Driving the Road to the Sun

Saved: July 3rd 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Road to the SunRoad to the SunRoad to the Sun

Looking down as we drive up the mountain.
There is so much to tell about we what did and saw today that I hardly think enough words or pictures could truely give it justice. We decided to get an early start and drive The Road to the Sun because if the weather doesn't hold out they will probably close it again. This very narrow road just reopened yesterday after being closed due to an avalanche blocking many portions of the road. Can you believe that? The current rain broke snow loose and closed up the road in several locations. That gives you some idea of how crazy this drive is. Well you have no idea until you get on it. When we head out it is about 70 degrees and sunny and by the time we are half way up the mountain it is rainy and 52 degrees. As we continue to venture on I can't even describe in enough words how amazing it is. We are driving up a narrow, at sometimes one lane road, thru snow covered peaks and there are portions of the road that have huge snow walls on each side. You fear that at any minute the snow could give way. There are waterfalls
Snow fallSnow fallSnow fall

Snow on each side of the road.
flowing under the roadway and you can see where past avalanches just took out everything in their path. We arrive at Logan's Pass, which is about midway up and here we get out and the kids get to play in the snow. People are walking up the mountain and skiing down. It is crazy and amazing all at the same time. Where in the world can you be in the sun and shorts one minute and on mountain of snow the next. I read that the mountain weather can be fickle and it can snow at anytime, even in June, July and August. Guess what...it starts to hail as we are in the visitor's center. We plan to come back and hike here on another day when the weather is a bit warmer and we are dressed for the conditions. We continue down the mountain and are still in awe. Even the kids are just speechless. We decide to stop at one of the many hiking trails along the way down because the weather cleared up. The hike to St. Marys falls was a short 1.5 mile hike and much easier terrian than yesterday. We made it to the falls

One of the many waterfalls that flow on The Road to the Sun.
just as the rain came in again and we all made a run for it. It was actually quite fun. While driving out of the park we watch a huge herd of elk up in a big field. Yeah...we are finally seeing some wildlife. Not far up the road we are thrilled to see a herd of wild horses literally on the road. A foal came right up to the truck window long enough for a quick picture. A sign reading "Range Cattle" prepared us for the large cows on the road a few miles futher than the horses. Now what we witnessed next still has all five of us in shock. Never in a million years will I be able to describe in enough detail what we saw. Only someone in the right spot at the right moment could see what we witnessed. We are driving along this narrow winding stretch of road and Aaron spots a huge group of horses running across an open plain. It was down in a valley about a 1/4 mile off the road. We pull over and get out and are so excited because it was just like a scene from the movie
Logan's PassLogan's PassLogan's Pass

Playing in the snow on top of the mountain.
Spirit. I record them a bit and take a couple pictures and then Aaron yells...they are running from bears!! What are you kidding me? Sure enough coming out of the left is a mother grizzly and three cubs. Two are very small, probably this years babies and the third is a bit bigger. They look almost like they are just trotting happily across the field. Then we notice that five horses separated from the group that made it safely away and are hiding behind a small clump of trees. There are four adults trying to protect the foal that is with them. Well, mama bear spots them and they take off running. Now you know how fast a horse can run? These horses are running, running for their lives and this mama grizzly bolted. She ran so fast we just all couldn't believe it. We were all just motionless and speechless. The foal slipped and lost it's footing and the grizzly caught it. To give you an idea of her size and power...she stood up on her hind legs holding that horse in her mouth and just carried it off into the brush. Once mama did that the three cubs caught up to her and went in the brush as well. A few other people had stopped along the road with us and none of us knew what to do or say. Even as I write this I still just can't believe it. We did get a few pictures and some video, but wish we had more. At the time we were frozen and couldn't think fast enough to react. What an amazing first encounter with bears in Glacier!! We now know you really could never outrun a grizzly and even though Aaron bought a large can of bear spray I'm not sure how much good it would do.

Additional photos below
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Here come the grizzlies!Here come the grizzlies!
Here come the grizzlies!

After the horses run by we notice this grizzzly family chasing them.
Horses fleeing GizzlyHorses fleeing Gizzly
Horses fleeing Gizzly

Here is mama grizzly running full speed to catch the horses.

This may not show up well, but it is the mama bear catching the foal.

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