The vibe at Two Medicine was completely different from Many Glacier. It was way chiller and much smaller. Glacier National Park gets 2 million visitors every year, and from what I can tell most of them skip Two Medicine. Big mistake suckers!!
We spent the first day picnicking at Paradise Point. How could you not drink beer and nap at a place called Paradise Point???
What we were really doing was conserving energy for our most ambitious hike yet: a big 19 mile loop to Dawson Pass up to the Continental Divide. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that our Florida lungs and legs can't handle a 19 mile hike. Well I will say that it only took four hikes for our walking muscles to build up, and even though we're not like those maniac trail runners, we can kind of hold our own now. Which is good because this loop hike took almost 11 hours to complete and we gained 2300 feet in elevation.
It started out easy as we slowly climbed up from the lake, winding our way through prime huckleberry patches and alpine lakes. We finally reached the wildflower-covered cliffside and switchbacked our way up to the ridge.
WOW have you ever stood on a ridge on the rocky mountains???
While I was getting more and more excited about being so high, Travis' anxiety level was reaching 7 out of 10 as we climbed even higher to the Continental Divide, partly because of the height but mostly because of the distant storms we could see on the other side of the valley.
We had reached a decision point: do we keep on hiking across the pass for three more miles and descend in another valley to complete the loop? Or do we turn around and head back the way we came? Luckily at this very moment an extremely fit couple basically ran up the trail and said that the path ahead was pretty flat and we could definitely beat the rain depending how fast we walked. We offered to take their picture and they said, "No, it's ok! We do selfies around the world." Then they snapped one and they were off.
Even though Travis was wearing bathing suit bottoms and crocs, he still let me convince him to keep going, though he RAN across that ridge.
I asked him to give me a chance to take off my poncho to take a picture with this spectacular view but he was already off, trotting away in the wind convinced that we were about to die from lightening strikes.
But the views were so amazing that he admitted that he was glad we had kept going.
The rain never came, though I do understand Travis' concern. We're equipped for bike tour, not all-weather mountain hiking. Everyone else we passed had quick dry pants, rain jackets, and actual hiking shoes. If we had been caught in the rain it would have been terrible, and the wind was really whipping up.
But we descended into the next valley into nice sunshine, and met this cute marmot on our way back down.