8/23 – 9/2/17
Visited Helena and took a spin on the Great Northern Carousel with 37 unique Montana animals. Bob rode the bear of course, Alyssa rode the fancy horse, and I rode the deer. While driving through town, we came across Reeder’s Alley, which had one-bedroom tenement houses for gold-miners in the 1870’s. They’ve been converted into businesses now but still have the feel of the past.
Glacier National Park
We stayed at our target destination, Glacier, for six days in the southeast area of the park. Based on its name, I kinda expected to see many glaciers in Glacier. Once having 150 glaciers in 1850, global warming has reduced it to only 25 active glaciers remaining in its borders.
Also happening are the wildfires! The Sprague fire on the west side caused smokey views but we hiked in other areas to avoid it. Here are some of our favorite spots:
Two Medicine Lake and Running Eagle Falls
Going to the Sun Road and Trail of the Cedars
Avalanche and John’s Lake
Many Glacier, Red Rock Falls, and Josephine Lake
The most exciting hike was along the Highline Trail with many wildflowers, steep ridge edges, and the best part … crossing paths with mountain goats, mmmmeeeeeaaaaahhh!
On our last day in Glacier the smoke was getting worse and while leaving the park we saw the trees at the top of the mountain in flames. We stood with others on the road in silence, feeling sad and helpless as we watched it burn. The next day they shut down that section of the park. This year has been tragic for fires, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
Finishing up our Montana trip, we stayed in Missoula and enjoyed another carousel ride at the Heart of Missoula with Alyssa choosing a fantastic horned dragon. On Saturdays, the city has a craft fair and an amazing farmer’s market near the river where we purchased beets, swiss chard, kale, green beans, and pastries. They also have an old (1937) movie house called “The Roxy Theater” where we saw the classic Jim Hensen movie “Dark Crystal” and then had ice cream across the street at the Big Dipper. A really fun city that we hope to visit again sometime!