I was up early, as you usually are when sleeping in the back of a car. I knew that the main Glacier road (Going-To-The-Sun Rd) was under construction, creating lots of delays, so I wanted to get through it as early as possible. I wound my way up the toward Logan Pass, able to stop frequently for pictures on the narrow road due to the lack of cars after the Labor day holiday.
I eventually did run into some backups but nothing terrible
I stopped at “The Loop” where I would end today’s hike to determine the likelihood of me being able to hitchhike from hear back up to the trailhead at Logan Pass at the Continental Divide. This can all be seen on the map in yesterday’s blog entry.
Once I got to Logan Pass, it was pretty wet, foggy and cold.
I parked the car at the visitor’s center, donned my raingear and headed out on the Highline Trail (Click here for Description)
It is a 12 mile trail that follows above the road back down into the valley of the Park.
Almost immediately it became I cliff edge with a rope used for safety, but not really needed. And if you did need it, then you probably should not be in the trail, but I guess when the snow hits in a few weeks it would be a different story.
I ran into a couple people along the trail, but mostly isolated.
Coming around one turn I ran smack into a Bighorn Sheep.
I had never seen on this close before, learning later on in the trip that they are quite domesticated to hikers and cars. I kept seeing images in my head of how these sheep run full tilt into each other in some sort of territorial male ego trip. I was a bit concerned at my ability to stand up to this guy, so I retrieved my only weapons of the trip
The bear spray I bought online, watching a couple videos of the proper usage. I was unsure whether this flavor also worked on sheep but was willing to give it a whirl if my soothing voice proved unsuccessful.
The sheep did not even look at me and I carried on, holstering my sheep spray. At this point I should mention the game of Animal Bingo I had concocted in my head. I envisioned a typical BINGO board with each spot represented by an animal indigenous to the Rockies. The center spot was a ground squirrel, basically free, and now I had just took a major step towards victory with the Bighorn.
Eventually I came in view of a chalet off in the distance. It took forever to reach it. I entered and sat at a long table as some of the residents were sitting around enjoying a fire and a morning cup of coffee.
I only stopped for about 10 minutes to inspect my feet and then carried on with the downhill portion, towards the hitchhike spot.
Around the next bend, I saw a woman crouching on the trail with her pants around her ankles urinating. Unfortunately I had not put this creature on my BINGO board. I started making noises and kicking rocks so as not to startle her. She saw me and seemed not to be embarrassed at all, uttering a “howdy” as I quickly stepped over the pool of urine.
Here is a shot of the loop where I would need to catch a ride
I reached the loop and started thumbing my way. I did not get any takers for the first few minutes but it did not take long for a couple to lean out the window and yell to climb up in the bed of their pickup and off we went
It seemed like a long ride back to the pass as I thought about how I just hiked all this distance a few hours ago. When I got back to my car, I filled my water bottles and washed up a bit at the Visitor’s Center.
I continued over the Great Divide, East toward the Park border where I would turn North toward Many Glacier and eventually the US and Canada border.
Below is a Black Bear I spotted on a ridge above the road. Chalk it up! My camera is actually an underwater camera, so it is not meant for high quality shots, let alone capturing images in the distance. What it lacks in these areas it makes up in ruggedness, which I test regularly.
I exited the park, turned north and then turned back West into the Many Glacier entrance to Glacier Park. I came across a lodge and lake, where I stopped for a beer
Wanting to sit at the bar for a few more hours, made climbing back into the Kia difficult, but I had an itinerary to keep. I am not a big fan of naming cars or gaining a physical attachment to them, but I was beginning to form a bond with this Sportage, and as the next 6 days rolled on and we became more intimate, I found myself talking to her more often. We began to predict each other’s moves and knew when one needed a break and the other would drive for a while. I named her Lady and we were off for the border.
Now, I have had my problems at the border in the past. A certain trip home from Montreal rings a bell, where I was detained and a strip searching of the car comes to mind. I had to calm myself down and remember to only tell the border guard what he wanted to hear and not elaborate on everything like a nervous drug smuggler.
I made it over and ticked off the miles until Waterton National Park
The main draw for Waterton was the lodge that rests isolated on a hill with a great view of the town and surrounding lake.
I bellied up the bar to have a libation and pick the brain of the bartender on hikes for tomorrow and any other must see attractions.
I was hiking the Alderson-Carthew trail ( Download Alderson-Carthew Trail Description ) tomorrow and learned where I could hitch a ride to the trail head in the morning and subsequently hike back to my car. I took in the view and drove down to the city for dinner, before parking on the waterfront next to the shuttle stop. I took a shot of the lodge and climbed into the back for the night.
To Continue reading this trip as it heads into Canada, CLICK HERE