Glacier National Park

Trip Start Jun 11, 2009
Trip End Jul 17, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sprague Creek Campground

Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 16, 2009

We made the short drive from Bigfork to Glacier on a beautiful sunny morning. The mountain peaks sparkled above Lake McDonald.  We picked a camping space at Sprague Creek, right on the lake.  It was time to take a hike.  The ranger said to go to Avalanche Creek and take the two mile hike to Avalanche Lake.  The "Going to the Sun Road" that takes you over the mountains and glaciers is closed and will not open until Friday.  Avalanche Creek is the end of the road. The hike to Avalanche Lake was mostly up hill.  The path follows along a roaring creek through the gorge and the views at the lake were spectacular, three cascading waterfalls down granite cliffs.  Right after we took photos the sky opened up and the rain came down.

Upon returning to the parking lot I saw a sign that stated “Road open only to hikers and bikes.”  I could not resist the opportunity to bike Going to the Sun Road with no traffic.  I unloaded my bike and told Randi I would be back in 40 minutes.  My plan was to ride about 3 miles out and return.  But at 3 miles the scenery was getting more spectacular at every turn.  The fast moving McDonald creek was on my left and steep snow covered granite walls on my right.  I could not stop.  It was the most fun bike ride I have done.  The road started to climb.  Waterfalls were coming down next to the highway.  Vistas of vast mountains and snow covered peaks were everywhere.  I didn't have to look for a pull out, just stop in the middle of the road and take a picture.  I made it to “The Loop,” a hairpin turn that brings the road above the tree line, and continued another half mile where I could see the whole valley.  I was surrounded by mountain peaks and could see the road carved out of granite cliffs going on up to Logan summit.  I had been gone over  an hour and decided to turn around and head back to camp.  The downhill was thrilling.  Coasting 25 to 30 mph with no worries about approaching traffic, I could use the whole road.  As I descended to river level a big black bear bounded out of the brush 50 yards in front of me.  He had just left the river and water was coming off his back.  He looked right at me and continued across the road.  When I made it back  to our camper van Randi was playing her guitar. 

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