Bonkoski's Alaskan Trip Journal 2008 travel blog

St. Marys' River in Glacier Nat. Park; far eastern side

Upper St. Marys Lake

St. Marys' Lake

ST. Marys Lake

Along side oone of the many mountain ranges; part of the eastern...

A surveyor state I discovered, atop a hill...drilled into the rock

Bob, atop the same hill

Bob, taking a photo of me, taking a photo!

A tiny island in St. Mary Lake

One of the 25 remaing glacier of the park

An awesome site!

Another awesome site in the park!

Bob and Rob taking a break on the boardwalk hike

Tiny yellow wild flowers!

A buck in velvet!

Posing for a photo!

Kiki, our hiking dog!

Standing tall against the blue skies!

Spectucular falls in Glacier Nat. Park

Rob, posing in a nearby cave!


Crystal clear stream waters of Glacier Nat. Park

The falls from up above, now into this size of stream as...

The swimming and diving hole in Glacier Nat. Park

A brave young man!

The "kabins" of the KOA park where we were staying. A view...

Just before the sun sets behind the Alfa!

The sun has set for the day!

Bob and Kiki, taking in the sights at the KOA in St....

August 13th…Wednesday. After a 340 mile drive from the west side of Edmonton, we crossed back into the lower 48 states; the “big sky” state of Montana. What a great feeling. We were not only off the Alcan, out of Canada, but we were in the states! The sun was shining, and I finally felt so much closer to home!

We reserved 2 nights, which turned into 3 nights, in a KOA campground, just a short distance from the small cozy town of St. Mary’s, MT. Situated on a hillside, and nestled along the eastern side of Glacier National Park, about 30 miles south of the border. The KOA offered a heated pool with hot tub! A wonderful spot for any camper, hiker, or RV’er that planned on visiting Glacier National Park. That’s exactly what we had planned for our next day in Montana!

August 14th…Thursday. I awoke with great anxiousness and anticipation. The sun was shining, and the temperatures of the morning, very comfortable. After a hearty KOA campground breakfast of pancakes and sausage, we departed for the day for the National Park. Kiki would join us, for we were driving the our Jeep; we didn’t have to climb into another school bus as many times before!

This park is nothing like Denali, in Alaska! About an 1/8th of the size, Glacier National Park is quite pristine! The mountain peaks seem touchable, it’s a hikers paradise! With very little snow still left on the peaks, this easterly portion of the Rocky Mountains exhibit heights of 8500 feet. Unlike the rugged peaks of the Alaskan Range; home to Mt. McKinley, you can visually approach the tops of the these. However, the 150 glaciers that were once part of this beautiful park (1850), will become totally distinct by the year 2030. The remnant remains of 25 glaciers, is what is left today. Lake St. Mary is beautiful; Lake McDonald, the same! There are numerous crystal clear waterfalls and rivers so clear, you can drink from them. We stopped to take photos of a deer in velvet, as we hiked the boardwalks near the Visitors Center at Logan Pass; elevation of 6,465 ft. We stopped to observe young teens, jumping from the high rock ledges as the creek deepened to a sizable clear blue hole! The temperature had peaked at 89 degrees. After the 53 miles from east to west, we drove the entire ’Going to the Sun” road. Eventually, we ended the afternoon with a late lunch in the small town by the name of Coram. We changed our return trip back to St. Marys, as we trekked around the southern perimeter of Glacier National Park.

Witnessing the beauty of yet another National Park, and thankful for the opportunity, we ended the day pleased that we decided to take the Montana road to here, since it was slightly out of our way. The full moon was bright and full as it rose above the mountain ranged directly in front of us. The night in the “big sky” state…quiet and peaceful!

August 15th…Friday. An extra day just to do laundry. But still, another beautiful and hot day in this part of the country. We took advantage of this day of rest by spending 3 hours of the gorgeous afternoon in the KOA pool and hot tub. What a great view!

Our stay in the hills of this western state would not be complete without an outdoor BBQ; complete with Barbequed pork chops, a tub of beans, good ole corn on the cob, and eaten off of our blue tin plates! The coyotes weren’t howling at the full moon yet, but the atmosphere was right!

We retired before 11:00 p.m. There was a long day planned for tomorrow…420 miles…to Little Bighorn!

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