Glacier National Park - Swift Current & Josephine Lakes

Published: August 5th 2012
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Early the next morning, we were again at Swift Current Lake. This time with our canoe. The waters were calm and we rowed easily across to a little dock that is used by the tour boats that ferry people around the lake. Vacations are where we are challenged by new experiences -- some good, some not so good, and others, well ... they make us think. To get to the next lake, we had to either paddle upstream or portage across a small island. We chose to portage -- something we had never done before. There was a small path across the island that guests of the tour company used to get to the next lake. To get to the path, we had to lift our rather heavy canoe up a small rocky slope. We then set the canoe on our nifty little wheels. Now, on flat paved surfaces these work great, but on bumpy surfaces with tree branches sticking out, not so good. David strapped the canoe to the wheels to see if that would help. But again, we were foiled! (And just a little frustrated!) It seemed we were not going to get to the next lake when I suggested that maybe we should just roll it a little slower. That worked!! Such a simple thing to do. But slowing down is practically beat out of us in this fast-paced world. I think I spent the first years of my life hearing, “Hurry up, Michele. You’re gonna be late!” Now, it seems I must learn to slow down. Is there ever a balance? The next lake beckoned.

Josephine Lake sits amid colorful mountains with several waterfalls flowing into it. We were the only canoe on the lake. It was crystal clear and perfectly calm -- what a beautiful sanctuary. A short hike from the end of the lake sits the Grinnell Glacier. We have hiked up to this glacier twice, the last time with our kids when they were little. This time we were unable to go as we were not prepared to leave our canoe and its contents unattended by the shore -- we’ll have to come up with some security measures for the future. On the way back, we took the small waterway that led from Josephine Lake to Swift Current Lake. It was great not having to paddle a lot, but I had to watch carefully for rocks. We did scrape the bottom a few times as it was shallow in places, and had to duck as we passed under a bridge. We made our way back across the lake, landed and loaded the canoe. It was now high noon and hot. We headed back to our campsite and slowed down ...


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