Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

And the rains came

Wednesday August 31, 2011
Glacier Campground Site F10
West Glacier, Montana


We decided running around the Glacier Campground
wouldn’t give us enough mileage
even with the long wooded entry road off of Route 2.

So we hopped in Ruby and drove over to Apgar Village
where we logged just under 5 miles
doing all 5 campground loops
and the bicycle trail….
to a point.






Here we are on the bike path




we ran a “little bit” further on
after seeing this sign




decided running might not be a great idea
in a “bear frequenting area”,
so we turned  back
and stopped at the transportation center,
which we had passed earlier,
and called that enough.


The transportation center is  an LEED GOLD
certified green building. 

Glacier Transport center

It has a lot of information all around about
the shuttle service routes on
Going to the Sun Road
52 miles from the West Entrance to
St. Mary on the East side.
This is the only road through the park
and vehicles over 21’ are not allowed to drive on it.
And once you drive on it you’ll see why.




They also  have information on hiking trails and
campgrounds in all locations of the park displayed
in large easily read format on the walls inside.
The center is not staffed but the displays are well
done and there is ‘take it with you’ information.

The Transportation Center is easy walking distance
from Apgar Campground
so if you are camping there, no need to use a car
to get to many hiking trailheads or other
areas of the park.


Both the free shuttle bus, which
runs all along Going to the Sun road


and the Red Bus Tours leave from here.




Aren’t they darling?
The canvas topped buses have been on the road for
6 decades taking people in Glacier National Park
over the Continental Divide.


The fleet of 33 Red Buses
were built by the White Motor Company
of Cleveland Ohio between 1936 and 1939.
With the Ford Motor Company’s 18 month
restoration, the buses now run on clean burning
LPG gas which is 93% cleaner than the original buses.
The story of this renovation is really amazing
and I hope I’ll be able to devote a blog to it
when we take one of their tours!  :-)

We headed back to Winnona for breakfast
and showers before heading out
to do a Ranger hike on the Johns Lake Trail.
We almost never do ranger hikes and
hadn’t done one in the past 5 months so
we thought we’d give it a try.


Our ranger Bill told us many
interesting things about the history of
the park and the weather differences
between the East and West sides
on two different sides of the continental divide.
Very different Ecosystems.





There were about a dozen of us who set
out through a gorgeous old growth forest
that felt like the NW Rainforests we’d seen
in Olympic National Park.  Douglas Fir and
Larch trees mainly.  Some were as much
as 260 years old.  There had not been a fire
in this area in that long although in 2003
a fire burned over 39,000 acres on the NW
side of Lake McDonald which is very close
to where we were.




We walked along McDonald Creek which
Bill told us was five feet higher in June.
The park didn’t open until Mid July this
year due to all the snow and snow melt.
The creek looked pretty tame today,




And the falls further along were lovely.
I do love waterfalls.






We continued on up along the “creek”
for quite a way marveling at its
glacial blue water.




But the clouds started rolling in from the
forecast front of rain.




After a couple of pretty big thunder boomers,
Bill decided we’d better head back early
so we didn’t actually get to Johns Lake
which he referred to as a  “pot hole”.
Of course if McDonald RIVER is a creek then
I imagine a pot hole here is not what I’m used to.
Perhaps we can return on another day to
see this pot hole.



It was a really lovely hike although had
David and I been alone, it would have no doubt
taken us twice as long to do it.   :-)


The rains came and went and came again and gone.
Sort of like they were working up to a serious
downpour but never quite made it. 
In between rains, we stopped to
see the waves on Lake McDonald which is
a 10 mile long and 500 foot deep Glacial Lake.
Scientists say a river of ice 2000 feet thick
moved down this valley and a terminal moraine
damned McDonald creek impounding Lake McDonald.




As you can see, the beach is pebbled.



And the water is crystal clear.

To Glacier 047


We JUST made it in the door when the skies
broke lose and the rains came.
Great sleeping weather for sure.
Don’t know what we might be in store
for tomorrow though.
Guess we’ll have to wait and see.


  1. Beautiful Country!!

    I couldn't help notice the long shirts and pants everyone was wearing on the hike. We have had a little break in the heat, but not ready to put up the shorts;o))

    Love the crystal clear water and pebble beach ...nice photo!!

  2. What a beautiful lake. Love the crystal clear water.

  3. I really enjoy taking hikes with you. The scenery os so beautiful and the water is so clear. You run on some nice trails too.

  4. Nice hike; and smart that you decided not to provide yourselves as a lure to the bears by running in the area they frequent.

  5. Some of those turns in the road look like you'd need to unhinge in the middle.

    I wonder if the bears have signs about "people frequenting areas," only on their signs, we look like snack food.


  6. Lovely photos, and a really nice one of the two of you in front of the waterfall. Bummer that the weather cut your hike short.

  7. Beautiful water colors - green and so clear. Wish I could be there too!


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