Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our Trip West | GNP: Bowman Lake - July 16, 2013

Today we woke up in Whitefish State Park and decided it was probably time for a shower. The showers in the campground required quarters and we didn't have enough to even take one shower. So we needed quarters and a lot of them. Patrick came up with the idea of running into town and back to get quarters. The town was only a couple miles away so I agreed. We had spent the last three days in the car and it would probably feel good to do something besides sit. So with that we did something we have never done on vacation, ran purely for exercise. It fits into the other lifestyle changes we have made lately so it only made sense to do it on vacation as well. So after our four mile run we took a shower, took down the tent, ate some snacks and were on our way to Glacier. We did make a pit stop for coffee in town at Montana Coffee Traders. I had this chai frappuccino thing that was basically like ice cream and very tasty. Patrick had some disgusting coffee that was way too strong. So not exactly what we were looking for, but it satisfied our need to get fancy coffee on the trip.

And then we were finally on our way into Glacier. And here is our greeting entering the park. They have tons of information on bear safety throughout the park, no one can go in there and say they didn't know about the bears.

Bear Country

We stopped at the Apgar Visitor's Center and talked to a ranger there. We originally were going to get a campsite at Apgar, but after looking at the map we decided to check out the more isolated north west side of the park. There were over 15 miles of gravel roads to get to Bowman Lake Campground, but it was worth the drive. We didn't know it at the time, but this campground was much quieter than any of the other ones we stayed at. And gorgeous Bowman Lake was only a few minute walk away.

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Bowman Lake Campground

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We ate a very late lunch and then headed out on a hike on the Bowman Lake Trail. This was one of the least exciting hikes we did the whole trip, but it was shaded and it there were no bugs so at least it was comfortable.

Camping Lunch

After seeing another group on trail eating the wild strawberries we became brave enough to try them. They were super tasty for such a tiny piece of fruit.

Strawberries on Bowman Lake Trail

Strawberries on Bowman Lake Trail

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Patrick Hiking on Bowman Lake Trail

After our five mile hike we went back to our campsite to make dinner. We decided to make the Cheesy Orzo with Broccoli and Chicken Sausage that night. It was super tasty, just like mac and cheese but better. We were also very resourceful and used our trail stove and the teddy grahams to make smores with out an actual fire or graham crackers.

Camping Food

Broccoli Orzo & Cheese

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Later that night we went back down to Bowman Lake to watch the sunset. This is where we met up with our friend Dan again. We had talked to him earlier in the ranger tent and assumed he worked at the park. When Patrick asked him how he got this job he admitted he didn't even work at the park, he just spends a lot of time there. The guy was kind of crazy, but had some interesting stories including one about his Appalachian Trail adventure. He and his friend planned to hike the entire Appalachian Trail sustaining themselves on power bars alone. So they bought 1400 power bars for this trip. They ended up being medically evacuated off the trail after three day because of poor planning, so after they recovered they loaded up and brought their 1400 power bars to Glacier and have been coming back ever since apparently.

Bowman Lake

We went to bed shortly after that since we planned to get up early the next morning to get ourselves a backpacking permit. It was a great first day in the park, just the right combo of relaxing, exercising and good food.

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