Auto Ads by Adsense

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

2021 Glacier National Park: June 29th - Two Medicine Lake to Upper Two Medicine

 All the cajoling in the world could not get my family ready to leave the resort until 8:30am. From there, it was a 2 hour drive along the perimeter of the park to get to East Glacier, and we arrived at 10:50am. "Just in time to catch the 11:00am Ferry!" declared Bowen, who had read the time table. To our horror, there didn't look like much parking at the boat launch parking lot, so I hurriedly let the kids and Xiaoqin and their packs down so they could line up to buy tickets while I searched for parking. I found an empty dirt parking lot and within minutes of parking, other cars would show up and take up most of the spots!

To our horror, not only was the 11:00am Ferry full, the other ferries later in the day also had waiting lists. I wasn't willing to get on the waiting list and let the day get hot, when the next ferry was at 1pm, and chances for getting on the ferry were low. We went back to the car (I'd forgotten the hiking sticks), and then headed off for the north shore trail, which by all accounts was the easiest way to get to Upper Two Medicine.

The hike along the north shore wasn't perfectly flat, but it wasn't challenging, but at 11:00am the heat was already building. We made pretty good time given the weight of our packs, and made it past the Noname Lake intersection and then towards Twin Falls, where a large number of folks (brought there by the very boat we had missed) were gathered.

Twin falls was a split-waterfall, and it was pretty but much too crowded. I was happy to leave it behind for the climb to Upper Two Medicine. In the mid-afternoon heat, we all felt the exposure. The scenery was pretty but nobdooy seemed to enjoy it. We had plenty of water though, thanks to the water filter.

Getting to the lake, we saw the entry marking with 4 camp sites, but only 2 seemed viable. I pitched the tents and setup the beds while the kids played in the water, which was freezing cold, but after all that heat nobody minded. Bowen was very excited about the camp shower, and with Xiaoqin's help figured out how to fill the bag by pumping the bag up and down while knee deep in the lake.
As they day progressed, people would occasionally visit the lake, but by the time 5:00pm rolled around (official camping dinner time), we realized that we were the only people camping at the lake. For whatever reason, Glacier National Park's Backcountry department had decreed that Upper Two Medicine, Cobalt Lake, and Noname Lakes were "one party per lake" during this time, which was awesome.

We ate dinner, which was conveniently at the food preparation area, which had a food storage locker which was bear proof. It really was only big enough for one party, so that could have been one reason the site was one party per night. As soon as the sun went down, mosquitoes came out, and we discovered that our citronella based insect repellent was next to worthless, so we retreated into the tents. It being so warm, I decided to setup our MSR Freelite 3 without a rainfly. That meant that whenever any of us woke up in the  middle of the night, we could look up at the sky and see plenty of stars. The cooler temperature made me sleep better in Glacier National Park's backcountry than on any of the nights at Flathead Lake Resort.

No comments: