Another day of perfect weather and again the morning begins on the shore of Lake MacDonald, this time at Apgar Village. Apgar Village is a family owned private establishment of two motels and cabins, a restaurant and a few shops. This morning the beach is quiet. We walk along the shore followed by a merganser. Later a white-haired couple and their old poodle mix join us. Surprisingly, there are a few private homes on the lake. All the other buildings we've seen so far in the Park look like they belong in an alpine village -tiny Swiss chalets with flower boxes and planters stuffed with colorful blooms.
    Heading east, Going to the Sun Road winds through tall pines and past Sprague Creek campground. Flashing lights warn us to stop - a large vehicle like an Expedition has hit a tree and flipped over on its side. The accident could have occurred last night. It's a sad sight, but all the more reason to be careful when driving through the Park.
    MacDonald Creek flows past us, its clear waters curving past gravel banks. Wildflowers still bloom - fleabane and daisies, a few yellow violets and wild strawberries. MacDonald Falls pours down into the creek near the road. A young woman pulls up behind us in an Outback with Wisconsin plates. It's still in the 40s, but she is wearing shorts and a sweatshirt. On the roof of the car is a mountain bike and her traveling companions are two black lab mixes who bark at us through the windows.
    Going to the Sun Road climbs and bends around the mountains offering one spectacular view after another. The mountains are sharp and jagged, green and brown and red, patches of snow here and there. We pass the Weeping Wall, water trickling down. The construction causes only minor delays and seems to keep people driving safe.
    Logan Pass is the main destination for most travelers. Sitting on the Continental Divide, it's a windy place, but otherwise the weather is picture perfect - blue sky, sunny, 53 degrees. We start up the trail past the Visitor Center to Hidden Lake, a boardwalk that changes to pavement and then rock and dirt. Meadows dotted with arrow leaf balsamroot surround us. We are surrounded by mountains and look down on the blue waters of Hidden Lake.
    About a mile past the lookout, three mountain goats are resting on the slopes - a nanny and her kid and another adult, probably a female. They are very white and fluffy looking - their fur looks like a polar bear's - with dark toed hooves and long hair under their chins. We watch them for a long time. Other hikers pass us, lots of them chattering loudly. Logan Pass is beautiful, but it's a busy, noisy place. We hear conversations in Indian, Spanish, German and French. Too busy, too noisy for me. But I loved the goats.
    Instead of returning to West Glacier right away, we drive up the road past St. Mary's Falls and stop at Sun Point. It's a short hike up the trail along St. Mary's Lake. High above the lake we can see it stretching out for miles on both sides of us. The trail along St. Mary's is a long one and leads to both St. Mary's Falls and Baring Falls. The wind is powerful on top of this rock point, so we don't stay long.

Author - Christine Baleshta
Photography - Tim Springer

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Yellowstone Experiences 2009