The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a World Heritage Site, is a coming-together-place. A convergence of ecosystems from all four directions on one narrow crown and the shared boundaries of the Blackfeet people, Canadians, and Americans. I find it fascinating to think that at Triple Divide Peak a hiker can tip her hat to direct rain to the Columbia, Mississippi or Saskatchewan river systems. These rivers flow to the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and northeast to Hudson Bay.
Temperatures are hovering between the mid 30's and mid 40's. Rain and sleet hit our windshield as we drive and wind rocks Thistle at night. When we get a peek through the clouds we see fresh snow up on the jagged cliffs. Going-to-the-Sun-Road is closed for the winter. On our first night at Glacier we enter the park at the west entrance and camp at Apgar.
The next day we drive to East Glacier, St. Mary and Many Glacier. We joke about seeing Glacier Park as if we're viewing it from inside a glass of milk.
Winter travel and winter camping have no limitations imposed by crowds, only by nature. Here at Many Glacier we share the campground with only a handful of other campers. There are also a number of maintenance folks working to squeeze repairs into the crack between the crowds and the snow. We spent the last light of the evening watching moose TV as a cow moose wandered around camp eating snow berries and seemingly finding nutrition from leafless shrubs. She would grab a bare branch low down and then slid her mouth up the branch taking off what she could.
This morning our walk was brisk, but partially clear with the mountains showing off from time-to-time. High on the bluff, too far away for photographs, we see several herds of both Mountain Goat and Big Horned Sheep. Where the heck are the darn bear?
Later in the day, driving back to East Glacier the views were stunning.
This building's boarded-up look is what we're seeing at all the buildings along our route. The preparation for winter is thorough. Water is turned off, windows are boarded up, and snow poles are in place along the roadways.
At camp tonight we see our first bull moose and another cow. On our evening walk we bask in Two Medicine Lake views.
We find ourselves grateful to be engrossed in beautiful surroundings and far removed from political ugliness. Early voting has allowed us to be immersed in our nation's splendor instead of election angst.
"Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
~ William Cullen Bryant