Glacier National Park, Montana -Day 3

Woke up at 5:30am since we had a busy day planned. We broke down camp while the sun was coming up. The mountains and lake looked brilliant. The air was cool as I sat by the lake (sipping on my morning ritual of Mt Dew) desperately looking for any movement along the shoreline. I so badly wanted to see a bear or moose. Or for that matter a wolf, mountain lion or wolverine. Nothing was to be found. I saw something fly down and land on the still water. My guess was that it was a loon. I took tons of photos since it was the only wildlife I was seeing at the time.

Kintla Lake

Hubby and I were driving very slowly on the dirt roads looking like crazy for some sign of wildlife. Nothing. We did eventually see some white tailed deer but not the wild animals I was hoping for. We were surrounded by incredible landscapes so I couldn’t be that unhappy 🙂

We arrived early for our 2 hour horseback ride with Swan Mountain Outfitters. They set us up on two beautiful horses: mine was named Tub and hubby got Ruger. We weren’t allowed to take photos while riding so the only photos we got we at the beginning. About 20 minutes into the ride I was once again scouring the forest for animals and there he was: a shiny jet black bear! I saw his adorable ears poking up and I didn’t say anything until I knew that it was indeed a black bear and then I let everyone know. It was the only animal we saw on the ride but I felt happy to have watched him in his element. The ride was filled with ascents and descents through the forest. The farther along we went the more comfortable I felt on my sweet little horse. It was a great ride put on by equally great guides!

We ate at a bistro in the woods before loading up for our 4 hour whitewater rafting trip with the Montana Rafting Company. The river was the Middle Fork of the Flathead.  Hubby and I volunteered to take the front of the raft. I had never been rafting before so wasn’t sure what to expect but I was thinking of a quote that one of my friends posted (thanks sweenus) “If it excites you and scares you…you should probably do it” so I was all in! The rapids were amazing and I had a blast! Just like at Kintla lake the water was so clear you could see all the way down to the bottom in most areas. In areas where it was deep the water was a brilliant emerald color due to the minerals from the glaciers. In the first deep area, our guide said that anyone who wanted to swim could jump out of the raft. I was the only one who seized the opportunity. It was refreshing and I did it again later in the trip too. We also had splash fights with other rafts which made ya feel like a little kid. The trip was overall a great experience and really solidified the fact that hubby and I need kayaks!

That’s us in the front!

We had to boogie back to Whitefish, MT to make it in time for beers at Great Northern Brewing Company before their 8pm closing time. We quickly checked into the hotel but no showers for us due to time constraints. We got to the brewery in time for two beers each. I had the Good Medicine Imperial Red, then the Going to the Sun IPA. Both beers were fantastic! Hubby had the Tea Pale Ale (TPA) and the Fred’s black ale. The TPA was one of the best beers that I have ever tasted. It was very unique since during the brew process they use earl grey tea instead of water. We need to try this next time we brew! The brewery was small but nicely done up. The selection of beers was impressive and the quality matched. Once again due to MT state law we had to find another place to eat. Mckenzie River Pizza was just across the street and we figured it would quick and easy. We were pleasantly surprised when both of our pizzas were fantastic!

We walked back to our hotel recapping the day’s events…this vacation was off to a great start!

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~ by willtriforbeer on August 19, 2012.

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