This has been the Most Amazing Vacation Ever. I have fallen in love with Montana, and I will be unapologetically gushing about it for the next week at least.
One of the draws to the Flathead Lake area of Montana was its proximity to Glacier National Park. It was an easy one hour drive from our house in Bigfork.
Glacier is one of the National Parks I've always wanted to visit; I've seen hundreds of amazing photos of the place and heard stories from friends who sing its praises. STILL, I have to say, I had no idea what we were driving into.
We chose a 4 mile hike that we thought would be perfect for everyone. The trail was so pretty that I didn't really care where it was headed. It was all filtered light and rushing waterfalls and tall trees.
The kids loved exploring all the nooks for climbing and found many opportunities to pose for photos.
My sister Liesel's kids, Grant and Cameron (11 and 12 years old) are total heroes to my kids.
|It's funny when we all fall off the tree stump trying to pose for the photo.|
|Is this place for real?|
|the cleanest mountain water rushing by the trail.|
|my little tree worshiper|
We were headed for Avalanche Lake, and we heard people coming down the trail mentioning waterfalls at the top, but when we turned the corner and saw the scene, I thought:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
|This is not a fake backdrop.|
|I love that my mom still hikes with us.|
|That's my brother-in-law Craig, cancer-free and stronger than ever.|
|world's greatest nephews.|
|Skyler had some quiet time with her journal before we hiked down.|
The part of me that feels connected to the west was really humming. I formed a key piece of myself as a teenager backpacking in Colorado with Outward Bound, lived in California for 4 years, and have had some of my best vacations in Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.
To say I really like the "bigness" of the west really falls short, but it's true. I love the way it smells and sounds and feels. I feel at home on the trails and humbled by the massiveness of the sky and the mountains.
I went to Montana about 15 years ago with my whole family, including my dad. My dad was especially impressed with the landscape and said that "Montana should really be spelled with an exclamation point." Montana! True, and GLACIER NATIONAL PARK should be spelled in all caps.
Wait till you see pics and video from the day that Tim and I went back for more.
I'm not even half way done talking about Montana!, so stay tuned for more. We are reluctantly heading home to Maine early tomorrow morning.