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mini location map2014-07-18
82 by photographer avatartibber
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Going-to-the-Sun-RoadNorth Central, MT
North Central, MT
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 18 2014
Scenic Drive50.00 Miles 2,147 AEG
Scenic Drive50.00 Miles
2,147 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Gotta love this road; I was on it each of the 4 days in the Park.

Day 1: coming in from the St Mary VC it was VERY windy and smoky. I stopped and found a book to read while in GNP: the natural history of the park by David Rockwell. What a great book with so much information in the first few pages it overwhelmed me. I drove to the Rising Sun and checked in, had some dinner and then read before heading to Wild Goose Island pullout to meet Jody of HAZ for a sunset photo shoot. (starting about the 3:45 mark is the GTTSR part of the video including some limted bear action, the first part of the video is the wildflowers up on the 89 before coming into St Mary)

Well the Wild Goose Isld meetup didn't happen as we didn't realize east side construction would close the pullout completely. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how that all turns out. It is a popular stop because this pullout is one of the most used for the incredible backdrop it provides for one of the best photo ops in Glacier National Park I drove up just past the Jackson Overlook before turning around. I did get some interesting photos of Virginia Falls. Oh and I found Lost Lake :DANCE: because the construction revealed it's hiding place.

Day 2: headed to Two Medicine for my Rockwell Falls hike. The weather was blustery and VERY windy and the smoke was still thick in the air. I did stop at the stone bridge to get some pics and video. Did I say it was really windy! The first 5:15 of the video is my drive on GTTSR with a couple stops:, second part is on the Kiowa Loop.
On the drive back, once again the weather was tenuous and the smoke was still in the air though I think some of it did blow away to the plains. In this video, starting from around the 5:30 mark is GTTSR as I get closer to the Rising Sun

Day 3: my major day on GTTSR from the east side, such an incredibly scenic drive :) . After my hike to St Mary Falls I headed up to Logan Pass for my 1PM Highline Trail hike of course having no idea THAT was not going to happen today. I took my time and stopped at Siyeh Bend and Lunch Creek. There is a bit of a trail up Lunch Creek so I took that. The clouds were rolling in as was the wind.

I stopped at a couple more pullouts with some stunning views :y: of the Glacial Valley and so many waterfalls! I finished off the drive being impressed by the large snowbanks still around this time of year (probably from the end of June storm). The sky was starting to get a little darker now. Even more depressing I had to drive around for 20 mins before finding a parking spot which is twice as long as normal. I thot maybe with the weather people would not stop here but it was packed and stayed that way. Here is video from the rest of my drive up to the pass, at the pass and in the parking lot as the storm came up from the west side:

I made a quick trip to the restroom and crowded VC then went back to the vehicle to have lunch before the hike. Well within minutes it all came; the wind, the cold, the rain. The VC would appear, disappear as would Pollock Mountain. Clements Mountain didn't even make an appearance for the most part. Even the east valley would completely disappear.
I wondered what it was like for the people hiking to Hidden Lake as they would totally be engulfed by the clouds plus they were hiking on snow for much of the hike. And then, were they able to see the lake?

Well I decided there was not going to be a hike and near as I could tell the people who had gathered for it with rain gear disappeared and I didn't see them hiking so I took off. I had a migraine anyway altho when I'm hiking, it doesn't bother me as much. So I drove back down the GTTSR and then I saw it: BEARGRASS, a whole mountainside of it :o . Oh my gosh! I tried to get pictures of it but the weather was miserable. I did get one good close up though. The storm followed me down the valley as I sat at a construction stop admiring Wild Goose Island where this video of my day ends:

At least I got to have a good lunch at Two Dog Flats (a jalapeno elk bratwurst dog with sauerkraut and caramelized onions, fresh salad (no iceberg lettuce here), huckleberry wheat lager and huckleberry ice cream :DANCE: ).

Day 4: I woke up to drizzly weather. My last day in the park. It was like dejavu again from 2010 but I hoped the results would be similar... that by the time I got over to Many Glacier the rain and clouds would lift in time for the hike :pray: , meanwhile, it was a dreary drive.
Black Bear
Cag Shot
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
beargrass was crazy up past Lunch Creek.
wildflowers were everywhere it seemed. The VC was certainly worth the stop to see some of them in their prime including blanketflower and spreading fleabane. Lots of northern bedstraw this year.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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