Monday, October 22, 2012

Traveling "Going-to-the-Sun Road" Part 1

Singleshot Mountain hovering over Two Dog Flats
 After leaving the Visitor Center I stop to take pictures of Two Dog Flats.  The fields later in the summer are filled with prairie wild flowers. 
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia) in Rising Sun Parking Lot
It was now near 1 PM and I need to stop at Rising Sun to eat lunch. I was hoping to find a place protected from the wind and make my own lunch. The cool weather and wind changed my mind and I dined at Two Dog Flats Grill. The food was good but pricey and I have a great view of St Mary Lake. When you dine inside a national park I guess you should expect to pay extra for the ambiance and limited seating.  Lastly I checked out the gift shop and found some great old fashion postcards.

This looms over Rising Sun Motel.  Can anyone tell me if this is Goat Mountain?
Rising Sun is where the mountains begin and you keep climbing up in elevation until you reach Logan Pass. Once I left Rising Sun I spent my time stopping at each pullout and exploring it.  The guild books state it should take 2 hours to drive the road but do not believe it unless you plan to drive straight through.  I spend 6 hours driving it and I did not stop to walk any of the trails leading to the back country.  All my time was spent stopping at each turnout and maybe walking a few 100 yards off the road.  I joked that driving time is dependent on how many pictures you take at the end of the day I took 230.  I also needed to keep moving since I was expected to be in Alaska in 7 to 10 days from the start of the trip.
Wild Goose Island Lookout, see Notes for mountains names.
 The Golden Staircase and Wild Goose Island are the next two stops I took pictures of St Mary Lake at each.  Wild Goose Island is the most photographed stop on the road and the picture states it all.

Indian Paint Flowers

Alberta Penstemon
 Here are some of the flower you can see along the way.

Indian Paint and Alberta Penstemon Flowers
I must of skip Sun Point the parking area must have been full when I pass so I continue on to Sunrift Gorge.  Baring Creek formed Sunrift Gorge. 

Baring Creek falls

Next falls upstream from previous picture.

Sunrift Gorge

Baring Creek downstream from the gorge and falls.

Sunrift Gorge is about halfway to Logan Pass and the next post will be from Sunrift Gorge to Logan Pass.
Notes: It was easier to label the mountain than explain it in a cation.  Sorry I made 3 change on the mountain identification I keep find more information.  The last change came from Glacier National Park Facebook site.

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