Walking all over the place

My dad, step-mom, and brothers are here for a visit this week. Thursday we made the trek over Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park and hiked to Preston Park again, this time with my family. It was a beautiful, sunshine-y day with a nice occasional breeze. This time we saw a ton of wildflowers, including magenta paintbrush. I’ve seen scarlet paintbrush, but never magenta, so it was a real treat to see this variety.

Magenta paintbrush 2I love learning about wildflowers, and if I have a chance someday to go back to school, I’d like to get a degree in plant biology, with a focus on Rocky Mountain wildflowers.

Magenta paintbrush 1

Paintbrush and going to the sun mtnThe above photo doesn’t do justice to the carpet of wildflowers and Going-to-the-Sun mountain behind, but boy, it sure was a beautiful.

S k and j siyeh creekGotta start ’em young, working on instilling that love of hiking. Although Peanut looks less than enthusiastic in this photo (he was distracted by the creek), he loves hiking already. He takes it all in, looking all over at the trees and mountains and flowers. Already he’s content to be in the backpack for two to three hours at a stretch. Though he enjoys little breaks so he can explore since he’s walking now. He’s walking all over the place and we hope that he always will love walking all over the place. Especially up mountains.

Siyeh creekHow blessed we are to live in a place like this, where this view can be an every day event.

 

 

 

 

Lunch Creek

Took my own advice and wandered up Lunch Creek a ways and after that up the Piegan Pass trail toward Preston Park with friends a few days ago. Amazing what a hike does for the soul. Hard not to feel stirred with a view like this.

Lunch creek vista

Heavy Runner mountain on the left, Mt. Reynolds on the right.

Lake hikes

As I think many other folks will agree, when you’re chasing a little kid around all day, trying to get meals on the table, squeezing in a shower somewhere, and oh, yeah, starting a small business, exercise and enjoyment of the beautiful countryside that abounds without can take a back burner. Silliness, I tell you! Silliness!

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to do yoga. And I’ve been doing that (it feels great!). But I also want to take care of my body more than I have the past few years. It’s not only about weight loss. It’s about being physically active and cultivating a lifestyle that is a model for my children (I should say child, because no, I’m not pregnant, I’m just thinking in future tense). I want my kiddos to grow up being active. We live in an amazing place with scads of recreational opportunities, and it’s foolish to just sit at home when we could be out there in that beauty getting skinny.

So yesterday I went on a short loop snow hike (took the snowshoes but didn’t need them in the end) near the reservoir. And it was awesome. Though I’m still sore as I write this.

Starting at the beginning, I drove up to the trailhead, and when I came to the parking lot, which had about 6-8 inches of snow covering it, I thought to myself: “Self, you probably shouldn’t try to park in there. You’re going to bury the 2-wheel drive Honda Civic lacking snow tires.” So what did I do? Tried to get into the parking lot anyway! So like I thought, I did bury the front tires and that was that. Got about three feet into the driveway to the parking lot. So my friend, who was just behind me with her dogs and baby in her four-wheel-drive, snow-tire fitted car that actually makes sense in this climate/area, tried to get my car rocking so we could push it out, but no dice.

But why ruin a perfectly good hike worrying about the car? It was mostly off the road. So we flipped the flashers on and loaded up the babies and did our hike. Have I ever mentioned that 30 pounds of baby/backpack combined is sorta heavy? Well it is. My shoulders and my hips ache. But that means I did something, right? Yoga will sort out residual aches anyway.

It was a very pleasant hike through the trees around the lake. The weather was fabulous, warm actually, and we both quickly worked up a sweat and started stripping off scarves and gloves. The Peanut babbled away in the backpack and was quite content, even though I had to crawl under several downed trees with him in the backpack. All part of the adventure as I told him!

View from lion lake hike

When we were nearly back to the cars we called a local mechanic to come tug the car out. Which he did for free because he’s a nice guy.

A great little morning adventure!

Lion lake hikers

Going to the Sun (and some waterfalls)

Over Labor Day weekend, we took a little trip over to the east side of Glacier National Park. We don’t get over there too often because it’s about four hours round trip. We made the impromptu decision to get over to the east side, though, and it was a great boondoggle. The east side sure is lovely! We hiked to St. Mary Falls, a glacier-fed waterfall (you can tell it’s glacier-fed because of the turquoise water, which looks like something you’d see in the Caribbean). And then we drove over the Going-to-the-Sun Road close to sundown. The long shadows thrown up by the arched backs of the mountains painted the park in a beautiful light.

Here’s my boys at St. Mary Falls. Jonathan was pretty into watching the waterfall. This was a good hike for us. It ended up being about three miles round-trip, which is about six miles too short for Shawn and I, but a good length for our little Peanut. Next summer we’re planning to do some longer hikes with him.

St. Mary Falls sure is beautiful. For a waaaaay better photo, check this out.

We didn’t quite make it to Virginia Falls, but we did spend a nice fifteen minutes hanging out on the rocks on an unnamed cascade along Virginia Creek.

After the hike, we drove home over the Going-to-the-Sun Road (we’d taken Marias Pass on the way to the east side). Here’s the view from almost on top of Logan Pass, looking east.

Another first

We took Jonathan on his first hike in Glacier National Park this past weekend. First we drove most of the way up the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The photo above is of Bird Woman Falls. The photo below is of Haystack Falls, another waterfall along the route.

We wanted to go to the top, to Logan Pass, and look around for a while at all the snow still up there, but with the construction we ended up just sitting for a while in an enormous line of cars before we said to heck with it. That’s how it rolls when you’ve got a baby who is hungry and who doesn’t want to be in his car seat anymore. So, improvising, we decided to go on a hike instead. We are trying to get Jonathan used to being in the backpack. We are doing this by taking longer and longer hikes with him, working him up to being in the backpack for a few hours at a time.

We decided to do the Johns Lake hike. It’s short and sweet and it did seem like the perfect amount of time for our son. At the beginning of the hike we could tell he was very interested in all the trees. It occurred to us that while walking through the trees is completely quotidian to us, to Jonathan is was an entirely new experience. Would that I could approach things with such wonder with more frequency in my own life. Having a baby certainly helps with that! We hiked to the lake and kept going to the underpass that goes under Going-to-the-Sun Road and comes out along McDonald Creek.

Remember to wonder, people. Look at something you’ve seen before with new eyes, the eyes of an infant. Contemplate something average in your life and make it wonderful. It’s a refreshing experience.