For labor day weekend 2017 we decided to go to Montana to Glacier National Park. Neither of us had ever really been to Montana before (other than driving through a little bit of it while at Yellowstone National Park).
As we drove up it was super hazy and the further we drove, the worse and worse it got. At some places it looked pretty hellish because you couldn’t see the sun at all, it was bright but just so thick and grayish out. It looked pretty horrible.
We found out that the fires were coming from Canada. Unfortunately the park was super hazy as well. We were pretty bummed to discover that the national park would be so hazy that the pictures wouldn’t come out clear at all. To discover you drove over 14 hours and aren’t even going to get a single really good picture is incredibly disappointing.
We went and did this hike and then we tried to drive back towards our campground and we found out that the road was closed because the smoke was too thick through there to see to drive. At the time we thought it was still the fires from Canada that were causing the problem. So instead we just routed a much longer route all the way around the park. We ended up going out to dinner later to watch the Virginia Tech football game and we honestly didn’t think anything more of it.
That night we headed back to our campgrounds and saw the signs that a wildfire had started that afternoon actually in the national park! When we got to our campground not only could we see the fire burning from there, smell the smoke very intensely, and see the ash falling on us, we also found out that the campground 5 miles from us had been evacuated! This was nuts to us! If it had been ours evacuated we wouldn’t have even been there to get our stuff and leave, and then when we came back late at night we would have found out we had no place to go! That night I barely slept because I was afraid the fire was going to get too close and we would need to leave. My biggest fear was that the park service wouldn’t notify us in time, and the only way to get out would be to be awake and prepared to go! We ended up being fine, but our tent was covered in ash by the morning. Pretty crazy experience!
While we were eating our lunches at the lake, this squirrel (chipmunk? I always get confused but I think chipmunks have three stripes and this guy only had 2, but not sure) would not leave us alone!
He was relentless in trying to steal our food! He was even trying to climb up us to get to our food!
The lake was still really pretty to see, and the little bits of glaciers we saw on the hike were really neat. Unfortunately the fires messed up any chance of good photography that day. 🙁
Hopefully we can come back someday and enjoy this park when it is smoke free!