Glacier National Park is a natural amusement park, with hiking, and backpacking trails providing a soul calming meditative experience costing less than the entrance to Disney World, or Six Flags.
There is so much beauty before your eyes in every direction you look, it becomes easy to lose your sense of where you are and the wild animals that share your space.
Fortunately, with park guest passing along the trails, they provide updated detailed locations of spotting, bears, moose, elk, deer, or the gorgeous picturesque scenery photo opportunities.
WIth, such beauty abounds, everyone, shares in the sense of perpetual excited wonderment with such stunning visuals.
By my third day my body was a little sore from hiking and backpacking, so I stayed at the campground to write and detail my experiences when around 9:00 am, a 2-year-old blonde bear named “Dopey,” nick-named for his limp, sauntered through the campsite foraging for berries and anything else he could come across.
He passed within twenty-five yards of my site, not concerned with my presences, as he pushed and borrowed through the brush in between the campsites.
I looked for my bear spray, which was in the side pocket of my day pack, which was in my car, twenty feet away.
Yes, for the next two hours, I sat in the campsite, my bear spray was within a couple of inches of my right hand in preparation for the bears’ return.
I highly recommended carrying your own personal bear spray with you at all times, because the serenity of your surroundings will bury, your fears, or thoughts of any animal let alone a bear until you hear movement in the underbrush.
Many Glacier is North of the St. Mary’s entrance on the eastern side of Glacier and its beauty is unmatched. The hiking trails are exquisite, and I took advantage of the Swiftcurrent Trail in Many Glacier when other hikers spoke of a Moose swimming in the lake.
My last experiences with a Bull Moose and his companion cow, swimming across a lake in the Wasatch Mountian of Utah, ended with me encountering the Bull on the hiking trail.
Memories of that encounter prepared me as I approached the shores of Fishercap Lake where a Moose Cow was standing in ten feet of water dunking her head in and raising above the waters surface providing these great photos.
After thirty min to an hour at the lake I began walking uphill towards the trail, several hikers warmed me how they spotted a mother bear and its cub 30-50 yards off of the trial. I continued along checking my bear spray hanging from my shoulder pads, I stopped to take a photo to give some distance between the bear that was being reported ahead and me.
I stopped to talk to several hikers to increase my time in anticipation of the bear ahead when I was stopped talking with an older gentleman. We spoke for several moments when I noticed a group of who appeared to be below the age of 30, pointing in the same direction.
When the older guy I’m talking to saw the group ahead of us pointing into the woods, he began walking to see what they were witnessing. I was about ten-fifteen feet behind him and as I gazed to my right about 50-yards off of the trail was a bear cub, and ten-fifteen yards beyond the cab was a large mother bear weighing at least 300-400 hundred pounds.
Now, to be honest, my thought of capturing a photo was overridden with the thoughtful, analytical assessment of not being able to outrun the group of kids who were pointing and capturing pictures of the animals, but I knew I could outrun the old guy who I was just talking to. So, I turned and began walking fast along trail away from the bears. The older guy I was talking to caught up sometime later and asked if I got any photos.
When I said no because I wanted to get a head start in case the mother bear charged the younger group, knowing I could not outrun them, but I’m sure I could have outrun him.
The look on his face was astonishing, as he immediately assessed how vulnerable he was just moments before. 🙂
Many family and friends cannot appreciate or comprehend the idea of hiking, yet alone phantom the idea of backpacking overnight under the stars.
Although the idea of sleeping under the stars in a tent is fearfully scary, others like myself could never consider any other option after hiking the day away and ease into the star-lit night sky to marvel at the sparkles above.
Over the past ten years or more, the technology has improved the comfort items allowing backpacking, hiking, and overnight camping to be as comfortable as being in the living or family room of your home.
I love my rooms without walls, with the smell of wood-burning fire, pine trees, wildflowers, the occasional noise of a night creature, all while viewing the most extensive television screen above me.