See them while you still can

The glaciers, that is.  We are losing them at a heavy rate, and the prediction is that there will be no more glaciers in Glacier National Park in 20 years.

And that will be sad. We spent the day there, and it was lovely.  Don says I am getting very jaded about spectacular natural vistas.  But once you have seen Crater Lake, every other lake just, well, pales slightly in comparison.  So do what I tried to do and look at glorious Lake McDonald as though you have never seen a lake before, and you will be astonished at its beauty.

Instead of driving miles through this 1,000,000 acre park, we took a tour today in one of the classic 1930’s coaches that have been rehabilitated for the park.  We met our guide at the lodge, which was a treat in itself.

For the first hour of the tour, the canvas roof was on the top, keeping us nice and snug. But then it got rolled up, and each row of us got a long Pendleton blanket to put over our legs.  And boy, did we need it!  The views were more expansive, but I was wondering why I hadn’t thought to bring gloves.  At times, we made what are called “gopher stops” when we all poked through the top to take our pictures.  Very time efficient.

We did make a few get-out-of-the-couch stops and saw some lovely falls and streams of glacial run-off, along with the ravages of a huge fire in 2003 and glaciers peeking through here and there. (No grizzlies, but evidently they are not hard to find.) Very dramatic views.

Thank goodness the roof went back on for the last leg of the trip. Sharing that blanket was testing my good will toward my fellow man…

We went back to the lodge for a tasty lunch, starting with deviled eggs and pickled vegetables and ending with a slice of huckleberry pie.  One of the better meals of the trip! (We accidentally started one egg before the picture.  Don’t fault the restaurant.)

All in all, another lovely day in one of our national park treasures.  As we travel, we are watching the Ken Burns National Parks series, and are always inspired by the Wallace Stegner quote: “National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”

As Ken Burns paraphrases:  “America’s Best Idea – The National Parks.”

We agree.

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