So, way back when Railpass began, I made a stop in West Glacier, MT. I was on a 15-day pass from Amtrak, and my intention was to have the last stop before getting back to Chicago be at Glacier Park. This, uh, didn’t work out as, during the trip, the US government went ahead and shut down- that means the parks got shut down as well. I was very bummed, but Montana hospitality pulled through and a local recommended Ouzel Peak. It. Was. Amazing.
On day three, myself and few other journalists were picked up downtown by Greg, Dan’l, and Dave of Glacier Adventure Guides, and took us out to the west end of the park for a few hours of exploring. Dan’l lead my particular group in snowshoes, and by the end of the day I decided I want to be him when I grow up. Coolest dude ever. Helped track and trap a wolverine in the park to put a gps device on it for further study, frequently just dips out into the woods to hike and camp, is trained for ski rescue, and also happens to be a blacksmith.
About half the loop was on the banks and frozen surface of Lake McDonald, until we reached a bridge that took us into some Sword and Sworcery, um, "esque" woods up to an incredible frozen waterfall with just a hole naturally carved out of the ice at the bottom, forming a swimming hole that I bet some of those lunatics from yesterday wouldn’t mind hitting up.
We spent some time quietly enjoying the falls and the lake, taking breaks for photos, and even investigated some abandoned cabins now owned by the park. Dan’l packed hot tea and I shared my chocolate with my other now-friends.
I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better day. Glacier National Park is breathtaking, even in the dead of winter, and what Glacier Adventure Guides are doing to help people experience the park is truly inspiring.