Sunday, October 16, 2011

September 26, 2011 The Bear's Hump & Waterfalls

I woke up early to hike up the Bear's Hump trail. I thought it would be a good way to start my day. You know, get the blood pumping. A short but strenuous hike to great spot to take pictures of Upper Waterton Lake. The trailhead is right behind the visitor center so I figured this would be an easy hike even the elevation gain was listed as only 550 feet. No problem. Well fuck me. The trail pretty much goes straight up with rocks and tree roots lining it the whole way. To prevent erosion the Parks Canada crews had to put wood beams into the trail which meant at some points it was like hiking up an uneven staircase. Now I might be a overweight flatlander, who am I kidding, that's exactly what I am but I did manage to hike to the Bear's Hump where I was greeted with the promised incredible views and what seemed like 80 MPH winds. I had to leave my backpack down on the trail out of the wind. I had plans on eating my breakfast up there but I could hardly walk across the rock into that wind. All joking aside, it was definitely worth the hike up there for the views.

The view to the east was just rolling prairies...
...all other views were mountains.
I braved the wind as I looked over the edge to get a picture of Waterton below me. The hike down was much quicker but tough on my knees. I stopped at a bagel shop to get Chrissy some hot tea, she has been fighting a cold. When the shop owners detected my American accent (I guess I didn't end my sentences with "EH"), they started asking me what is wrong with the United States lately. The best answer I could give them was ignorance. Yes I described the country I love as ignorant. It was the most polite way to describe my feelings about my homeland.
Now Yogi Bear, yes that is his name, and I didn't talk politics but we did share a few moments as I missed my dogs and he loved to be petted.
We said goodbye to Waterton Lakes' mountains and headed back to the rolling praries...
...and to the United States on the Chief Mountain Highway...
...and for the next five days we will be in Glacier National Park.
We were warmly welcomed back home by this free range cow who appears to be saying "welcome back to the States motherfuckers". Apparently this wasn't one of the happy cows from the TV commercials.
We drove into Swiftcurrent Valley on Many Glacier Road in Glacier National Park. The scenery was simply stunning.
We decided to hike to Apikuni Falls. The weather was perfect. The hike took a lot longer than it should because I kept stopping to soak it all in. Once again, I thanked those that protected this area from short sighted assholes that wanted to destroy it for profit all those years ago. If it wasn't for them , I wouldn't be enjoying this amazing place here today.

Once again we found a place at the bottom of the falls to enjoy our lunch. While Chrissy soaked in the warmth of the sun, I hiked up the rocks to the falls.
I sat at the base of the fall for awhile...there is nothing more relaxing than the sound of rushing water. These few moments are the reason I came here and I enjoyed them immensely.
We drove down to St. Mary and re-entered the park on the Going To The Sun Road. Due to construction we can only drive to Logan Pass from the east side.
We stopped along the road to hike to St. Mary Falls...
... to hug a tree... hike to Virginia Falls...
...and take a lot of pictures in an effort to capture that magical feeling of complete happiness.
As we hiked up the trail we kept seeing different waterfalls, not really sure if these were the Virginia Falls or really doesn't matter...bliss describes it best.
At some point we had to head back to the car...which meant hiking past these waterfalls with a different light hitting them.
Finally back to the car and a quick drive up to Logan Pass where it was 10 degrees colder and very windy. Then a beautiful drive back down the Going To The Sun Road to our cabin for the next two days.
 But there is always something worth stopping for...a glimpse of Jackson Glacier...
...great scenery as the sun sets...

...or spotting a moose in St. Mary Lake...
...and ruining your one chance to get a great picture.

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