08 July 2013

Day 2: A hike around Two Medicine


The second full day we spent at Glacier National Park, we decided to do a hike around Two Medicine Lake, which comes to approximately 8 miles, give or take. It was an absolutely gorgeous, windless day and a lot of other people were out hiking, taking advantage of the warm mountainsides.

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The footbridge on the South Shore Trail was awesome! We felt very much like we were channeling Indiana Jones. I'd never been across a bridge like this before, and I understood pretty quickly why they limit crossing to one person at a time. The swinging and natural movement of the bridge after you get about halfway across (physics: something I'm not good at, but can totally appreciate) can be really disorienting.

The South Shore Trail was posted pretty heavily with signs about bears, namely grizzly bears. It was marked as a "bear frequenting area," and although we didn't have any bear spray with us (that's a thing!), we were conscious about making a lot of noise. We actually made a game out of it at one point, to keep us talking and making ourselves known to any potentially frightened/aggressive animals in the forest. My youngest sister Maddy would holler, "hip hip!" and that I would call out an adjective, and Ali would name a food. We were pretty relieved, needless to say, when we finally stepped onto a less grizzly-frequented trail.

We did get a little spooked a couple of times when we ran across some scat in the middle of the trail. None of it was super recent, but it was enough to make us rethink how seriously we needed to take the whole "bear frequenting area" thing.

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We hiked along the side of Sinopah Mountain -- it never fails to astound me, the scale of these mountains. From a distance, one knows they're monumental, but getting up the side of one, and even climing up a little bit -- and looking up: that's something else.

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Our main destination on the trail was Twin Falls at Upper Two Medicine. There are indeed two beautiful falls, and it was a popular spot for day hikers, so when we got there, some had packed along chairs to sit in and hang out for a while. I, for one, would not be interested in carrying a chair for three miles.

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The trail opened up quite a bit as we went around the North Shore trail of Two Medicine Lake. In one spot there was a small group of Inuksuit (which are traditionally made by Inuit people), to mark directions or places of respect. I remember seeing these in various sizes (some huge) in Canada, and it reminded me how close to the border were were in GNP.

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The evening ended on a brilliant note, per usual for our trip. We made pudgie pies over the fire (ever had one of those? a camping cuisine must!) and enjoyed a suitably calm evening except for a campsite filled with teenaged boys who didn't know the meaning of "quiet hours." Alas, teenagers. ;) Every night we were treated to the sun setting behind Rising Wolf Mountain (Rising Wolf was the husband of Sinopah, whose name graces the mountain next to it).


Last but not least, the final post will include our drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and our long drive back through Yellowstone and South Dakota. Cheers!

Days to Edinburgh move-in: 61

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