The people you meet on the trails!

This last summer I was able to visit a few of our National parks in between my house sitting jobs. I had the pleasure of seeing Olympic national park, Glacier national park, and Mt. Rainier national park.  One thing about national parks is they are quite crowded!! Campgrounds hard to get into , trails crowded. The most crowded of these 3 was Glacier National park. I had to get in line at 4:30 a.m to get a campsite and I was 3rd in line at that time. Trails were bustling with people. I thought that would really bother me in the beginning , however these places are so beautiful that it just got to be something I got used to _MG_2988IMG_3289

Really what this post is about is the interesting people you see and meet on the trails. 

For some reason, in Olympic national park we saw lots of people from India and the lady’s would be dressed in their beautiful sari’s and out hiking the trails ! I wish I had gotten a photo of some of them . I just love the colorful clothing .

In Glacier and Mt. Ranier I saw more Japanese and Chinese. These folks have endurance and the children don’t seem to complain at all while hiking a 10 mile hike . I mean tiny tots of 5 years old just plugging along with Mom and Dad , Grandpa and Grandma. No whining , no fussing. Climbing up big inclines , on 8-10 mile hikes. Some of them hiking all the while in those little slip on tennis shoes that barely have a sole. Some people I saw in flip flop doing long trails. Some with just a tiny bottle of water in their hands.  Then come the American hikers in the decked out hiking gear. All the latest in hiking clothing, the best of boots, the full packs , the camelbacks, etc. 

Of course you also get the totally overweight and out of shape but yet determined folks and the elderly doing what are quite strenuous hikes. One couple I talked to in their mid 80’s going up the Wonderland trail at Mt. Rainier. That one had me huffing and puffing. 

I saw lady’s in heals (altho only on the lower parts of the trails), a woman a couple miles up the trail carrying a cup of coffee and no water. 

I am not trying to say that one group or the other is doing it the right way. Just an observation I made of all the different types at the national parks . Many of them most likely checking one more place off their bucket list , just like myself. 

 Then you also get the guys swimming in the glaciers at Glacier national park. This was not an easy thing to get this photo op. This guy  had to get out there aways in the ice water and then climb up onto a chunk of ice to get this photo ! And then scramble out quickly before having coronary arrest ! 

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One off my bucket list. Glacier National Park .

Glacier National park was a place to see for me . It was on my bucket list. I passed thru there when I was 15 years old with my parents and was in awe of it. Always wanted to go back.

This summer I had 3 and a half weeks in between some house sit jobs. I decided to travel and explore Washington and Montana. Unfortunately , Washington was on fire in early August when I set out so pushed on to Montana. Fires in Montana as well but Glacier was not to bad. Some days smokey , some days clear.

Spent 9 days in Glacier national park and took many hikes and many photos so this will be a series of posts .

 

What can I say. One only has to look at these photos to see the beauty of this place. The top left photo is of Grinnell Glacier. In 1906 Glacier National park had 120 glaciers. There are now 26 and they are rapidly melting.  I heard that Grinnell glacier used to be huge but as you can see, it is now chunks of ice. On the right is one of many beautiful hiking trails. Next photo is the ever funny, quirky looking Moose. Next to that is the beautiful and old St. Mary’s lodge in many Glacier. Next photo is Lake McDonald.

I looked online before going to see about the camping and most of it was first come, first serve and I read that one must get in line at 5 a.m to get a spot. Very true in August. I got in line at 4:30 a.m and was the 3rd in line. By 6:00 the line was about 12 cars.  I think 4 or 5 of us got campsites. Glacier is crowded but so beautiful that you don’t even care. And a lot of the trails you just need to get a couple miles in before the crowd thins out.

 

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Hidden lake. So beautiful. It wraps around the mountain .

_MG_2832This guy thought it might be fun to surf the frozen waters ! Ha Ha. He about had a heart attack from the cold.  This is at Grinnell glacier.

More to come….

Orcas and Eagles

One of the things I did while in Seattle earlier this summer was to go on a whale watching expedition . I was house sitting for 3 weeks in Edmonds, Washington.

I bought a Groupon (if you don’t know Groupon, you should ! Half price on all kinds of wonderful stuff ! ). So, the whale watch was out of Anacortes , Washington which is up near the San Juan islands. Beautiful area.

We went out about an hour and a half before we saw anything. The boat crew came around and talked to people , telling them about whales, the islands ,etc. Very informative crew.

Orcas, or killer whales, are the largest of the dolphins and one of the world’s most powerful predators. They feast on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, employing teeth that can be four inches long. They are known to grab seals right off the ice. They also eat fish, squid, and seabirds. we saw the small pod of Orca’s ! Beautiful !!! I had seen whales before along the California coast but never Orca’s . Wow, so majestic.

 

We where also blessed to see Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle.

Beautiful day and another great buy from Groupon.