Today we went to St. Mary on the east side of Glacier National Park via the very curvy, steep Looking Glass Road to US 89. Of course we had to stop at several pull-outs to take pictures.
In 2006, when I took the Red Bus trip via Going to the Sun Road over Logan Pass, a major forest fire near St. Mary kept us from going the full length of the road. That is why I particularly wanted to visit that area on this trip. It was sad to see all the burned trees but reassuring to see the new growth.
We took a Rising Sun Boat Tour on the ‘Joy II’ on St. Mary Lake with a young captain named Katy (www.glacierparkboats.com). It was quite windy but the water wasn’t too rough. I wore my Sea Bands just to make sure I didn’t get motion sick, though! The views were gorgeous. The water in St. Mary Lake is about 300 feet deep and is 45 degrees at this time of year.
We stopped for twenty minutes at Baring Falls. It is only a short distance from the boat dock. I was especially taken with the many colors of rocks at the bottom of the falls. It is fed by Sexton Glacier. Here we picked up some hikers and their leader, who did the commentary on the way back.
Glacier National Park is special in many ways but one feature that sets it apart from other mountains of the Continental Divide is that its waters flow in three directions: (1) northwest via the Saskatchewan River to Hudson Bay, (2) southwest via the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean and (3) southeast via the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
On the way home, we skipped the Looking Glass Road and just took US 89 all the way to MT 2. What a wonderful time we had!