Labor Day Weekend 2012 began the epic ‘Labor Day Weekend’ Hikes.
Friday after work we packed up and headed over the sun road, and were treated to a gorgeous sunset. We landed in St. Mary at the KOA after dark, I’m certain is the best KOA in the USA. It was pretty full but luckily we managed to land a tent site near the cabins. Unluckily for the cabin tenants, we were not tired, ended up being a bit too rowdy around the campfire. Lanette was not feeling well in the night and threw up [fortunately] outside the tent. In the morning we were treated to a gorgeous moon-set over the mountains, and after some delicious breakfast we packed up and headed to Many Glacier.
The waves on Lake Sherburne had whitecaps on them, and we stopped to explore the lake and take some photos, finding a grizzly bear print in the sand.
Eventually we made it to the Many Glacier Hotel and got on the trail. Hiking, we had a difficult time containing our excitement. Run-walking. Yelling, Singing. Pretty much causing a scene. “It’s just like a post card!” “I met a bear, in tennis shoes…” “We’re so lucky to live here!!” The trail was pretty busy, as all gorgeous, sunny Saturday’s in Glacier Park are. About 4 miles in the blisters on my ankles were yelling a bit too loudly at me, I took off my garage sale hiking boots, and stuffed them on the side of the trail. My SmartWools offered enough cushion from the rocky trail, or so I thought. I hobbled the rest of the way up the trail, as the rocks got sharper and less trodden down as we went. A bighorn sheep crossed the trail about 50 yards behind us, and a mountain goat sunning itself on the snowfield were the four-footed creatures we were delighted to catch sight of.
At Upper Grinnell Lake we threw a few snowballs, reveled in the opaque, turquoise water, ate a snack, took some self timer pics, watched a crazy guy jump off an ice chunk into the lake (wearing a wet suit). We also scoped out some people on the Grinnell Glacier overlook (via the Highline Trail). and said to ourselves, “One day we will be there.”
Enroute back to the car, a water fall gushing over the trail provided a great place to refill our water bottles, wet our sweaty heads, and a spit wash for my dusty socks. I nabbed my hiking boots from the bush, and slung them over my shoulder. Almost back to the car we ran into two park rangers, who glared unapprovingly at my sock clad toes, and handed me a few band aides. They didn’t provide much protection from the heinous garage sale boots, but it was nice of them. We got to the boat launch as soon as the boat for Many Glacier was leaving, it was tempting to hop aboard, but I toughed it out the rest of the way to the car.
Heading back to East Glacier, we chowed down what snacks we had left in the car, to quiet the growling bears in our stomachs. We ran into Ronna Keim at the Glacier Park Trading Co, while we waited for our table at Serrano’s. When we were finally seated at Serrano’s we caused another scene, downing chips and salsa, and then our meals in record time. On the way home we stopped at the Keim’s friends house to say hello, and then cruised over Marias Pass to home!