The morning after arriving at the ranch, we got up at 6am and were in the car by 6:30am. Doug treated everyone to breakfast at the Park Cafe just outside of St. Mary's in Glacier National Park. Great, little hipster cafe. They sell Doug's bison there, have GREAT omelets, strong coffee, and are famous for their homemade pies. They also sell Wicoxson's Ice Cream which is the daddy of all ice cream. We then all met in the parking lot at Logan Pass. We had planned on tackling one hike, but due to an abundance of bear activity the day before, they closed the trail. So, instead, we did the Hidden Lake hike. This was our first experience in Glacier National Park and it was love at first sight. You can hear about it and see photos of it, but neither of those can explain how truly spectacular it is. WOW. We did the normal touristy part of the hike - the lookout view - and then we proceeded to go another 3 1/2 miles down the mountainside to Hidden Lake. We went out to a penninsula and ate our lunches while some swam in the icewater. It was a very hot, sweaty day, but even that couldn't entice me to venture out - nothing like hiking in wet shorts for the rest of the day. Elisha went with the girls out to an island and went in to shock halfway out it was so cold. After lunch we all hiked back UP the mountain - not quite as easy as the hike down; it was a BIG mountain. Brad and I decided that we are complete whimps and out of shape. However, my amazing hubby still managed to scale a mountain with a four year old on his shoulders for part of the time. The kids amazed us. Josiah, Isaiah and Elias were in the front of the pack with the bigger kids and beat us back by 20 minutes. Micah got lots of shoulder rides from Doug Mitchell and Brad, but she also walked a ton. We were hooked from day one. Hiking is great fun.
After the hike, we all went BACK to the Park Cafe for a late lunch/early dinner (again on Doug's bison tab - it was his mom's birthday and he made it really special for us all). We stuffed ourselves and then had pie and ice cream. We all went back to the ranch fat and happy.....oh, and tired, really tired....oh and sore, REALLY sore! What a day. Have I mentioned that I love Montana? See the photos here.