Apgar Lookout

I’m not writing much this week or next because I’m busy hiking – well, not as of the writing, but as of the posting. So this is actually a look back at a hike from last summer, Apgar Lookout in Glacier National Park. As hikes go, it was one of the less rewarding ones we did in the park. As days go, it was one of my favorites.

Flowers along the Apgar Lookout trail.
Flowers along the Apgar Lookout trail.

The day was a scorcher and we got a bit of a late start. I always say I’m going to get up early and get going – definitely wishful thinking on my part. So as we set out, it was hot, bright, and sunny, although also a bit hazy and smoky from forest fires in nearby states and provinces. The Apgar Lookout trail is on the west side of the park, and is just over 7 miles round trip. But those are some steep 7 miles, for sure. Before beginning, we had driven to what we thought was the trail head at a horse corral. We were all ready to go when we encountered a very tanned and in-shape man with white hair who wore a gold cross on a chain and swung a bright yellow shirt as he walked around.

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Planned Walks, ie, Hiking Vacations

Guidebooks galore.

Everyday hiking and walking, as in the sort I might do after work or on the weekend, requires little or no planning. Obviously it’s important to make sure storms aren’t imminent, or trails aren’t closed for some reason, but beyond that, it’s easy just to pick up and go.

Trip planning is different – somewhat. Certainly I treat it differently, in that I take care to note which trails are “must do,” which look like nice backups, and so on. But in some ways, it ends up being similar to everyday experiences due to such factors as unexpected weather and individual whims.

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National Park Webcams

From Glacier National Park, the Lake McDonald webcam, March 27, 2015

Before we went to Glacier in Montana last summer, I was already poring over webcam images featured on the park’s NPS website. Traveling there increased the frequency of my habit. Now, when I open one of my internet browsers, my home page is the Glacier webcam site. Some days, I’ll check it several times, just because. As a result, I’ve got a wide variety of webcam images saved on my computer. Each one is fascinating in its own way, and sometimes I have to stop myself from saving every one I see.

Compare, for example, this webcam image from December 11, 2014, to the one above. Then, take a look at the one below to see what the lake looks like when it isn’t reflecting the entire world.
September 5, 2014

Luckily, NPS makes it easy for anyone to develop this habit through a consolidated list of their park webcams.

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A Week Before Glacier

Mind the gap.

This past winter was long, and it was far too cold to be outside very much. May was our first snow-less month, but to be fair, since then, we have had gorgeous weekend after gorgeous weekend.

I have been busy getting things ready for a two-week jaunt in Montana’s Glacier National Park. It is quite an undertaking–to pare down what you need for two weeks, and that’s two weeks of wearing, sleeping, cooking, etc.–into a backpack. Continue reading “A Week Before Glacier”