Sierra hiked five miles!! The entire way!! And all by herself. I was really impressed that our 4-year-old managed a 5 mile round trip hike up a mountain and back down without being carried once.
In Glacier, we met up with my parents, Jason's parents, and Jason's aunt and uncle. Most of the time our respective groups did our thing, exploring the parts of the park and surrounding area that we wanted to see most. We met up in the evenings for dinner or a group campfire.
On one day, though, our entire group hiked to Ptarmigan Falls together. It was an amazing, gorgeous hiked, matched by the weather that day. Sierra started out with the map to lead the way. She had to test the water as we crossed our first stream (and many times after as we crossed water on the trail).
There were wildflowers of all colors along the trail the entire way to the waterfall.
The views were incredible, and though I took photos, they cannot do justice to what the landscape was truly like.
Kaia rode in the carrier with me and Sierra went back and forth, hiking with one grandma, and then another. She had a great time and loved having all her grandparents so near.
Indian paintbrush was in bloom everywhere in waves of sunset colors. Grandma Diane gave Sierra and Kaia a book that described the Native American story about a boy who had a vision that he would paint the sunset but couldn't find the right colors to do it. When he finally did, his brushes became the Indian paintbrush that blooms every spring.
I love this photo of my dad on the trail.
As I said, the views were amazing. They were this expansive for most of the hike.
At the waterfall, we met a ground squirrel that was clearly a little too familiar with humans, but the girls found him amusing.
Grandpa Bob is the favorite right now because he holds the trail mix.
Our whole happy hiking crew.
We parted ways at Ptarmigan Falls. The girls hiked 2.5 miles back down the mountain with the grandparents (Kaia rode with Grandpa Bob). We later found out that Sierra did get tired and had a small amount of whining, but she finished the five mile hike, driven by the incentive of ice cream and lemonade for lunch. Of course Grandpa Bob followed through on this nutritious lunch.
Jason and I continued another 2.2 miles (according to the sign) to iceberg lake. As we got higher in the mountains, the trail became rather wet with snowmelt and then we were hiking across snow itself!
Most of Iceberg Lake was still covered by a thick sheet of ice and the whole things was surrounded by tall, rocky cliffs.
The water was ice cold (literally!) but Jason thought it would be "refreshing" to stick his head in the water. Crazy man!
A little chilly, is it?
After we had hiked all the way back down, past Ptarmigan Falls again, and returned to the parking lot, we stopped to visit St. Mary Lodge. Beautiful place. It would be a treat to stay there, right on the lake.
One of my favorite pictures of the trip: lake, mountains, wildflowers. Perfect.