IT’S A BRISK ONE!!!
Of all the lakes involved in my 2022 commitment of dipping in every lake I hike to this year, this one was one I’m glad I crossed off my list, as it was FRIGID! I guess I didn’t expect quite the icy layer for the beginning of August, and neither did my poor body!
I ran away from home for a day to wander up to Grinnell Glacier via the Grinnell Glacier Trail accessed through Many Glacier. I dragged myself out of bed and was on the road by 4:30 am, and the drive was as lovely as ever. So much grand scenery, wildlife, and a sunrise to rival all others made me appreciate the early hours in Montana. Wandering down the canyons carved by the Middle Fork river, along the highways through grassy plains dotted with horses and bison, with the crags of Many Glacier rising high in the distance, I couldn’t have been more in awe. I snagged a spot in the parking lot, donned my Hoka’s, and wandered down the trail. I got a little later start than I was hoping for, but it only took me a couple of hours to get up there, which I was thankful for since the temps really start to rise by 10 am, and that’s an exposed trail that bakes you on hot summer days. It was so fun to cool off under the waterfall located about 2/3rds of the way up the trail, and to see all the big horns lazing around on the warm rocks after the last of the switchbacks that always seem to never end.
When I arrived, it was quite peaceful, as only a few of us crazy folks start so early, and I chatted with a few other friendly hikers who were also appreciating the incredible beauty of Grinnell Glacier, and its iceberg-filled lake. After a brief respite, I donned my sandals, and roped another hiker into videoing my lake dip. No fish stories here without the video evidence! She was hilarious, and thought I was nuts for doing the dip, and although it took my breath away so much that I couldn’t talk properly (you’ll hear the weird voice and missed words in the video!), she was laughing hysterically and making all sorts of funny comments. I literally laid on a warm rock for a few minutes before my shivering stopped and I sat back up.
Of course, I had a great big grin on my face, and she had a fun story to tell over her campfire that night. We both challenged the 20-somethings next to us to get in, and not let the "old lady" out-do them. Sure enough, they stripped down and all four of them threw caution to the wind and immersed themselves in the icy depths of Upper Grinnell Lake. They were so proud, and were talking about it even as I left to head back down the mountainside.
It was such a fun day of wandering and playing that by the time I headed home, I was in the best, happiest mood anyone could ask for. Again, I’m reminded of the beautiful effects of taking time to slow down and smell the roses. I hope you find time to do the same!
Touchstone Real Estate