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Friday, August 20, 2021

2021 Glacier National Park: June 30th - Upper Two Medicine to Noname Lake

 I slept on and off throughout the night, finally awakening just in time to see alpenglow off the surrounding mountains.

I got out of bed, put on my clothes, grabbed my camera and took several pictures, not realizing that it was the last time I would get a chance to see alpenglow on this trip. I went to the privy, and just as I was done I heard some noise of some animal's deep breathing, and the children yelling, "Daddy, daddy, there's a bear!"

I ran out to the campground and lo and behold, a moose was playing in the snow patch. He was jumping up and down, turning around and around, and making a bellowing noise which everyone else had mistaken for a bear sound. He looked huge and was boisterous, and I didn't want to approach any close, but he was majestic. I took out my camera and shot several pictures. He seemed to spot me, and then bolted straight for the lake.

At the beach where he had walked he left hoofprints. Well, after all that excitement, I made oatmeal and had breakfast, and then packed up the tents and backpacks, and we left Upper Two Medicine to retrace our steps back to the Dawson pass trail. The ranger we encountered the day before had warned us that the climb was stiff, and so it was.

In the late morning, the exposed sections were warm, and we stopped to rest often.
Off in the distance we could see the Two Medicine Lake, calm and clear. From the intersection to the lake was only 1.5 miles, but that 1.5 miles climbed about 1000' or so, and it wasn't until the last 0.2 miles that the trail levelled off as we crossed a series of creeks.

The turnoff to Noname itself was another 0.2 miles, and unlike the Upper Two Medicine campground, where the established sites would have violated the 100' from water rule, at Noname Lake the sites were quite a distance from the water (though the dining area was close to a stream), and there was no immediate beech access. 
It being early this time, we had a hot lunch before hanging up the food at the bear pole, and then selected a site and set up the tent. After it was all setup, we had time to chat with a party of hikers who were doing the entire Dawson pass loop, and then once they had left, we felt secure enough to find beach access and go skinny dipping.

Make no mistake. The lake was cold. It took all of 30s before I went completely numb, but in the summer heat once we got out of the lake we felt very refreshed. Having learned out lesson from the day before, we prepped our food and ate it spot on at 5pm, then Bowen and Boen took their showers, we got everybody's teeth brushed and rehung our food, toothbrushes, etc by 6:00pm, anticipating that the sun would go down and the mosquitoes would come out.

But the angle of the sun was far different at Noname Lake, so sundown didn't happen as quickly as we thought, but it turned out that the toll of the last couple of days had done its work, and we all fell asleep by 7pm, only waking a couple of times after dark to see the stars.


N said...

Do you think the moose was bellowing in the snow because it was having fun? Maybe it was shouting moose-speak "Woo!!"


Piaw Na said...

That's what I thought as well. But it definitely sounded threatening to the wife and kids!