After deciding against the Dawson/Pitamakan Pass loop due to shoe problems, I changed plans to something equally long, but not as steep. The Logan Pass to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn trail. Caught the hikers shuttle up to Logan Pass in the morning, so I would be hiking downhill, and back to my car for the day.
Had a delightful time. Met some wonderful people, Dan and Rochelle from El Paso, Craig and Paul from England and Australia, a couple from Spokane whos names escape me. We even met some rangers who were out scaring a grizzly away from the track. They are using aversion tactics at Glacier, which means they shoot rubber bullets and cracker shells at them to make them learn to stay away from people. Seems to be working very well, and they're bringing the tactic to Yellowstone and trying it in Yosemite too.
Had lunch at Granite Park Chalet, which has no granite, but is a nice old lodge you can rent rooms at at the 8mile mark. A short uphill to Swiftcurrent Pass, and then I took a steep, hot, 2.5mile side trip to the top of Swiftcurrent Fire Lookout. I think it was worth it, but only just. You did get to see out the other side of the valley, but it was very very hot walking up the hill.
From here it was basically down down down the switchbacks to the valley floor, passing more wildflowers and lakes. Got to see bull moose! A great big one even.
Had a swim near Red Rock Falls, then walked back into Swiftcurrent and my car. Much to my surprise heard my name being called out. It was Dan and Rochelle, they had passed me while I went up to the lookout, and were now inviting me over for a welcome home beer. Had a delightful evening chatting with them, and then Paul and Craig and their friends when they turned up. We covered baseball and cricket in depth, and other topics of culture, travel and other good stuff.
Afternoon beers turned into evening beers and then when we'd bought the shop out of the beer we had been drinking (moose drool) the shop employee came out and had some more with us, and we eventually all ended up down in the employee rec room with the other employees. A great evening was had by all.
Sunrise light by the St Mary campground
More typical terrain of Glacier NP
Fields and fields of wildflowers and berries. Prime bear country
Mountain Grouse hen
An example of how crazy the rock gets at Glacier
Rangers posing with their bear deterrent