National Parks: Glacier, Winter

It’s been a while, so I kind of forget how this trip came about.  It was definitely initiated by Lill, who had some time off in December, 2015 and said she wanted to come out and see me.  I believe there was some talk about cross-country skiing, maybe because she had bought cross-country skis earlier that year for her birthday.  She also put in a request to see Glacier, even though we knew we wouldn’t be able to do much because it was buried in snow.  Fast-forward through some haphazard planning and a Groupon for a skate ski class and an overnight stay at the Izaak Walton Inn and we were ready for adventure.

Funny side note about the skate ski class:  We had absolutely no idea what we were in for.  When we arrived, we were probably the youngest people by 10 years and also probably the least experienced.  I, for one, had never been on a pair of skis in my life and had to stop the class after the basic instruction was finished in order to ask how one might stop on skis.  Most of the people there had been training to skate ski or cross-country ski with the instructors for a while and this was an annual thing for them.  Lill and I didn’t even really know the difference between skate and cross-country skiing and were kind of surprised when we found out they were really different (the main distinction is that skate skiing is impossibly hard).  At any rate, we learned to skate ski the first day, and then due to heavy snowfall the second day, we did some cross-country skiing instead.  Pictures of my first cross-country skiing adventure are included in the National Parks photos.

After the skiing we drove into Glacier National Park and made our way to the Apgar Visitor Center.  As midwives, we thought the Apgar Visitor Center was pretty funny (Apgars are the scores we give babies at one and five minutes of life.  There are five categories where babies can earn up to two points each, including:  respiratory effort, pulse, color, tone, reflex), and so we staged a photo depicting babies with high and low Apgar scores.  Then we actually went inside and asked the park ranger what we could realistically do in a couple of hours dressed the way we were (practically pajamas, for the record).  Park rangers are kind of amazing at making these kinds of assessments and recommendations and so she told us to basically drive down the Going to the Sun Road until we reached the point where it was closed and make some stops along the way.

We drove along the road stopping here and there for pictures.  We were breathless at Avalanche Creek/Falls, where the water was almost an iridescent green color, and got out to walk the Trail of the Cedars, which is pretty much where the road ends in winter.  The Trail of the Cedars is a nice short walk, very easy and has a wooden boardwalk the whole way around.  It was a little greener and less snowy there due to the tree cover, but we still passed by some frozen waterfalls.

After that, we made our way back to Missoula, grateful for our time together and the opportunity to see a little slice of Glacier.

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