We woke up to wet everything. Wet tent, wet sleeping bags, wet clothes, wet packs. Did I mention it was wet? During a small break in the rain, we hung everything up on a clothesline to attempt to dry it. With still-damp gear, we packed up mid-morning to claim our pre-reserved campsite at Many Glacier. On the way in to Many Glacier, another bear crossed in front of our car, either a young grizzly or a black bear. This time, we captured him on camera.
Our ranger friends came through for us with a nice site. Unfortunately, it seemed they were unable to do anything about the rain, the wet, wet rain that just kept raining. We set up our damp tent in the drizzle, then headed to the warm, dry haven offered by the Many Glacier Lodge. We ate lunch in the lodge restaurant, and then hung out in the large lobby for a couple of hours. I curled up on one of the couches and enjoyed a nap in the cozy environs. When I emerged from dreamland, it looked like things were clearing, at least a bit, and we did not want to waste our entire day in the lodge lobby, even if it was a recovery day from yesterday’s craziness.
We decided a ten mile hike to Iceberg Lake would be a great “recovery” activity. Despite encountering more rain, the hike was well worth it. On the way up, we saw a rainbow. Iceberg Lake was stunning, and we even heard an iceberg calving (sadly, we did not see the event, as we were visiting the pit toilet).
We finished the hike and headed back to the campsite in the rain. Once again cold and wet, we drove back to the Many Glacier Lodge. Their food was not that amazing, certainly not for the price, so I stuffed a bunch of our food into my pack, and we surrepticiously dined on that in the lobby. When I say lobby, picture a huge room, with the ceiling open to the other floors, with tons of couches and loveseats, and an amazing circular fire place, where lots of people were lounging, many probably just like us, wet campers looking for refuge.
Once we finished eating and it cleared out a bit, we snagged seats right by the fireplace. I tried to convince Matthew that we should spend the night on the couches in the lobby. He was sure they would kick us out, because, um, they make money by selling rooms to people, why would they let us sleep on the couch for free? I still thought it was worth a try, but reluctanly agreed to return to the cold, wet tent. On the upside, we saw another great shooting star before bed. I won’t mention the downside, because you can probably guess that it involved wet and cold.
After seeing weather forecasts for more of the same for the next two days, we decided that enough was enough. Nothing was dry. We’re outta here and headed to someplace warm and dry. (As a note, the rain we experienced was apparently not normal for Glacier in August; the weather preceding and following our stay looked rather gorgeous.)
We drove to West Glacier along the Going to the Sun road in rain and fog. For a short time at Logan Pass, it was even sleeting! We stopped along the way and did some short hikes. Somewhere in all of the in-and-out of the Jeep, I managed to lose my sunhat.
Our first warm, dry stop was a lovely vacation home near Bigfork, MT. Did I mention that the house was warm and dry? With a fireplace? And a washing machine and dryer? We spent a lovely night there, and were tempted to stay longer, but decided we wanted to see more on this vacation. And apparently we wanted to be even warmer and even dryer, so on the next day, we set out for the deserts of Moab, Utah.