Montana, USA (july 2017)
Sweeping through almost the whole of Montana, we hit the land of wonders - the Glacier National Park, the size of which exceeds 4,000 square kilometers. (it's like the whole of New Moscow and St. Petersburg combined), the park has more than 130 named lakes (totaling more than 700), 200 waterfalls and 37 glaciers, which, according to pessimistic forecasts, can all disappear by 2020.
In the north, Glacier Park is bordered by the Canadian National Park Waterton Lakes, located in the province of Alberta, which we will also visit soon.
From the 89th highway there is a surprisingly ruined road to the gate to the park, the road in the park itself is just fine. This is explained by the fact that the area between the highway and the park belongs to the local Indians, and they, of course, do not bother maintaining it in good condition.
We took advantage of it and spent few nights at the turn out on this road with a view of the lake Sherburne.
We spent 3-4 days in the park, and as usual, photos will be mixed. We spent one night (as bunch of other cars did) in the parking lot near the lake, for which we almost got in the neck from a couple of rangers that came to fine us during the day. We admitted (it was silly to deny) that we were standing in the parking lot at night, but pointed out that we were not sleeping. And sleeping is what's forbidden! As evidence (and it was required), we showed our MacBooks where the time of editing the files was visible. Dima's computer was however showing Moscow time, and I managed to correct my time on changing my files through the terminal :) The rangers obviously understood that they were being fooled, but they could not get us, so we got off with a warning. They told us that the unrepaired part of the road is guarded by the Indian police (tribal police), and they may also bother us, but we have never seen them.
And in general, the worked out technique of spending the nights worked almost always - hanging out in one place until late at night, where rangers notice you, and just before falling asleep moving to another place where no one is waiting for you :) It was necessary to leave at dawn though.
From the parking lot of the Two Medicine lake begins the path along the southern bank of the Upper Two Medicine lake. A pleasant path through the forest, with views of the lake and mountains, many flowers and all kinds of creatures.
A very common plant - xerophyllum strong, which blooms only in July and August. We were lucky, they were everywhere, despite the fact that July has just begun.
Closer to the western edge of the lake, it was raining slightly, but then a colorful rainbow pleased us. I did not miss the opportunity to jump from the pier - I sweat quickly even in the cool Montana climate, and always (well, almost always) take the opportunity to freshen up. Water, by the way, is about 60 degrees only.
Somewhere along the road, the path split into two - one was intended for horses and the other one didn't have any signs on it :) we went along the one for horses - it turned out we had to cross a stream, but it was quick and knee-deep, so we did it the other way - we crossed a small bridge.
It was already getting dark and we returned to the parking lot to the bus (9mi walk), but we were too lazy to leave, because there were a lot of cars around us, obviously settled down for the night (as I mentioned above, this is where the Rangers came to us).
We waited for the dawn and walked to the Paradise point. There are warnings about bears everywhere, so we even accompanied a frightened girl like gentlemen.
No sign of yesterday's gloomy weather.
The upper lake did not differ much from the lower one, so we took a short break and returned to another part of the park. The little walk turned out be 11mi long!
We came across many horses along the road, I do not know whether they are wild, or just so freely graze.
In the dawn, there is a nice view of the river flowing into the Sherbourne lake and there is also a small waterfall at the entrance to the turn for Many Glacier lodge is.
Practically there begins a splendid view of Swiftcurrent lake to the mountains, and if you slightly bypass it - to the Many Glacier hotel.
Here we decided to visit to places which we previously planned to - Iceberg lake and Grinnel Glacier. The first sounded cooler, and went there.
We had a nice walk, without any adventures, although with some snow along the way, we reached the lake.
On the way back we decided not to follow the same path, but shorten it a bit. It was fascinating, the presence of the map was very helpful (I didn't like maps.me for car navigation, but it was perfect for a walk), climbed the mountain and went through the woods:)
In one place we came to a breakage and a huge waterfall, we had to make a circle and find a barely noticeable path, along which we descended, like mountain goats, for 300 ft.
Tired, but pleased, we got to the motorhome, ate and watched the movie, and at night, again, went outside the park.
In the morning we returned to another place, so that no one had any objections and went to the glacier.
The path to the Grinnell Glacier is one of the most pleasant - it's not hot, it has beautiful views, incredible colors and all sorts of creatures.
Without reaching the glacier there is another lake of the same name, which, depending on the sun and viewing angle, was shining in all colors.
We came across a fluffy marmot on the way :)
The glacier was impressive, but it was not possible to swim, I cooled down faster than I had time to plunge)) it sweeps off feet! I spent 10 seconds in the water, but my legs were frozen for an hour after that, despite walking on mountain paths.
Morning fumes from the Sherburn lake.
Well, that's probably all I wanted to say about Montana :) The next part will already be in Canada!
For a change, we spent the night in the first camp site we found on the way to Alberta, a quiet and pleasant place.