Day 146: Glacier NP Day 2 : Red Eagle Lake

Miles Hiked: 20

Total Milage: 2532

Today I slept in again. We only have to hike 20 miles to our next assigned campsite so I was in no rush. For breakfast I ate some snacks. I was still the first person up and getting ready at camp. By 7:30am, I left before anyone else. The day started with a climb up to the top of Pitamakin Pass. The Pass was a very narrow wall between two valleys. There were very blue lakes on both sides of the pass. As I walked along the skinny ridge, I was in awe. Glacier is already everything I thought it would be. As I descended from Pitamakin Pass I made lots of noise to scare away bears. At the first campsite I passed, I stopped to go to the bathroom at the privy. It’s so nice not to have to dig cathodes! While I was walking through a green valley with tall over grown plants all around me, I saw a massive black animal start running out of the brush. I immediately grabbed my ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ spray to have it at the ready. It was a small group of cows. Cows? In a National Park? I wasn’t expecting that at all. They ran down the trail in front of me leaving green diarrhea splattered all over the trail. I was very surprised. At the next flowing creek I took a break. Here I ate snacks, filtered water, and changed into my shorts.

I was leaving right as Darwin and Legs caught up. We only had one more climb for the day up to Triple Divide Pass. I wanted to get the climb over with and hang out on top as long as I can. The last 8 miles to camp will be all downhill. The climb was long and well graded. It went along the side of a cliff that bordered a valley. The trail was decently wide but I was still a little nervous to look over the side of the trail. It was a big drop straight down. As I got closer to the top of the pass, the trail eventually left the cliff side and was surrounded by short trees and ground on both sides. At the top I took off my sweat soaked shirt and put on my puffy while I took a break. It was perfectly warm and not windy at all. On the other side of the pass I could see some very small Glaciers. I recently learned that there are probably only 27 glaciers left in the whole park and they are getting smaller. It’s predicted that they will be completely gone by 2030. That’s not far away at all!

Legs and Darwin eventually got to the top and we all hung out. There was a marmot running around that was very curious in us. He got pretty close so I was able to get some nice pictures. While we were still resting, Cheeto, Blind Squirrel, and Flip hiked to the top of the pass going southbound. They are doing a 40 mile day hike without their packs to avoid dealing with the permit system in Glacier. They have to hike a couple long days but they won’t be confined to a weird camping schedule like us! They are slack packing all the way to Chief Mountain.

Eventually it was time to leave the break spot and hike down to camp. The valley was so pretty with lots of water falls. I hiked with legs while Darwin went ahead. It’s so nice to hike with another lady for once! I really like Legs. We had to cross a suspension bridge before camp that was very swingy. It was kind of fun. The lake was in a burn area but it was still really pretty. There was an awesome view of the mountains from the edge of the lake. We spent some time hanging out there after dinner. While I was cooking dinner, Machine showed up! He was feeling a little better but still not great. There was no way he was going to miss finishing with his friends though. I was happy to see him. Later in the evening, Wild Turkey, Melon, and 12 Pack showed up as well.

Happy Trails!

– Early Bird

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