* I’m sticking around glacier for an extra day of hiking
* The package I sent to glacier finally arrived, and I’m now returning to sender. Yay!
* If you haven’t been to Glacier, you need to promptly come.
I got into Kalispell on July 3rd and promptly hitched a ride from the airport with some locals to West Glacier. Given that I needed to get to East Glacier and there’s only one road that goes there with a lot of traffic, I expected it to be an easy hitch. An hour and a half later, I finally got picked up by a nice Washingtonian. We chatted and exchanged some contact information during the 1hr30 ride, and I got dropped off at Luna’s place in town.
Quick aside: Luna ran a restaurant for many years in East Glacier, and over the past couple of years it’s morphed into an establishment that almost exclusively caters to hiker trash. You can sleep on her floor, or pitch a tent for $15. There were about 40 hikers on-site when I pulled in.
I was shown around Luna’s place, and I quickly learned that the Grizzly Buffet that had been closing off the trail had not in fact finished, and that I would indeed have a 30-mile asphalt highway road walk ahead of me. Rather than shuttling to Canada and walking south, I decided to just head out first thing in the morning to hit the road (quite literally).
34 miles of pavement later I found myself in St Mary’s, an absolutely gorgeous town on the edge of the park. I have to say, for a highway road walk it had pretty nice views. While at the RV park in St Mary’s, I received a text from the guy I got a hitch with the previous day, and he asked if I’d be in Many Glacier by dinner time the following day. 34 miles of amazingly good hiking later, over possibly the most beautiful mountain pass I’ve ever hiked, I found myself in Many Glacier being treated to an all you could eat (not Grizzly) Buffet. After dinner I went to the backpackers campground, where I learned that the rumor on the street was that the Grizzly Buffet had finished, and there was no longer a need to road walk. What bad timing on my part.
I woke up the following morning with only 30 miles left to hike before I hit Canada. There was nice hiking, some not-so-nice hiking, and a closed down border crossing. I shuttled back down to East Glacier once I got to the border. As I was shuttling, I learned that the formerly closed section of trail had in fact opened, and it was not just a dirty rumor. At that point, I made the decision to stay around the park for an extra day to hike the now-open section, doubling up some footsteps. This now-open section goes over triple divide pass — a point on the trail where water drains into three major water sheds: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
Anyway, there’s not too much to wax poetically about other than how amazing the park is. Pictures and words can’t do it justice, but I think it has quickly become my favorite national park. The views are better than dreams, so I’m excited to spend some more time in the park.
Once I get back to Luna’s place for the third time in a week, I’ll resupply and continue on south into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
With love and and sweet, sweet hiking,