50 State Journey

Detailing the adventure that is two friends
trying to visit all 50 states on very little money

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8:33 AM
July 27th, 2011

Cloudplay, Waterfalls & Time Changes

Day Ten: Glacier National Park, MT

The sun seemed to shine directly into my eyes as I passed in and out of consciousness around 4 AM. I awoke fully around 7 and started in on yesterday’s blog while Johnny was still asleep. Not soon after around 7:30 a park ranger came by to check on the picnic area we were staying in. We had left a box of firewood under a tarp by the car so that we had enough room to lay the seats down. The park ranger got out of his car and the first thing he looked at was our big blue box. Fearing that at any moment he would kick us out of the park, I quickly woke up Johnny. Johnny sprung to life as the park ranger was walking away nonchalantly. The wind was howling outside so there would be no morning coffee this morning. We set off west deeper into the park along the Going-to-the-Sun road toward Logan’s Pass. Not soon after it began to rain but along the way we stopped to view a rainbow, a double rainbow (check out the Youtube video) and a few waterfalls. The land up here is a different green than I’ve ever seen before. Johnny said that the mountainside was so green it almost looked fake like something you would have to photoshop to death in order to get that color. By the time we reached Logan’s Pass the temperature had dropped to 46º. It’s late July and there is still snow all over the mountainside. We stopped in to hopefully get a park map and use the bathroom. Unluckily for us this place had neither. They were doing renovations to the visitors center. There were no park maps in sight but there were port-a-potties located on the opposite side of the parking lot. Leaving Logan’s Pass is where the real fun began. We were so high up in the mountains that we were parallel to the clouds. I’m still amazed that we were not driving through fog but actually clouds making their way around the mountain. Every half mile or so there was a new waterfall seemingly better than the last one. We stopped at an overlook to view a whitewater river rushing from a waterfall and crashing down on the banks below. Passing Lake Mcdonald we stopped in a tourist town known as Apgar. Not much to is really, just a few shops, a visitors center and a little diner named Eddie’s where we stopped for lunch. Luckily for us it was only 11:15 when we walked in so we could still order breakfast. We both ordered the Backpacker which was one giant pancake and two eggs over easy on top. I gave in to Johnny’s method of leaving the eggs on top and pouring syrup over the whole thing. I have to say it was good but I’ll stick to the conventional method of pancakes separate from eggs.

Not really wanting to hike anywhere in the rain, we stopped into the visitor’s center to plan our next move. We came to the conclusion that Bowman Lake might be the best option from where we were at to get a good look at the park while staying close enough to get a campsite for the night. The road to Bowman Lake was treacherous at best. Half the time the road was clay while the paved parts were filled with potholes. We took many swooping curves going up and down the hills to reach our destination. There are so many backcountry campers here it makes me a little jealous that we aren’t doing that. We parked the car and walked down a wooded path to Bowman Lake. The view is what I’ve been waiting for the whole time we’ve been here. It’s still very overcast but the lake and the surrounding forest are still breathtaking. I can’t imagine how beautiful this place is in the sunlight.

The funny thing about Glacier National Park is there’s only one main road and we were down in by 11 AM. Since the rain wasn’t letting up we decided to try to gain some ground before heading north to Canada. Our plan is to venture more west through Idaho into Washington and hopefully make the 23 hour long drive to Prince Rupert less of a bear. We stopped for the night at a Wal-mart in Sandpoint, ID. I was tired but it was still light out. I looked down at my phone and realized that northern Idaho is in Pacific Time. We had gained an hour unknowingly. I guess I should get used to 19 hours of sunlight if we’re going to make it to Alaska. This is going to be brutal.

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