|We had planned to float the river on Sunday, 8-14, and the weather was great
for it. It was the first warm day since we had been there. However, after our 9
mile hike the day before, neither of us was in the mood to do anything. We
got over it by Monday, and headed 3 hours north to get to Iceberg Lake Trail.
We had met a guy on the trail we took on Saturday who told us that he had
seen 3 grizzlies, a moose and a ram on the Iceberg Lake Trail, so of course
we decided we had to go. This trail was a little longer, 4.8 miles (remember,
that is one way), but only climbed 1200 feet in that distance, so it was nothing
we couldn't handle. It was gorgeous. After we climbed past the first mountain,
and over the waterfall, we were hiking through wildflowers, looking down to
spot bears in the valley below. See the snow behind Richard, that's where
|Well, we made it to the lake without seeing a single trace of wildlife except a
damn prairie dog looking thing that was trying to steel our food when we
stopped for a drink of water.
|But the lake was beautiful and we enjoyed the hike up there, so we weren't too
upset. It was nearing 5:00 when we turned around, so we thought maybe we
would start seeing the bears that were supposedly all around. (It didn't feel cold
at all up there, even though there was snow. Maybe it was because we had just
walked 4.8 miles, up a mountain?)
|As we hiked, we had both been on "bear" patrol. Richard was supposed to be
spotting bears, I was supposed to be finding berries. I must have been a better
lookout, because we filled a gallon-size zip lock half full of huckleberries, but no
bears. We thought they should change their sign to "Berry Frequenting Area."
See all those hucks?
|As we had hoped, wildlife spotting picked up on the way back down the trail--but
just a little. We saw a fat rabbit (probably from eating my huckleberries!) and
some bees. That was it. We were cussing our informant as we neared the
trailhead. When we rounded a corner, 300 yards from the end of the trail, we
saw... (are you excited?) I know you're hoping it was a bear, I was too, but it was
just a common dear and two fawns. Of course they wouldn't stand close enough
together to get a picture of all three of them, but they were cute, and wildlife, and
bigger than a damn prairie dog!.
|As I was trying to coax them into a picture together, the mom walked off, leaving
the two fawns eating in the field. I was standing there, camera ready, for when
they realized mom had left, so I could capture them as they walked past me,
when Richard said, "Ohh, WHAT is THAT?" I looked over and saw the mass of
brown fuzzy stuff peaking over the ridge, and I knew right away. "It's a moose!"
All we could see was his antlers. He finally crested the hill and we realized how
close he was to us, and that he was coming towards us!
|As we took evasive action, walking further down the path to try to at least be
on the civilization side of the huge moose, we weren't sure who was more in
awe, us or the two fawns. They were standing on a ridge, just watching him as
he crossed into where they had just been eating, and started grazing. One
took off to find mom, but the other waited until the moose was close enough so
I could take a picture of the two of them together.
|We were pretty happy with out moose sighting. As we strolled into the parking lot,
we figured out how our bear-spotting buddy had seen his three grizzlies. Everyone
(we're talking several groups of 10 to 15 people each, scattered throughout the
parking lot) was standing there with binoculars and telescopes, looking up in the
cliffs. (Yes the same cliffs we had just been in, but in different areas.) Sure
enough, there were little brown spots running around up there, but even with the
12X optical zoom on this new camera, they didn't look like bears.
We headed back to the west side of Glacier to the campground. Since it was a 3
hour trip, we didn't get in until near 11:00 PM, and had to check out the next day at
12:00. So, at about 12:05 we reluctantly pulled out of Hungry Horse, MT and
headed southwest towards South Dakota. We would have stayed a lot longer, but
we have to be in Spy Hill Canada on the 22nd to meet Richard's family.
We drove until about 9:30 Tuesday night. The plan was to find a Wal-Mart in
Sheridan, WY. When it was evident that we wouldn't make it that far, we thought
we would stay at a Wal-Mart in Billings, MT. Well, we didn't get that far either. We
stayed in a rest area on HWY 90 somewhere, right in between two refrigerated
semis. Have you ever heard those things up close? Good thing we were tired.
Shortly before we stopped for the night, we stopped and got gas at a station next
to a Super 8, so I was able to borrow their WIFI to check emails. We were very
pleasantly surprised at the quantity of responses we've received from the comment
form I put on a few pages ago. Thank you to everyone who has responded. Keep
emailing us, telling us what you are doing. We like to keep in touch.