Glacier National Park Day 6: Canoeing, A Splurge, And A Reflection

Day six, our last day in Glacier, started around mid-morning- Bob and I were so wiped out by our Quartz Lake escapade that we discarded our proposed day six hike and slept in. Once we woke up, we had a nice long, unhurried breakfast and contemplated our adventure for the day. Even under the shade of the trees that encircled our campsite, the day was hot and sticky, so Bob and I agreed on a quick jaunt down the Rocky Point Nature Trail to catch a stunning view of Lake McDonald before heading to Apgar Village to rent a canoe.

Rocky Point was less than a mile form our campground, and the view was as magnificent as promised by our guidebook (a welcome fact as our faith in its author had been a bit shaken the day before). Lake McDonald spread out around us, stretching on for mile after splendid mile, and giving everything surrounding it an added glow. Surprisingly the trail, point, and the hidden beach which lies near the beginning of the trail- all of which are so close to areas heavily trafficked by humans- were unpopulated. We did try to become friends with a native woodpecker, but though I was very interested in photographing him, he seemed disdainful of my attempts and we soon passed him by to head to Apgar Village.

Canoe or Kayak is a sometimes tension fraught question between Bob and I. Bob prefers canoes, while I prefer the feeling of independence gained in a kayak. However, for this particular trip, Bob and I agreed to try a canoe, and I have to admit the experience was rather rewarding. Though canoeing always feels less natural to me than kayaking, it does force you listen to your partner, and by the end of the 5 mile paddling adventure Bob and I had fallen into a natural shared rhythm that I found quite enjoyable. 

Canoeing, like Kayaking, is exhausting, so we took a break on the hidden beach we had stumbled upon earlier. We lazed on the rocky shore which our bodies half submerged by each incoming wave, and just enjoyed the true splendor that surrounded us. We finally acknowledged that our stomachs were demanding our return to Apgar, so Bob taught me how to correctly return the beached canoe to the water and we headed back towards more crowded beaches.

We ended our canoe trip by splurging and going on a 'date' to one of the restaurants in the village, and oh my goodness fried/greasy food was such a shock after eating cereal, sandwiches, and Cliff bars for the previous four days! My tummy was completely unsure if it wanted to cry or shout for joy as I gobbled down fry after delicious fry. We wrapped up our splurge by purchasing delicious ice cream cones, which we gobbled up as we lounged on the lake shore and watched the colors bleed away and change as the sun set behind us. Exhausted, stuffed, and happy we crawled into our sleeping bags and drifted to sleep lulled by the sound of the wind in the trees one last time.

Going to Glacier this summer was probably one of the best ideas I have had in a long while. I didn't realize at the time that Bob and I committed to the trip, but Glacier taught me so much about myself. I learned and explored at every stage- the planning, during the trip itself, and now as the experience sinks in and the lessons really come to light. Glacier brought Bob and I closer, but it also brought me closer to my core self. It reminded me of my own strengths and weaknesses, and pushed me to achieve more than I thought I could. It reminded me of silence, of the difference between being lonely and being alone, and the power and joy that comes from understanding that difference. Glacier illustrated how much I rely on those close to me, and yet it also forced me to understand how independently strong I can be.

As I've urged in a previous post:

Dare to dream. Dare to explore.

Go and do.

You never know what lessons are waiting for you.


Missed Days 1-5? Never fear- links are below!!

Day 1  

Day 2

Day 3   

Day 4

Day 5