The start-of-school whirlwind review, and Glacier

Even though I am done with the classwork for my PhD, it still takes a few weeks to adjust to a new school year. It’s partly just having a more structured schedule, but it’s also that the school year still manages to be busier than summer. I’m teaching 4 sections of a freshman lab this semester and for some reason I thought it would be fine to have 3 of them back-to-back-to-back. I mean, it is fine. But it was overly optimistic to assume I would have time to eat between sections.

“Research, teach, oh crap errands” more or less summarizes weekdays for the last 3 weeks. So this “weekly” review is actually a photo dump of the past few weekends. Trust me, it’s more interesting that way.


I finally got some new road running shoes…I’ve only needed them for a few months. Worn-out road shoes worked for the summer because that meant I “had” to run trails. But I inevitably need to put in more road miles during school months, so when REI had some Altras half off I finally bought new ones.

I planned to run my longest 30K training run Labor Day weekend, but since I accidentally ran the whole race distance the week before, I needed a new plan. A glaring omission on my Montana adventure list is summiting peaks…any peaks. I’ve somehow been here 3 years and have yet to make it to the top of anything. So Monday I headed to Blackmore Peak.

Blackmore Lake

The roundtrip hike is ~11.5 miles and 3,700 feet of elevation gain. The last 2ish miles is a series of seemingly never-ending switchbacks. I found myself wishing the trail climbed straight up the side of the mountain instead…not sure what that says about me.

Still climbing.
Finally at the top.

The next weekend, I headed to the east side of Glacier National Park with my mom. (Husband was supposed to come too, but work crap happened.) We got there late Friday afternoon and drove up to Logan Pass to hike the Hidden Lake trail. Actually, we originally planned to hike part of the Highline Trail, but it was temporarily closed for bear activity. Rather than waiting to see if it would open, we went for plan B.

Getting to this overlook was ~3 miles roundtrip – you can also hike down another mile to the lake. We saw both bighorn sheep and mountain goats on this hike, but since neither of us brought a “real” camera, I have no good photos of them to share.

Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park
No retinas were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Saturday, we headed to the Many Glacier area. Driving in, we saw a black bear grazing on a hillside just a few feet from the road, unperturbed by several people who had gotten out of their cars to take pictures. Don’t be those people.

We hiked to Red Rock Falls, which is the first 2ish miles (one way) of the Swiftcurrent Pass trail. The pass itself is another 5 miles past the falls. Just those first two miles have 2 lakes plus the falls, and there are a few more lakes further down the trail.

Fishercap Lake
Red Rock falls

We had planned a short, but steep, hike to another falls after lunch, but decided we would rather explore the Many Glacier hotel area. The hotel is right on Swiftcurrent Lake, so you don’t have to hike for your views.

We did walk a little ways down the lakeshore trail though.

Sunday, we took a boat ride on Two Medicine Lake.

We took a short walk to Paradise Point, also on Two Medicine.

And finally, we hiked to Running Eagle Falls. The water also falls over the top of the rocks earlier in summer when there’s higher flow.


This most recent weekend I skipped my long run…or any run. Saturday I felt like I needed a nap more than a run – without disclosing how long I napped, let’s just say I was right. And Sunday we headed to Missoula for an Avett Brothers concert. Since my 30K is this Sunday…let’s just call it a really long taper.


Have you ever been to Glacier?

Switchbacks or straight up?

Linking up with Holly and Wendy for Weekly Wrap

11 Comment

  1. Wendy says: Reply

    Well, wow. And an Avett Brothers concert after all that. Clearly, I’m living in the wrong place!

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous views.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      It was a bit much for 2 1/2 weeks, but worth it!

  2. Sherry says: Reply

    Love Altra shoes! Looks like great hikes. Have fun and good luck on your 30k!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Me too! Thanks!

  3. I had no idea that you were getting your PHD. What is it in? Which classes do you teach?

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Environmental engineering. I’m teaching the lab for a freshman intro class

  4. Beautiful photos this week from all of that hiking! That hotel right beside the lake looks like an amazing place to stay. I think you can check “peaks” off of your adventure list now. Good luck at the 30K this weekend! Thanks for linking!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      We did not stay at that hotel, but I want to sometime!

  5. Ok so trail lingo isn’t really my thing…what’s a switch back? I would love to hike to the top of a mountain one day! I love mountains. But I live in a place where there’s only beaches. I bet you also have much better weather than we do currently. Florida is still hot AF outside.

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Switchbacks are where the trail goes back and forth across a hill instead of straight up, so it’s not as steep but is a longer distance.

  6. […] we were in Missoula for the concert last weekend, I scoped out a u-pick apple orchard. We picked enough to make ~8 pints of applesauce, plus a few […]

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