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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoky, Hazy East Glacier National Park

Aloha Everyone,

Glacier National Park is the most visited place in Montana. It is known as the crown jewel of the continent and is located on Montana's northern border. The park adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada.

Glacier National Park is the world's first International Peace Park. The American and Canadian flags are flown at all their visitor centers.

There are still on-going wild fires in Glacier National Park. While main roads are open today, vehicles had to be escorted by pilot cars in fire areas. Seeing fire trucks and firefighters along the access road to trails was both alarming and reassuring.

J.J. and I were in luck finding a camping site without reservation in Saint Mary's Campground. Honu's length exceeds by two feet the permitted vehicle length to cross from the East Glacier to West Glacier. Taking a free shuttle bus to Logan Pass Visitor Center and back was one option.

The round trip of about an hour afforded us a good overview of this national park. Unfortunately, famous vistas which normally are readily seen were masked with thick haze from the forest fires.

Mitzi and Brad from Pennsylvania were on the same shuttle to Logan Pass.

There are several species of wild berries that are thriving around the campground. Rose hip are mostly used for tea. It must be harvested when they turned very red. 

Saskatchewan berry bushes can grow very tall. The fruits resembles and taste like blueberries.

These berries also attract bears. Trash bins are made of heavy metals with special security locks to prevent bears from opening lids or turning them over.

Ethereal quality of sunset and sunrise are the result of the smoky atmosphere and poor air quality.

Aloha -- Cathi