Travel | Glacier National Park

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Thanks for following along on our trip and hopefully we will not bore you too much with our “vacation photos” but rather inspiration for what incredible beauty lies beyond the computer screen. I cannot say it enough, but seriously this place was beautiful.  I will share a few excerpts from our travel journal authored by Ryan:

“After sleeping well in our new camp spot at Spague Creek, we awoke, grabbed a quick yogurt and started the drive from West Glacier to East Glacier along a road called “Going-to-the-Sun”. A single two-lane road snakes through Glacier NP and the scenery is breathtaking….There are no developments, no houses, only the one road.” 

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Ryan continues, “Rather quickly you come to understand the name  ‘Going-to-the-Sun’. The road contains a 180-degree hairpin turn which is carved out of the mountain rock and lifts you above the tall trees and exposes the valley’s vast beauty and tall peaks. There are ‘turn-outs’ every 1/2 mile or so and we used basically ALL of them to take pictures of the views – they were remarkable! We had a tough time getting to proper exposure because the peaks would cast large shadows across the valley, a stark contrast to the bright morning sky – we hope we got some good pictures.”
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The road had it all, many waterfalls, very tall peaks and even snow that hung on from the last winter. Our destination was Many Glacier lake which required that you leave the park and go north about 30 minutes to re-enter the national park. The road follows yet another lake and stream, along which we were fortunate enough to spot the first BEARS of the trip!

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A mother black bear and her two cubs were feeding on huckleberries on the opposite side of quickly moving 20ft wide river. The river gave a false sense of security, as we continued to snap away taking pictures. Ryan was soooo excited after seeing these guys and was continually on the look out for more of them, unlike me who was perfectly content admiring these creatures from a more protected position such as inside the car! I struggle because I love seeing all of the animals, such as bears, and could watch them for hours but I am SUCH a chicken and try to pretend to be brave despite my pounding heart and clenched hands. When all is said and done and I have returned back to the comfort of my bed, I am so happy about the adventures we did and animals we saw, but gosh it still doesn’t help calm my nerves!

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The east side of the park was more arid than the west and much more windy. We parked at the Many Glacier lodge and decided to begin the Swiftcurrent Lake Loop hike as the popular Iceburg Lake trail was closed due to bear activity.   Though it was a well traveled path with several other hikers, we were happy to have our bear spray and bear bell.

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Along the hike we saw this pristine lake and refreshing waterfall. I was thankful I had my polarizer filter for the camera and was able to slow my shutter speed just enough, despite the midday sun, to get the water to blur. I am no nature photographer, but I was pretty proud of this one!

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Um, seriously this place was filled with so many colors and textures. I imagine this is how the settlers saw it over 100 years ago and it awed them just as much as it has awed us.

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Can you see the road???? Yes, that horizontal line (on a slight upward diagonal) is the “Going-to-the-Sun” road. The road exists like this for about 25 minutes as you snake your way through the other side. This road makes the “scary” part of Highway 50 Tahoe seem like peanuts!

After a day out exploring the park, we returned back to camp and enjoyed one last sunset over the lake – this time opting out of the night time photo session. Photobucket

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This is how we ended our day, snuggled together admiring this beautiful site together excited for the new adventures that tomorrow would bring!

xoxo

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Camping Pretty

The hubs and I are thinking about a camp trip sometime soon and I can’t help but wish we were sleeping in this…

source: chanelbagsandcigarettedrags

Doesn’t it just make you want to cuddle up and snuggle extra close while watching the crackling fire through the tent?  I think the Mister is hoping for something more practical, but this is what our tent would look like in my camping dreams!

These items are also in my camping dreams – a Michael Kors Shearling Vest?! Give that to me now because I will surely freeze without it! As for more practical items, if you don’t already have, I totally recommend the GSI wine glasses (surprise from Ry last camping trip), Rolla Roasters (a totally must for any sort of marshmallow roasting), and Starbucks Via!

1. Michael Kors Shearling Vest $650
2. Anthropologie Sari Throw $198
3. Starbucks VIA $29.95/30 packs
4. Vince Sweater $275
5. Vaseline Lip Balm $5.99
6. J Brand Jean Shorts $285
7. GSI Wine Glass $5.95
8. Rolla Roster roasting forks $12.50
9. Asos Fingerless Gloves $68.96
10. Sebago Boat Shoes $60

xoxo

1st Anniversary Road Trip – Day 1 – Havasupai Point, Grand Canyon AZ

To celebrate our first anniversary Shan and I decided to visit the Grand Canyon and Utah over Labor day weekend.  From Los Angeles we planned to go straight to Havasupai Point, as rather shockingly, neither of us had ever been to the Grand Canyon.   The long drive went by quickly because we were blown away by the areas beauty.

Off highway 180 before entering the Grand Canyon national park, we left the highway at FS road 328.  It was smooth sailing till we got to the closed gate  marking Havasupai reservation land.  The guard shack was pretty creepy, burned out mattresses, empty bottles, cattle skulls, lots of trash and an atv on blocks with no wheels.  Fortunately nobody was there to take our $25 so we continued on, the road entered a  beautiful meadow and we saw cattle and even a wild horse.  We made a right on Prairie wash road the landscape changed to forest and the road narrowed a bit.

At this point we hadn’t gotten a glimpse of the Grand Canyon and we were getting antsy.  I didn’t plan for the dirt roads to last 2 hours.  Our  patience paid off big time, we reached Havasupai Point and the view of the Grand Canyon was spectacular! Wow, what a place! To my surprise we had the whole place to ourselves, in fact we didn’t see anybody else the whole road in, the whole time we were there or the road out!

We snapped some pictures of the sunset and Shan whipped up some tasty jambalaya.  This place seemed incredibly quiet, I remember how loud the airplanes were thousands of feet above, before the crickets started it was the only audible sound.  Dusk, quickly became a black night lit by countless stars which were equally impressive when compared to the views from the cliff.  Neither one of us were used to the remote and isolated feeling of this place so it was a bit creepy.  We awoke just before 6am for the sunrise, snapped some pics, packed up with the intent of stopping by the Grand Canyon NP and heading to Toroweap.  Although, night 1 was a bit more adventure than we bargained for it was a great start to the trip!

Sten's Bachelor Party

Have I mentioned it’s been a busy year?

Sten, one of my best friends and groomsman is getting married in Austria in January. So it was time to celebrate his last days as a bachelor, the venue was a little known area loosely between King City, Big Sur and an Army base.  About 20 of Sten’s closest friends made the trip from San Diego, San Francisco and the southbay, I was looking forward to reunion.

During the day we milled around the wilderness avoiding poison oak and during the nights we all contributed to revolutionizing the camp fire song.  Three straight days of wild times and no serious injuries or deaths, an overwhelmingly successful bachelor party on all accounts.

The Crew

16/365 - Tom the Taranchula

17/365

18/365 - The Bachelor

More pictures can be seen here.