Day 2: Gable Creek Campground to Many Glacier- 23 miles
We woke early, broke camp and walked along the belly river surrounded by the smell of Christmas from the spruce trees and the sound of a two-toned single note call from more than one Varied Thrush. Jacob learned the joy of identifying a bird’s call, and promptly made a note of our sighting. Another bird nerd in the making. We climbed up toward Red Gap which passes through red rock veins. Clouds hovered, and we met a group of mountain goats at the top, a few just weeks old. The goats watched us as we watched them. On the descent the clouds broke, rain fell, and we moved into a valley full of Glacier Lilly’s, a Grizzlies favorite bite at this time of year. They like the flowers, leaves, and tubers.
Two hikers warned us that there was a lot of scat ahead on trail. Jacob and I continued singing, and side-stepped the dark green piles of scat decorating the trail.
Soon we needed to stop for a pee break next to a small grove of trees. We rounded a corner and crossed the creek and just on the other side of that small grove of trees was a young grizzly bear rooting around for tubers not more than a hundred meters from us. Jacob and I yelled some inane comments to the bear and it slowly meandered away from us. We continued singing and making further inane comments all the way to Many Glacier in the on-and-off drizzle.
Our itinerary had us camping at poia lake, a few miles back from Many Glacier so we went to the backcountry permitting station and Adam helped us out. Apparently a small stretch of the CDT passes through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, and to legally hike there you need a permit which the park doesn’t sell. Adam offered to drive us to a lodge on the res. on the way we heard park service stories and lore, sat on a porch at his house just outside the park entrance and waved to the cars entering and exiting. Some people waved back.
Someone is playing Taps in the campground tonight.
Time for bed. Goodnight!