Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mosts / Bests

After nearly every big trip, we develop a list of mosts and bests. Here's a first draft of this year's:

Most number of people upset by lack of lavatory service: passengers on the Chicago -> East Glacier Park, MT leg of our Amtrak® journey

Most number of mosquitos and flies: Sperry Campground

Most number of waterfalls to cross: trail from Gunsight Lake to Lake Ellen Wilson

Best waterfall that we had to hike through: On the trail to Lake Ellen Wilson

Best waterfall overall: Pitamakan at Two Medicine

Best swim: Gunsight Lake

Best stoic pose during glacier-fed lake soak: Gunsight Lake

Best wildflowers: Gunsight pass to Sperry

Most anticipated pizza meal: Jammer Joe's at McDonald Lodge

Best view from a privy (inspired by Snow Lake in Mount Rainier National Park): Sperry

Best interpretive program: Fire (at Many Glacier); runners-up Bison (at Waterton Lakes) and Curly Bear (also at Waterton Lakes)

Best front-county campsite: Avalanche (we stayed there twice, once before and once after the Gunsight Trail hike)

Best back-country campsite: Kintla (with a close follow-up by Sperry because of the view)

Best backcountry meal: soup, followed by mashed potatoes with steak nuggets and vegetables

Best lodge: East Glacier Lodge

Best restaurant meal: Bay View Inn (Waterton Townsite)

Best new flavor sensation: Root beer and aged white cheddar cheese

Best berry: Huckleberry (Jeff and Joe), thimbleberry (Lorraine and Em)

Best ice cream: Huckleberry ice cream at Many Glacier

Best one-liner: "Bambi goes prehistoric...." [in reference to the "killer deer" warnings around the Waterton Townsite]

Best sign: Caution! Slow down...people breathing.

Funniest conversation overheard: Joey get your hand out of your underwear and stop scratching your butt!

Best snore: Jeff (at several locations)

Strangest conversation: "Em! Em!", followed by "Joey, you can't get out of the tent! We're camping!"

Best survival food source: pudding from Joe's eyeglasses

Most helpful NPS Ranger: Pete Siudara

Most startling geologic feature: Frank Slide (brings new meaning to the term "geologically active")


Animals we saw:

Charismatic megafauna

  • Bison
  • Black bear
  • Grizzly bear
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Rocky Mountain Goats (goat antelope)
  • Mule deer
  • White tailed deer
  • Cows

Other animals

  • Long-tailed weasel (with prey) (at Logan Pass)
  • Marmot
  • Pika (on the way to Lincoln Pass)
  • Ground squirrel
  • Chipmunk
  • Tree squirrel
  • Snake (in the water at Kintla Lake)


  • Ptarmigan
  • Jay
  • Robins
  • Tanager
  • Thrush (VIreo and Hermit)
  • Bald eagle
  • Loon
  • White Throated Sparrow
  • Gull
  • Raven

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