Weekly Newsletter – Mashley’s Adventures – Glacier National Park

(See even more photos in our FaceBook album.)

Current Location: Longmire, Washington

No words can describe the grandeur and majesty of the mountains, and even photographs seem hopelessly to dwarf and belittle the most impressive peaks.
~ George Bird Grinnell


This week’s adventure edition finds us back in Washington after an amazing week spent in Montana, exploring Glacier National Park. What an amazing place! As stunning as the scenery in our photos might be (as seen on FaceBook), they “dwarf and belittle the most impressive peaks” and views.

Jackie joined us for this adventure and we had a wonderful time together, exploring new territory with family! Jackie had not yet made it to the North Cascades National Park so we took the scenic route across the mountains to make a pit stop here. Ashley and I enjoyed getting to stop and enjoy the views in the Cascades once again, so no complaints from us!

  • 3 grizzlies safely spotted (and one of them a cub)
  • 1 big horn sheep seen
  • 1 bull moose nearly run into on the trail
  • dozens of mountain goats (including some kids!)

The campgrounds at Glacier were more crowded than we expected (apparently it’s a record year for the park service…we have mixed feelings about this), so it was challenging and cut-throat trying to find a camp site. This actually worked out in our favor though, as we had to head north to Bowman Lake to find a spot the first night. We snagged the last one available and were treated to an amazing sunset and sunrise highlighting the mountains. We’d wanted to visit the area but hadn’t planned on it for this trip, so we really enjoyed the detour!

The next day we moved further into the park and got some hiking in, while taking the shuttle along the going-to-the-sun road to Logan Pass. Every turn seemed to bring even more amazing views, whether of blue streams, waterfalls, meadows or mountains. Each trail seemed to outshine the last, throughout the whole week. No matter how much we gush about the park, it won’t do it justice. Just plan on going to visit for yourself!

If you’re looking for more reading – check out the most recent post on Adventure-Some – adventure-some.com/examples/the-beauty-of-two-wheels/

Lessons Learned (or relearned):

  • Making up songs to let the wildlife know we’re in the area while hiking helps pass the miles
  • Moose, even little ones, are big!
  • We could’ve been junior rangers in all of the parks… what an opportunity missed!

It’s hard to express via written words, but Matthew was more than excited to spot a grizzly bear. Every time we spotted someone stopped on the road, taking pictures, he’d half-jokingly ask “is that a bear?” Early one morning we crossed over the mountain pass and saw a single car stopped. He asked, “is that a bear?” and, lo and behold… “IT IS! IT’S A BEAR!” Then, about an hour later on another road we spotted a momma and her cub across a field and stopped to watch them wander back into the woods.

While on the trail to our overnight backpacking spot at Cobalt Lake, Jackie was leading the way. We were singing made-up songs so that the bears would know we were in the area and avoid us (due to our humanness, not the quality of our singing.) Apparently we were warning the wrong animals. We crossed a bridge and started to take a side trail to a waterfall when Jackie jumped back and yelled “@*&#, a moose!” Bullwinkle was standing in the middle of the trail, no more than 12′ away, pondering what we might be doing out in the woods. Quickly backing up across the bridge, that’s what we were doing! We had recently passed a backcountry ranger (Ranger Ed) on the trail and suddenly wanted his presence “Where’s our Ranger?” Jackie said. “What’s he going to do?” Ashley asked. “I don’t know, be in front!” Jackie replied :). He caught up with us and we all waited together, until the moose finally decided to meander away. The waterfall was stunning, by the way.

We enjoyed a delightful night up at Cobalt Lake, soaked in the views atop the nearby Two Medicine pass, and Matthew even got Ranger Ed’s signature. That autograph completed his Junior Ranger Activity Book for Glacier and upon returning to “civilization” he immediately headed to the Ranger Station to take his pledge and earn his badge. 😀

As always, it’s bittersweet to leave for a new place. We’ve absolutely treasured our time with Jackie, whom we don’t see nearly often enough. We’ve made great new friends in Mikel, Marit and Reier, Karen, Tonya, Sheila and so many others. But we’re also looking forward to new adventures, exploring new areas, and to seeing parents and siblings for the first time in over a year! There’s more adventures on the way, and we’re so excited to see what we can fit in from here to Kentucky!

Adventuring away,

Matthew & Ashley

P.S. – Want to see pictures from our adventures? Check out the Adventure-Some facebook page for our most recent photos.