Finally able to post after a week with no internet access. We arrived in Glacier National Park and have been here for the last several days. This was our first main destination on this trip and it took a little doing to get here. Traveling in a motorhome is like taking your house on the road. Think about all the things that go wrong around your home and then add rumbling down the highway to it. All that rattling has a way of vibrating things loose or causing other problems. Soon after leaving Arco, I noticed some uneven wear in the driver side front tire. This indicated an alignment problem of some sort. When we arrived in Missoula, MT on September 13, I got the motorhome to a tire shop for an estimate and repair. Turned out to be much more than an alignment problem. Both the ball joints and bushings were seriously worn and could not be adjusted to fall within specs. This required a major outlay of cash and an extra couple of days to wait for parts and installation. Once that was done, it was recommended I move the front worn tires to the rear and put two of the rear tires on the front. When the tech guy removed the rear tires, he discovered the dreaded tire rot (spider web like cracking on the sidewalls). He felt it would be too dangerous to put these tires on the front and I ended up buying two new tires at a cost of $500.00. I’ll replace the other four tires soon, but we needed to move on to Glacier.
In Glacier National Park
The weather here is unseasonably hot. Highs have been in the 80’s all week. We had one day of slightly cooler weather – Yesterday, smoke from a forest fire in Idaho blew into Glacier causing really poor visibility and generally messing up the air. Our friends, Rick and Mary flew in from San Francisco for a week of vacation and we got a chance to hang out together in the park for several days. We walked a 11 mile hike to Grinnell glacier on Wednesday. The park is named Glacier for the several of them that still exist here. They are quickly disappearing however. The five mile hike up to it was through a valley that at one time was covered with deep ice. Today, what is left is a few large hunks of ice that cling to the mountain side and some floating icebergs in the glacial lake that results. The glacier is not expected to exist in the near future.
The photography has been a bit difficult. I haven’t really tried to do much serious imaging. Doing serious work requires pre-planning, though, willingness to wait for the right light, and quite often just being in the landscape with no distractions. With friends along, I decided to just have some fun and take what was there. We did run into some nice opportunities however. On our hike to the glacier, we bumped into a number of moose, mountain goats on ledges, and on the way back to the campground, a grizzly and black bear. I got a few nice shots of the moose and mountain goats, but the bears I just decided to watch.
After our friends left, Mary and I did some sunrise photography at Sun Point and more drives looking for wildlife. I’m not really setup for wildlife photography, but it is on of the great attractions of this park. I don’t have the mega lenses required to pull in distant animals, but sometimes one just needs to experience wildlife in the wild. So we mostly just look and enjoy. This day we saw a couple more bears and more mountain goats. We have another day here before we head off the Yellowstone for a few days.
And here are a few more images of the wildlife we saw while in Glacier: