I’m back from Montana! And I’m proudly unwrapping my new blog today – meet chestnutmocha.com! Ben and I decided to move to our own domain running on WordPress(.org), but I’ll make a separate post about it with the reasons, tips, problems and solutions from my own experience. We’re also working on some exciting bonuses to celebrate the new online “home”.
But today I want to share my love for Montana and Glacier National Park in particular. Since I visited the park 4 years ago for the first time, it stole my heart and soul, and everything in between (no worries, bears are not involved!). When we moved to Idaho from Russia last year, I knew I had to go visit Glacier again. And the fact that Ben has never been there just added a big bonus to my excitement. When we got an email from our friend from NYC that she’ll be in Montana near Glacier shooting a wedding, we immediately made a plan to meet there and explore the park together. I couldn’t have been happier: my favorite place on the planet plus my favorite people – all together on vacation! We arrived to Bigfork, MT on Friday night, had a fun evening with the wedding crowd in one of the town’s bars, then 5 of us camped in a field.
Late at night, around 1-2 a.m. we decided to take some night sky photos, we even brought a tripod with us for this reason! While we were shooting the stars in the middle of the field, we suddenly noticed something dark, kind of big, slowly moving towards us in the field. Ben and I quickly decided that it was a bear (because we wisely read lots of bear attack stories before the trip.) We all gazed at the figure approaching for a few more seconds, then one of our friends jumped in his car, turned the lights on and pointed it into the field. By that time the bear (if it was a bear) wasn’t there anymore, and we didn’t know which way it went. “What if the bear circles us, slowly moving in closer and closer until it decides to attack our tents?” – that question kept Ben and I awake for a long time, with pepper spray and flashlight in our hands we guarded the tents, while everyone else dreamed away peacefully.
The next morning we got up short on sleep, everyone went to the wedding, Ben and I headed to Glacier. We were very worried that we would’t find a camping site in the park since it’s high tourist season, and the campgrounds fill up at first-come-first-served basis. We got extremely lucky, when after passing by many campgrounds with a sing “Full” at the entrance, Ben found the last vacant spot in one of them! It had an orange envelope on it, instead of the payment slip, which apparently confused many other people who drove by before us. Yay! Camping in the forest with many other campers around us sounded way safer that on our own in the field. Ben set up our tent, and we went on exploring Glacier.
We drove along the Going to the Sun Road, hiked at the Logan pass to the Hidden lake, saw a grizzly bear fishing from very far away, fell in snow, met the snow goats, a marmot, lots of ground squirrels, mountain sheep, got sunburnt, had dinner and watched the sunset at lake McDonald, finally spent a nicer and quieter night at the campground. That’s all for the first day, but you guessed right if you assumed I have many-many more photos from the second day at Glacier, and I’ll post them later! Have you been to Glacier or Montana? I can’t recommend it enough!