8-17-2016 - BOW - BOWMAN LK, HD Fires; YES Segment; Length 7.10 Elevation; Up 0 | Down 0
8-18-2016 - HAW - HAWKSBILL Fires; NO Segment; Length 8.60 Elevation; Up 2220 | Down 810
8-19-2016 - KOO - KOOTENAI LK Fires; NO Segment; Length 9.30 Elevation; Up 200 | Down 1240
8-20-2016 - FIF - FIFTY MOUNTAIN Fires; NO Segment; Length 8.30 Elevation; Up 2280 | Down 0
8-21-2016 - FLA - FLATTOP Fires; NO Segment; Length 6.40 Elevation; Up 565 | Down 945
EXIT - LOOP TRAIL (TRAILHEAD) Segment; Length 6.30 Elevation; Up 650 | Down 2640
Arrived at midnight - found our way to Motel 6 using Glacier Taxi .
While waiting for Nate to arrive we wandered around Kalispell. Grabbed coffee at City Brew. Then breakfast at The Knead Cafe. Picked up our remaining gear, bear spray, propane and lighters, at Rocky Mountain Outfitter and the Conoco gas station. Nate met us at the Motel 6. And off we went to pick up our Backcountry Permit from the Apgar ranger station at Lake McDonald. The ranger Danny Roberts changed the last segments of our journey to Granite and exiting by Logan Pass. We decided to relax for an hour and each grabbed a kayak to chill out on the lake. We then went to Columbia Falls - ate at Backslope Brewing and checked into Cedar Creek Lodge to pack our packs for the start of our adventure.
Saw a grizzly bear 3 miles in turning a corner. Backed up slowly and made noise further away. It investigated us by standing on its hind legs. It eventually disappeared.
Snow in the butt crack of the mountain.
Swam in Bowman Lake. Freezing. Refreshing. The minerals collect around my nails, forming a white line at the base.
Met Mark and Scott from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Met Audrey and Alison from Portland, OR.
Together, we watched a bald eagle across the lake, a lightning storm and the red touches of the sunset.
We went out with Mark and Scott along the trail. The more the merrier. We parted ways at Brown Pass. Saw a moose at Thunderbird Creek and continued to our campsite. Quite wet today with the wind and mist. Tent almost fell over from the rain. Finally cleared up and blue skies showed.
Ran into a ranger named Josh not too far into the trail today. He said he ran into 4 bears this morning. Nothing to worry about. Saw plenty of bear prints in the mud. At Goat Haunt, the border and ferry ride to Canada, we used the bathroom and ran into tourists. One had an NYC tshirt. We hooked up with Mark and Scott again at Waterton Lake and headed out together to Kootenai. Settled into our mosquito ridden site, had dinner and watched swans on the lake. We also heard from some kids fishing that they found a moose calf carcass killed by a bear on the other side of the lake.
Woke up this morning and found a moose and swans in Kootenai Lake. We left with Mark and Scott - we said our goodbyes at the junction. They were heading east to Stoney Indian Pass and settling at Mokowanis. We headed towards Fifty Mountain. It was a difficult climb with regarding views but the biggest surprise was after the ascent it opened up into this huge meadow with boulder ornaments. We had to move camp because we found a better spot near a wild flower filled stream. A little heat exhausted today, so after diner I headed away from the other campers to write and lay down.
Woke early this morning to hike an offshoot of our route to Granite. It was up Shepard Glacier which over looks the Mokowanis area. After descending this tangent adventure we began along the ridge line called the Highline. Very difficult - lots of hot sun, ups and downs for our longest day. We saw mountain lion prints and feces in the burn area. Face is peeling from the sun burn of yesterday - today I was smarter about the sun. Soaked our feet in the stream where we filled our water for tomorrow.
We had breakfast one last time with Madeline and Eric who we have been playing a relay race with. A nice pair of friends from Massachusetts. Left Granite to head to our final destination, Logan Pass. Eventually we came to a fork in the path and headed the wrong way - to our original out point, The Loop. Turned around, back tracked and headed to the Granite Chalet where we found the Logan Pass trail closed due to bear activity. So once more we headed to The Loop, now our only way out for our last day. We descended the 4 miles quickly. Taking the shuttle to Apgar for a ride back to Kalispell. Some miscommunication with Nate led us to take Glacier Taxi. We meet Nate at the Motel 6 and had a nice conversation before parting ways for the last time. Did laundry and headed to bed.