Geoff and Jenn's 1997 Glacier NP Trip
Day 4: Menagerie of Glacier Hikes, Part 2


The Mysterious Flower
But on the way back down we stopped at St. Mary's lake and decided to do the quick 3 miler to St. Mary's Falls and the fately named Virginia Falls. On the way, I sucked down more sunflowers seeds, while Jenn did the bear moves on trailside huckleberry bushes -- eating the fruit off with just her lips. We spotted a few cool wildflowers, including one we failed to identify (but resembling a penstemmon) that lived next to a creek. 


The Horticulurist...
... and the Photographic Commando


At St. Mary's falls, we climbed down below and took some 15 second (neutral density enhanced) photos. To the edge of the rock we sat on, the river rolled by quite quickly, with a very very deep drop-off. From back up on top of the bridge overlooking the falls, we spent many minutes admiring the force at which the bottom-most of the falls churned the water. Upswells continued downstream for quite some ways. The color of the water was the typical, but nonetheless still amazing azure, turquoise blue color.

The Beautiful St. Mary Falls


St. Mary's Falls Again...
and again...



and again...
and again...


Heading on, we passed a number of smaller falls. Finally, we hit the beautiful Virginia Falls, well worth the wait. The view was quite incredible, both looking at the falls, and looking at the view the falls had outwards. We climbed up to the bottom of the tallest part of the falls and spent quite awhile exploring all of the peculiarities. There was a large area that was quite slippery, being slime-enhanced.

The Virginia Falls
Jenn at the base of the falls



Along the edge of the falls, was a truly disgusting looking substance, plastered across the cliffside.
Just what the heck is in that stuff?


Stone Ripples below the Falls
At the bottom of the falls, were several quite interesting patterns within the stone. 

Finally, with light getting thin, we rushed back to the car, arriving just as darkness was beginning to loose its reins. Yet again, we were easily the last folks on the trail.

After a darkness dinner of turkey franks and chili, we did a car wide search for the culprit of the midnight snackings in our car. In addition to the cheese that had been chomped for the past two nights, we noticed that all of the sunflower seeds that have spilt throughout the car during the trip had been munched on too. Also evident was small scat. I suspected a mouse of some sort, the ranger making final rounds suggested one of the aggressive ground squirrels. Anyway, Jenn and I made a late night check of all of our belongings, clearing it of food and looking nervously for quick moving little hungry mammals. Ironically, we could not keep food outside of the car due to bears, but couldn't keep food inside the car due to mice/squirrels. After the reorg, feeling to be the young investigators, we placed small amounts of sunflower seeds in various places to test our success. A few in the trunk, some of the floorboard, a trail outside the driver's door and a few on top of the car for kicks.

I then stayed up by the fire and wrote with shivering fingers this journal entry on a laptop with barely enough battery supply.



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