East Glacier is beautiful in its own charming way!
We drove on what we called the "Going-To-The-Sun-Roadlet" to get to the east side of Glacier National Park for the last two days of our vacation. Sinopah Mountain watches over the Two Medicine Lake and marks the start of our hike to Cobalt Lake. After three days of hiking in heat-exhausting heat, cooler temperatures and cloud cover was a welcome relief. We choose to save the boat trip on Two Medicine Lake for the last part of the hike so that we could enjoy scenery like this as we headed off along the trail mid morning.
Our hopes were that we would be in for an easier day, little did we know there would be lots to contend with. First of all knowing this would not be as busy a trail, we went down the checklist: bear spray-check, air horn-check, three ladies with lots to loudly chat about-check! We announced ourselves to those that make their home in the mountains and we were off. In many places, the ground was carpeted with wildflowers, so much so, it wasn't difficult getting lost in them. We wanted to get up close and personal with the waterfalls so that involved some off trail maneuvering around the rocks. Eventually we made it to Cobalt Lake in time for the lunch bell. This lake sits at the base of Two Medicine Pass and The Continental Divide.
I felt like I was in a lush rain forest along portions of the trail keeping my head high to see where I'm going. I have sea legs when I'm in or on the water, not when I'm up high crossing it. I found some balance, held on to the cables and made my way across this swinging suspension bridge See? I'm much steadier as I stand close to water.
With lakes, mountains and elevation, no doubt you will come across waterfalls. Today's were called Aster Falls and Rockwell Falls. How pretty the run-off creeks looked lined with flowers.
After 15km or so, we veered to the left and took a trail that led us to the back end of Two Medicine Lake where we could take the boat across the Lake back to the trail head. We raced for the 4:15 boat when we saw it coming close to dock but missed it by a landslide. The next would be 5:15. In this period of time waiting for our ride, the weather took a turn for the worst! I was decked out in all my layers, even my gloves with hand warmers inside. We huddled in the shelter to stay warm and dry. We shared adventure stories with strangers we huddled with.
Once the boat arrived and we were all aboard, it was a quick ride back to the trail head. We paid a visit to the gift shop, bought hot drinks and warmed up before heading to the townsite of East Glacier to check into our rooms.
The hiking was done! For this time around! I will be back!