09 July 2013

Going-to-the-Sun

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On our third day in Glacier National Park, my sisters and I decided to drive north from Two Medicine and check out the famous Going-to-the-Sun road, the only through road in the entire park. Starting in St. Mary, MT on highway 89, we passed through the main entrance -- where we would have ended up had we stayed the course when we first arrived. After the fact, though, we thought that Two Medicine was our preferred place to stay, and visiting the more heavily-traveled Going-to-the-Sun road made for an excellent day trip!

The road winds around amazing vistas, past numerous falls and sliding snow/glaciers, and in many places the melting snow falls onto the road, so we got a cool sprinkle on the car every once in a while!

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This guy was super cool, although seemingly sort of cornered in the middle of a little visitor walkway that led to a scenic view point. Eventually he managed to get out of there, but not before taking a little stroll in front of me. My sisters were patient for a second while I waited for Mr. Goat to figure out which way he was going to go. 

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The photos above were taken at a falls, looking westward toward the Weeping Wall on the right.

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We drove to Lake McDonald on the western end of the park, and decided to call it. Since there's only the one road, we had to drive all the way back, so we stopped to get our feet wet and my sister was able to actually swim for a second, since the water in this lake was much warmer than the lake at our campground.

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We spotted a little more wildlife, just hanging out on the mountainside... and came back around St. Mary Lake on our way back out. It was such a gorgeous day for a drive. The campgrounds and stops along the Going-to-the-Sun road offer a lot in the way of recreation and views, so no one's bored. Perhaps if I made it to Glacier NP again, I'd stay in another campground there just to get a different perspective on the park.

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Skipping ahead to day 4 of our journey at GNP, we woke up early and did a little canoeing on Two Medicine in the morning. Although this area is known to be windy, the previous couple of days had been calm, but this morning the air and the water was a little choppier, so we were challenged more than we had anticipated. Not to mention that since there were three of us, one of us had to be sitting duff, and it was freeeeezing. The water was so cold and with no help from the aluminum canoe, we cut the trip a little short. But it's something to keep in mind for a calmer day. I do love a good canoe trip!

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The last full day that we spent in the park, apart from the canoe trip early on, was very lazy. We sunbathed a lot and read books and cooked food over the campfire, generally taking it about as easy as we could. A lot of driving lay ahead, and bright and early the next morning we ventured onto the road en route to Wisconsin -- by way of Yellowstone National Park.

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In the late afternoon, just as we were starting to approach Yellowstone, the weather began to roll in. This particular storm was fun to watch because it seemed to hover over the small cluster of mountains and the lightning was amazing. Eventually it caught up with us, though.

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We made a point to go see Old Faithful, if we saw anything at all. Luckily, we arrived just in time, and only had to wait about ten minutes to see it. The rain started falling pretty much right after it died back down, and we ducked into the gift shops for a second to grab t-shirts and stickers and all those must-have items. The place was packed with tourists -- it seemed so much busier than Glacier, but we had also arrived just in time for the start of July 4th weekend, so the campgrounds were fully booked and the crowds were enormous.

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We arrived on the much quieter eastern side of the park in the evening, entering Buffalo Bill State Park and Wyoming proper. As the weather swept through and darkness fell, the landscape became increasingly creepy-looking, and well into the night, through Wyoming's Bighorn National Forest, the Black Hills of South Dakota, as well as a little of the Badlands -- the landscape was weirding me out in the dark. By the time it was morning, I (the other two were zonked) was treated to an amazing red sunrise and then we were straight home as fast as we could possibly get there.

All in all, it was an amazing week, and the first real sister road trip I've ever taken! We wanted to be able to get one in before I move, and before other busy life events come along... 

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Tomorrow I'm headed to Milwaukee to get my biometric information recorded for my visa! Documents are rolling in and that is getting wrapped up pretty quickly. Soon enough I'll purchase a plane ticket -- can't wait to get that taken care of!



Days to Edinburgh move-in: 60

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous!! Loved the whole series. Beautiful photos, too.

    ReplyDelete