We are very glad that we made an effort to get to the east side of this park, instead of just taking a tour over as we had originally planned. Yesterday we organised a boat trip and hike, a wonderful way to spend a few hours in the park. The boat travelled up St Mary Lake and dropped us off to walk to Baring and then St Mary Falls. The lake was very calm for the first part of the trip, apparently it is unusual to see these types of reflections.
The boat was a small historic wooden vessel that had been used on the lake since early last century. There are a number of these boats on the different lakes in the park.
It was a short walk into Baring Falls, where a dipper was working the base.
There was then an optional almost 5km walk into St Mary Falls accompanied by a ranger. This was a great walk and the NPS ranger was very knowledgable, making the walk much more interesting than doing it by yourself.
Along the trail a mule deer was enjoying the spring growth.
During our return down the lake the sun was shining on the mountains highlighting the different colours in the rocks.
This morning we woke to an overcast day with the mountains near our camp shrouded in low cloud.
We had intended to photograph some wildflowers, but given the low level of light decided to start heading towards West Glacier. On the way we passed through Browning where the national finals of the Indian Rodeo were being held. The rodeo ground and adjoining areas were packed with horses and campers. It looked strange to see all the teepees among the caravans and tents.
As the weather was clearing we called into Two Medicine, another stunning area of the park. Our first stop was a nature walk on the way into Running Eagle Falls. It surprises us how lush the undergrowth can be in the fir forests.
Running Eagle Falls are also called Trick Falls as the water actually passes down a hole behind the lip and gushes out half way down. Because of the good water flow at present there was water pouring from both areas.
We reached the lake in time to go on another boat cruise, again with spectacular scenery. The boats are very cute.
Back on the highway we came across a horse who appeared to think he was a dog! He had his head consistently out of the float and had no qualms about large trucks or vehicles passing by. His float mate also had his head out but not as far. The truck and float were travelling at highway speed, which is not slow!
Along the highway is an area rich in minerals and often visited by mountain goats which use the area as a lick. We were lucky enough to see several, including kids, near the road. This is the first time we have seen them as anything other than a distant speck high up on a mountain.