Glacier National Park, Friday, 7-Jul

No earthquakes, no one from New Orleans. We did make it to the Many Glacier area on the east side of Glacier National Park to hike.

Even though we weren't trying to catch an early shuttle, we still tried to head out of the room somewhat early since we needed to drive about 2½ hours around the south end of Glacier to get to the Many Glacier area. Traffic was pretty good, except there was a section of one-lane road due to construction. But we still only had to wait a few minutes until we could go.

A large segment of the drive was very windy, but very scenic. We saw a sign that indicated cows in the area, and a few seconds later, we saw several cows milling around right by the road.

We passed the Two Medicine and St. Mary entrances, and turned into Many Glacier, going past a great view of Lake Sherburne. The ranger station was easy to find, so we went in for some hiking advice. Having done a long hike the day before, we were wanting to stick to something shorter. However, the ranger said that the Iceberg Lake trail, even though 10 miles round-trip, was a relatively easy trail. A woman standing nearby said that Iceberg Lake is a must-see. We also got information about a few other trails, and the ranger said there's a nice waterfall about halfway on the Iceberg Lake trail (where it splits to go to the Ptarmigan Tunnel, which had just opened).

After a bit of going back and forth, we decided to try the Iceberg Lake trail, and if we started getting tired, we would turn around. Having not planned to hike for as long as the previous day, we didn't bring as much water and food, so we were pretty sure we'd turn around.

The very beginning of the trail was a little steep (the ranger had warned us of that) but quickly leveled out. There were a ton of wildflowers all around us and the many other hikers we saw. Before too long, we knew it was starting to feel hot and that it would only get hotter as the day went on.

Our goal was to get to the waterfall at Ptarmigan Creek, and before we knew it, we heard the waterfall nearby. Just before we saw it, there was a deer in the trees that another couple were trying to get pictures of. After they went on, the deer moved around under cover, then came out onto the path. It wandered around a bit, nibbling a bit on a tree, then leapt across the path and up the hill.

We saw a place to sit which was in the shade and the falls were still a bit in view, so we unloaded our bags and started getting ready to eat. I walked out to the bridge to take a closer look at the falls, and the deer came out and was standing in the river for quite a long time.

Lunch finished, we packed up and started heading back. With the slight downhill, the trip was quite quick, and we didn't feel as hot as on the way up. A couple minutes later we passed one person, and I mentioned that he was only at the falls; he was excited to hear there was a waterfall coming up. Further down the trail, a mother asked how far the falls were, and we were able to tell her about a mile and a half.

We dropped our bags in the car, then walked the short distance to the ranger station to refill the water bottles. Then it was time for the drive back. This time, not only were there cows on the side of the road, there was one lazily crossing. After it got to the other side, cars started going by, and it seemed to be looking at us, wondering if it should cross back.

The one-lane section was a little longer wait for us, but as it was around 5pm, they were in the process of opening up both directions, so we weren't following a pace car going through.

One option was to drop by the room, clean up, then get dinner, and the other was to just go straight to dinner. We figured if we got into the room, we wouldn't want to go out again, so we went past Coram (where our motel was) to Hungry Horse, the next city down (it was larger and would be more likely to have a place open for dinner). We filled up the car, then looked at recommendations. One was across the street, so cross we did.

The place was a deli which also had a hot food counter, so we ordered some food in addition to getting some dessert and a bit of fruit for breakfast. As we were waiting for our order, we looked at all the pickled items (several flavors of pickled eggs, pickled ham hocks, etc.) and also noticed that the business was for sale. We thought our food purchase was plenty, and passed on buying the deli.

Back in the room we had our dinner, cleaned up, and true to expectation, we just lazed around until we fell asleep.