I just spent the last day and a half at my friend Renee’s grandparent’s house near Kalispell, Montana. They live right near the sparkling blue Flathead Lake and just about 20 minutes from Glacier National Park. I arrived there after a long drive from Bozeman, Montana. If you’re not familiar, Montana is a BIG state. And, sorry, but the southern half is quite dull.
The next day Renee, her 82-year-old grandfather, and I went hiking for 7 miles in Glacier Park. Her grandpa is a tall lanky man with a great big smile. He used to work for the National Forest Service and still goes hiking practically everyday. He was never too far behind Renee and I and always seemed fine. I think I was more out of breath than him! Not only was he in tip-top shape, he was hilarious! He was hard of hearing, but everything out of his mouth was sweet or biting sarcasm. I liked this man. He would say things like “look up there at those doggone waterfalls” and meant it in the most endearing way. Or a guy and two girls jogged past us on the trail and he said, “Wow those 2 girls are chasing that guy!” What a hoot.
The park was beautiful. We hiked two completely different trails. The first went to Avalanche Lake and was mostly wooded with huge pine trees towering above us before it opened up to an amazingly clear lake. The second trail was right behind the visitor’s center and therefore, of course, one of the most heavily traveled. We joined the masses for an open air uphill stair-climb. It was virtually a one-hour step aerobics class and quite a workout.
On the way we managed to see some Mountain Goats really up close that were grazing beneath a cluster of trees. The trail ended at the top of Hidden Lake—a gorgeous scenic vista and a perfect spot for us to plant ourselves on some rocks and break out our picnic lunch. We’d brought a baguette, cheddar cheese, and salami. Doesn’t get much better.