Arabella: I knew that one of these days I would be riding a Red Jammer bus. I didn’t think anything of it–just another cool part of our trip on a bus. What I didn’t expect were open-topped, jeep style buses from the 1930′s.
They were all originals, from the seats to the doors, painted a bright, bold red. The inside seated 18 people including the driver. I stepped up onto the bus and sat on handmade leather seats made with oak and plated in metal.
Within two minutes the bus started moving. Plenty of wind sent my
journals and other things flying. We headed onto the Going to the Sun
Road that used to be used as a game trail before the road was created.
Our first stop was Wild Goose Island where we had stopped two days ago
on a boat ride. We were extremely lucky today–there was no wind. Our
guide explained that the particular location we were standing was
usually very windy. We stood there for a while taking pictures and
listening to the guide. The lake surface was so smooth that it seemed
like we were staring at a mirror. The guide was explaining some of the
local animals. The one I remember most clearly was the pygmy shrew. It’s
a tiny creature about an inch long that can take down other animals
three to four times its size.
Back on the bus, we continued driving,
stopping several times to take pictures. A part of the road was an
840-foot tunnel that had been hand-dug, five-and-a-half feet per day.
“We love Glacier, yes we do. We love Glacier, how about you??!!!!!!”
echoed around the three buses as we all screamed our excitement. A sweet
scent, created by sage bushes, filled the air. We stopped at the Sun
Rift gorge, a massive canyon (at least to me) with swift, swirling
waters. A bridge arched over the gorge, sending shade over us.
way to the Logan’s Pass visitor center, we passed a curve in the road
called the Siyaeh Loop. The bend was named after an Indian whose mother
named him after a rabid dog that appeared on the day he was born. We
reached Logan’s Pass visitor center shortly and hiked up to a
snow-covered field. I have hosted and been through many snowball fights,
but never one in July. What was supposed to be a hike became a
full-blown snowball fight. Cameras got set aside as we battled in
shorts, sunglasses, and sneakers.
Our hands cold, we headed back to the
bus. On our way to West Glacier, we had many cascades splash us. They
lined the roadsides, rock-touching waterfalls. Gorgeous scenery hovered
on both sides of the road–mountains on the left, and rocks and greenery
on the right. After a long, enjoyable ride, we arrived in West Glacier
just in time for lunch.
Michael: Today we went on a 5-mile hike to Avalanche Lake. The
cedar trees looked majestic as they towered over me. The layers of moss
growing on the forest floor made me think of home, because of the deep
green of the forest floor. I saw small insects crawling around in the
dirt amongst the rocks and the trees. I thought of how small they were,
but how great their impact is on the life cycle of the forest. I
slipped inside of small cracks in trees and looked up at the sky through
the broken-off tops. Sweat stuck my shirt to my body because it was so
hot and we had been hiking all afternoon.
When we reached the lake, I
felt as if I had accomplished something very great. As I prepared to
slide into the water, I wondered if it was colder than I thought it
would be. In fact, it was so cold that the icy tang of the lake made my
adrenaline rush as fast as the rapids in a river. It is hard to put the
hike into words, but what I can put into words is that Montana is a
great place to explore!