The first major stop on our cross country adventure was Glacier National Park. We set ourselves up in Kalispell, MT for two nights and were able to get one full day in the park, though sadly the Bear was quite ill so we weren’t able to get out and explore as much as we would have liked. None the less, we got a gorgeous overview (minus the throngs of other tourists) and can’t wait to go back at some point. The Going to the Sun Road was every bit, if not more, beautiful as the guidebooks make it out to be. We started off cruising past Lake McDonald and then stopped for a quick hike through the Trail of Cedars. From there we hugged the cliffside as we winded our way up through the glacier carved valley, admiring waterfalls and trying not to hit any other distracted drivers (pro tip: avoid all National Parks on major summer holidays, like 4th of July). We stopped briefly to picnic at Logan Pass and continued on to view the Jackson Glacier. For a place that was carved out by these massive living ice sheets, only the Jackson Glacier is still viewable from the road. The rest have retreated into the parks interior and it’s estimated by 2035 they’ll be gone completely. This was put into perspective for us when we realized the Bear would be just about finished high school when this happens. We stopped for a few photos at St. Mary’s Lake and then headed back to enjoy the valley views once more.
We had hoped to go back for a bit the following day, but unfortunately poor Bear had come down with a nasty virus. We spent most of the night in the ER and the next several days dosing him with ibuprofen to keep his fever down. Poor little guy, I know he was terribly uncomfortable, but he handled it so well.