Helicopters and Hiking - Day Six

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North America » United States » Montana » West Glacier
June 25th 2010
Saved: July 3rd 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Road to GlacierRoad to GlacierRoad to Glacier

Beautiful snow peaked mountains and rivers surround GNP.
We have a great night in the woods in Glacier. It gets down around the mid 40's at night, but as soon as the sun comes up it starts to warm up. by the way the days are much longer out here. It stays light until about 10:30 pm and it's daylight by 5:45 am. We are two hours behind Michigan so I find myself awake early...Michigan time. We finally cooked at the camper and the kids went off on their bikes to explore the campground before we head off to do some hiking. It's a little unerving that they are playing in bear and mountain lion country, but they are so loud the wildlife is probably long gone. With them around we may never see any living creature.
We head to the park and stop to check into white water rafting and plan to do that Monday. The guide came and gave Maggie a once over to see if she's be big enough to handle it. She gets the thumbs up as long as the river level does not go above 6'. Right now it's at 5' 6". on a whim Aaron pulls into a helicopter tour place to check
All Aboard!All Aboard!All Aboard!

Our helicopter ride adventure.
into viewing the park from above. Of course Hanna is ready to board immediately. There are two other people there so they offer us a two-for-one for Brett and Maggie. Two die for the price of one...GREAT! As soon as we commit Aaron gets nervous about the thought of flying his entire family above the mountains in a tiny helicopter. Even as our luck has been going, we go for it. Aaron gets to set up front with the pilot in the GLASS BOTTOM cockpit. Can you believe that. At first it was truely amazing and I was even able to take a bunch of pictures. Then Brett realized there were barf bags by his head and it was all over for he and I. He started crying that he wanted to go back and turned very grey..not to mention the lady next to me was terribly frightened too..that was all I needed to feel sick myself. I get motion sick just driving in a car on winding roads, so the little dips and wind we experienced was not good. After our 1/2 hour trip we land safely and after I proceed to vomit several times along the road way,
What a View!What a View!What a View!

Aaron's view from the helicopter as the co-piolet.
I make a comeback when we stop for a picnic lunch at beautiful Lake McDonald.
We decide to head to a recommended hiking spot called Trail of the Cedars which is a 5 mile round trip hike along Avalanche Creek and ends up at Avalanche Lake. Right as we get to the trailhead we joke with a couple ladies about the "Entering Grizzley Bear and Mountain Lion Country" sign. The hiking is amazing and the creek is a tremendously fast flowing river with waterfalls and rapids. The next sign we encounter states that the number one cause of death in the park is drowning...WHAT THE HECK ARE WE PUTTING OUR CHILDREN THROUGH? we stree the importance to Brett to stick to the trail. Well the trail is heavily traveled and I feel safe. We come across a huge buck and as he heads right towards Brett Aaron snapped the best picture ever...you can see the terror in his eyes. As we are hiking the two ladies we joked with at the beginning pass us as they are heading back and tell us they just had a bear cross in front of them as they approached the lake. We are very
Avalanche Lake.Avalanche Lake.Avalanche Lake.

Hiking along Trail of the cedars to Avalanche Lake.
close to the lake. We all get very uneasy especially because these ladies are each carrying cans of bear spray the size of fire extinguishers and Aaron has one can of pepper spray the size of a travel hair spray can. We decide that it would just season us up for the bear before his meal. Even though there is a bear ahed we push forward and are so flad we did...the lake was amazing. Nature truely outstanding. I can't believe all the awesome natural wonders there are out there. We have some snacks and the kids put their feet in the FREEZING water, it's about 30 degrees, and we head back. We all are on major bear alert, but all we see is the same buck we passed earlier. Maggie was very proud to be the one to spot him. Round trip that hile was 13,700 hard earned steps. I can't believe even maggie survived it.
We head back to Hungry Horse and go to see the 548' dam. UNBELIEVABLE and freaky at the same time as you drive across it. Hanna was freaking out to the point of almost crying and of course Aaron made us get out for a picture. On the other side was a very remote road that we decided we'd venture on in hopes of seeing a bear. it was getting dark and the full moon was out and you should of heard the talk in the back seat. Bigfoots, Cavemen, Aliens. The kids were even freaking me out. It was very funny...no bears yet.

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