Total trip miles: 2903.2
There's elk bugling throughout the night, an eerie sound echoing through the mountains. Within 5 minutes of leaving camp we see more mountain goats and a giant bull moose. A few minutes later it's the herds of bugling elk. Not a bad start to the morning.
Fuzzy but still pretty neat
The day starts with us heading toward triple divide pass and then towards St Mary Lake and our campsite at Many Glacier.
After the pass we start heading down and the sky magically appears. And we're back in a burn zone.
They've taken down all the suspension bridges in the park and while I am sick of taking my shoes off and just barrel through wet shoes be damned Rest Stop decides to show off his old gym class skills and rope walks. I'll stick to my soggy feet.
Red Eagle Lake is a surprising treat in the midst of the old burn. This is also the split where we meet the fire closure and instead of the usual route we head around the east shore of St Mary Lake.
The change in scenery is abrupt but still so pretty.
Looking back at the lower half of Saint Mary Lake. This is where we change our minds again. We could road walk to Many Glacier and camp in the closed for season campground in the predicted 27 degree night or we could walk the short way to St Mary and grab food and a room.
St Mary isn't a hard choice. Turns out it's basically closed for the season and other than a hotel nothing is open. But after sitting in the parking lot for a few hours (the hotel owner was out to dinner) a nice couple gives us a ride up the road and we get dinner and then finally end up back in St Mary tucked inside watching a storm roll in.
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