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Monday, August 17, 2015

Hi everyone,

We've been "off the grid" for two weeks. The first week we stayed at a campground inside Glacier National Park where we dry-camped (no electric or water at the site). We had SUCH a blast and did a number of very wonderful and challenging hikes. The Highline Trail was 12 miles long and MUCH of it is perched on narrow trails 2,000 feet above the canyon floors! It was quite harrowing in places! This is ME holding onto the garden hose embedded in the rock wall. Notice the ROAD down below!

Scenery was gorgeous!!

The last 4 miles was downhill, which isn't as easy as it sounds. But we saw some wildlife: deer, marmot, and this!

He was NOT very far away, but thankfully he was more interested in eating huckleberries than in us! But we had our bear spray so we were prepared. It was still scary though.

After a week at West Glacier, we traveled around the park (130 miles) to St. Mary's to EAST Glacier. This is close to the forest fires so was very smoky. We learned that in the 1930's Glacier National Park united with Waterton National Park, just over the border in Canada, to create the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. It was the first such international peace park in the world, although now there are many. We took a ranger-led hike that started in the Canadian part of the park, and continued for 8 miles to the Goat Haunt Ranger station in the US part of the park! We had a Canadian Park interpreter and a US ranger with our group, so we learned a lot about the history of the park, the flora & fauna, etc. When we got to Goat Haunt we took an antique ferry boat (over 100 years old) back to the beginning.

The next day we went back over the border to Waterton, Alberta and just happened upon the International Peace Pow Wow -- check out some of the colorful outfits! It was truly a highlight of our visit. In Canada, they are not called Native Americans or American Indians, they are referred to as First Nations People.

We weren't going to go to Glacier because of the fires, but were SO glad we did -- it's always been on my bucket list and they expect the glaciers to totally disappear within 15 years. A hundred years ago there were 150 glaciers, now there are 25. So if Glacier is on your list of things to see, don't wait TOO much longer...

We are in our 9th week of being homeless! It's really gone by fast!!!

Next major stop on our list: Vancouver, British Columbia.

Till Later, Sparkfriends!

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