Day 2: Hiking
Day 2 turned out to be cloudy and rainy. The sun was nowhere to be seen, and it was even windier and chilly. We decided to drive down the Going-to-the-Sun Road and hike somewhere along the Logan Pass. Trust me when I say this, I have tried recalling the name of the 2 hikes we did that day, but I cannot remember. I tried to dig the old documents we researched on while planning this trip, even asked my friends in the group, but I was absolutely unable to remember both names. All I remember was for one of them, we parked, went up to the Visitor’s Center, and then started on a self-guided hike that took us 3-4 hours, maybe more. If you have been there, maybe you can look at the pictures and help me figure.
For the first hike, like I said, we parked and went up the Visitor’s Center. The hike started from there. It was pretty simple, self-guided, had boardwalks sometimes, but the elevation started to go up gradually. Soon, I was puffing and panting, and most of the people from my group were way past me. I was also taking frequent photography breaks. The wind chill and the cold made it worse. I cannot tell you how cold it was, and every time I tried clicking a picture, my fingers would go numb. The hike became somewhat steep after a point, and my lungs were beginning to ache. A little more, just a little more, I kept telling myself. I had my friend who slowed down and gave me company at times. The head scarf was tightly protecting my ears, I was wrapped in multiple layers of warm clothes, but the cold still got to me.
After what seemed like a lifetime, I finally saw the destination of the hike, and how amazing it was. The view was breathtaking. The lush green mountains, the blueness of the river, and the trees that seemed like little vertical sticks from a distance. We were standing at the vista point, and from there, the scenery was mesmerizing. Apparently some people got quite adventurous and wanted to venture down to the river. After the strenuous hike, I was definitely not up for another steep and downhill hike.
Our group turned back. The hike back was definitely simpler and took us a shorter time, because it was mostly downhill. The boardwalks, the flora and the occasional fauna, and the clouds gave a Heavenly touch to the scenery. Nature was spread in front of us, pristine, beautiful, and rightly deserving to be marveled at. The thick and black clouds and sunshine played a strange combination of lighting, it was sunny one moment, and dark and cloudy the next, and sunny once more. The pictures will vouch for that.
Once back, we rested for a while at the Visitor Center (whose name I still cannot remember). From there, we were back to Going-to-the-Sun Road, looking for the next hike. We did find a random hiking trail, not as long or as difficult as the first one. It would be dark soon, and we wanted to be done before it was dark. This time, I did not puff and pant as much, though I would often turn back to make sure no bears or animals larger than me were behind us. I was not particularly fond of the idea of encountering a bear while I was unaware and unarmed.
This shorter hike did not lead us to a vista point per se, but we came across a fall, a very pretty one indeed. We spent some time there, took pictures, dipped out feet in the water, and walked around the fall. It was indeed a much needed relaxing dip after the strenuous hike.
The weather was getting colder, and there was some more rain predicted the following day. We made a decision to start back that night. That way we would beat the traffic once again, reach by noon the following day, and have about half a day to relax before work started again. We had food at a local pub on our way back, and finally said bye to a wonderful trip. We thought we were done with our adventures. Well, most of it. We drove back the entire night in zero traffic, barring the occasional deer that lay dead in the middle of the freeways. It was scary, given that the deer were huge, and it was difficult to spot one in the night, or steer clear of them given how fast we drove in freeways. Luckily for us, we managed to steer past all of them. We came home with some wonderful memories of the trip.
Cheers to a lovely trip to the Glacier National Park, and to a wonderful group of enthusiastic friends who made this trip so much more fun. Someday, I would love to go back again.