place, and then got to the resort. Amy took Mike to the pool/hot tub, while I took a quick shower. Then I put on my swimsuit and joined Mike.
I did a round of the hot tub, sauna, and pool, but then I just sat there and dried off. Some kids joined Michael in the pool, so he was content to stay there until doomsday.
Eventually, Amy went up to the room to take a shower and get changed for dinner. When she came back down, we pried Michael out of the pool, went up, and he and I changed into clothes as well. As a result, we didn’t go to dinner until around 8:30.
Similar to breakfast, we were not impressed with dinner at the Grouse, and we resolved not to eat there again.
With the late dinner, we didn’t get to bed until about 10. So much for getting an early night for a change.