Glacier, San Juan Islands & Seattle

Published: August 30th 2013
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All good things must come to an end! Can't believe it's over but we're both really excited about getting home and seeing family and friends.
After our pack trip we headed straight up to Glacier National Park, which is pretty close to alpine perfection. Snow capped mountains, flower meadows, rivers, lakes and lots of wildlife, fortunately with some sunny weather too. We spent 5 days mixing up our time between hikes and chilling on the shore of a lake with a book (with a daily swim for me too, very refreshing!). We found a great lake one afternoon so I went for a wee dip in the peace and quiet in my y-fronts, which are a bit worse for wear after four months travelling. Turns out our secluded spot was a bit more popular than we thought though as during the 5 mins I was in the water 3 different families turned up! By this stage it was getting proper baltic so I had to exit in as dignified a manner as possible, not very in the end as I slipped on a rock and fell in the water again much to everyone's amusement! Our longest hike took us to the top of a 10,000 ft peak with awesome 360 views. To add to the views we also sat and watched a moose swim across a lake and spotted 3 bears in the same day. The highlight was a massive grizzly, we sat on a hillside and watched him foraging down below before after about ten minutes he disappeared into a thicket of bushes and trees. When we walked down the slope we worked out pretty quickly that our path went straight through the same thicket, which he'd not appeared from yet! So, we walked through carefully with bear spray in hand and Kirstin singing as loud as she could (not very as sore throat meant she'd nearly lost her voice!). I was busy telling her to shut up as I quite fancied seeing a grizzly close up but unfortunately the croaky singing worked! We both felt pretty tired towards the end of our week in Glacier as we've spent the vast majority of the last 5 weeks camping and walking. So, for our last week we booked a couple of cheap motels in the San Juan islands in the Puget Sound, north of Seattle, to treat ourselves. There's endless islands here, covered in trees and we've thoroughly enjoyed doing very little. We've found a few picnic spots and got our therma rests and pillows out and snoozed and read in the sun - great way to recharge the batteries before we come home. Our one significant excursion in the islands was an afternoon viewing killer whales. Orcas are here pretty much year round and we spent a great couple of hours watching two pods donder about the ocean. None of our photos are that amazing though as the boat had to stay a reasonable distance away...... Seattle has been a great place for our last couple of days. Really down to earth with good vibe and loads of good bars and seafood joints. On our last night we went to see the Seahawks NFL team play the Raiders, always wanted to do that and it didn't disappoint, cracking experience. So, after 9 killer whales, 1 beaver, 1 trip up the freeway in the wrong direction, a millions chipmunks, 4 engagement rings, 121 days, 4 Asian rhino, 8 countries, 10 states, 1 snake, 5000 miles driving, 11 bears, a rake of of leeches, an awful lot of hiking, and 20 different flights - it's all over!! Thanks for everyone who's kept up with our blog and left messages, it's been great to hear from you all. This has truly been a trip of a lifetime and we're both very, very lucky to have shared all these experiences over the past four months. It's raced by but at the same time it feels like we've been away forever. Reality next week is going to be a serious shock to the system! We can't wait to see you all soon. Donald & Kirstin. Xx

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30th August 2013

Donnie and Kirstin, Thanks for keeping this blog - it's been fantastic and I've really enjoyed following your travels. Hope heading home isn't too much of a culture shock. Looking forward to catching up at Mum & Dad's ruby wedding do in a couple of weeks. Much love Nat and Andrew

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