Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthday Road Trip Day 7

October 28, 2011 
Departing Location: Cottonwood River 
The name of this place will show you our path, 
We'll pay it a visit, if you do the math, 
It's chilly and chunky and off the main way, 
Drops down the valley and into a lake.
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Hmmm... ok, time to pull out the map and take a look.... Lava beds would be neat.... they aren't quite chilly, but they are chunky. But if I put lava as the four letter word I'll get a coordinate that puts us somewhere near Niagara Falls... not exactly a day drive from where we started. Oh, what's this... Bear Glacier... That's chilly, chunky, off the main way, goes down a valley and there's a lake. The words fit the blanks and doing the math gives us coordinates that keep us in the right part of the world. So off we go to Bear Glacier.

N 56o 02.578' 
W 129o 54.448' 

 It snowed over night.  So we woke up in our little cocoon of a tent.  Mark got up and made breakfast.  As we ate, we listened to wolves howling up on the mountains.  They sang for a long time.  It was beautiful, especially since we didn't actually see them.  No doubt they would sniff around the campsite after we left.  We didn't hang around too long, but we did enjoy the howling while we ate.

Driving through the mountains....  Does it ever get old?

Welcome to Belle 2.  A lodge and gas station on the highway in the middle of nowhere.  A beautiful place...  I mean take a look at those gas pump shelters.  (and yes, there is a geocache here too).

Bear Glacier!

The weather may have been pretty crappy, but we got to see the glacier.  (My man is awesome - how many birthday trips include hotsprings, wild animals AND glaciers).  This is a class A provincial park - crown land with protection status, the day use area has been closed and there is no camping.  There aren't any trails over to the glacier, so viewing it from the pullout on the highway is really the only option.  The glacier is currently retreating.  Strohn Lake is at the bottom of the glacier.

We wanted to continue down this side highway to another provincial park with a campground, but due to road washouts that are still under reconstruction, the road is only open sporadically to traffic following a pilot car.  We didn't want to wait the two hours until the next pilot car was leaving, so we turned around and found a nice rec site off the main highway to camp at for the night. 

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