Glacier National Park – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of our Glacier National Park trip, check it out here.

It was during the two weeks that we spent at Glacier National Park that I decided to stop breastfeeding Jasmine. She was now 27 months old and I had been trying to wean her for months, but she just did not want to stop. I just felt ready to be done. As a birth doula and lactation support person, I have always given the advice to moms that breastfeeding is a two-person relationship. If one wants out, that’s okay! Well, I wanted out and Jasmine didn’t. 

It was during the two weeks that we spent at Glacier National Park that I decided to stop breastfeeding Jasmine. She was now 27 months old and I had been trying to wean her for months, but she just did not want to stop. I just felt ready to be done. As a birth doula and lactation support person, I have always given the advice to moms that breastfeeding is a two-person relationship. If one wants out, that’s okay! Well, I wanted out and Jasmine didn’t. 

So after several weeks of trying to gradually wean her, I decided to go ‘cold turkey’. We went shopping for a new book and told Jasmine, who by the way is talking SO much lately and can understand so much more than one realizes, that we were going to say bye-bye to ‘boo-boo’. She picked out a special new book and had one last nursing in our van in the Costco parking lot. I told her it was her last time and to say bye-bye. 

I was a bit sad for sure knowing that she is our last kiddo to breastfeed. Knowing that that was my last time nursing one of our children. But, I was ready. No tears, surprisingly, were sprung. It was a little bittersweet to think that after 9 years of either being pregnant or nursing one of our children, I am now ‘free’ from concerning myself with how my body is affecting or influencing one of my children’s bodies. 

Jasmine was upset that first night at bedtime, and the next several days at bedtime and often when she woke up in the mornings. However, we made new morning and evening rituals to replace nursing and we were sure to always offer special food and drinks at bedtime and morning time to replace the milk she was no longer getting. You see, she is dairy intolerant. So we could not replace human milk with cows milk. She does drink about 1 glass of almond or coconut milk each day, but she just isn’t a huge drinker of those.  Life became must easier after that first week though! Yay for our growing little lady! We even saw a stampede of horses on the highway after our Costco trip! 

Part of the reason we decided to spend a full 2 weeks at Glacier NP, was that we wanted a full weekend of no travel so that Tony could do some fun things with us around the park on his days off work. We decided that on our Saturday we would drive the full Road to the Sun (instead of taking the shuttle like the previous Sunday). It was winding, breathtaking and amazing!

The Road to the Sun, Glacier National Park.

We had a spectacularly clear day to drive and see the many vistas. We made it to the other side of the park to St. Mary’s visitor center where the kiddos turned in their ranger booklets to earn another Junior Ranger Badge! 

Range badges at Glacier National Park.

We stopped on our way back to view Jackson Glacier and used that time to eat our picnic dinner.

Jackson Glacier, Glacier National Park.

We have learned to have easy, healthy food in our cupboard and refrigerator so that we can often pack a picnic lunch or dinner for long days out. It saves us from having to eat out, which we really do not do much at all, and saves us from dealing with any ‘hangry’ episodes. 🙂 

Once we left Jackson Glacier, we saw came up to a beautiful vista and decided to stop. Luckily we did, as we came across a mountain goat and her kid on the last leg of our drive of the Road to the Sun!! 

We really enjoyed our full weekend at Glacier with no travel. Sunday we spent hiking the Trail of the Cedars and getting in a little more swimming before we grilled out with our new friends Derek and Sarah and the kids.

The Trail of the Cedars was beautiful! The kids had a blast hiking a bit off the trail with Tony on this particular hike. They climbed logs, crossed a creek and found a ‘teeter-totter’ log to play on. 

While we were at Glacier, Tony was fortunate enough to get a good amount of notice from his employer that they want him to fly out to Paris, France in September. So we needed to apply for a passport for him fast! We hope to someday take our kiddos to another country or two and thought we may as well all apply for passports together. So we sat for our ‘mug-shots’ and spent a good 2 hours at the post office in Montana to apply for 6 passports. Jeez, they are not cheap!


Later in our second week, we took our last family hike as around the John’s Lake Loop trail.  We enjoyed the muddy water, waterfalls to play near, and seeing a doe and her two fawns walking under the bridge as we crossed it at the end of the trail! 

On our last evening at Glacier National Park, I went roller blading through Apgar Village on the paved biked trails while Tony took the kiddos kayaking and paddle boarding one last time on Lake McDonald. I was always sure to have my bear spray with and even decided to keep only one earbud in while listening to my podcast while roller-blading by myself so that I could be alert and aware of my surroundings. The trail connected the three busiest areas of the park: Apgar Village, the Apgar Visitor Center, and Apgar Campground. I passed many groups of people going up the trail, however, on my way back I was all alone. Alone except for a black bear!!!

Black mama bear. Her 2 cubs, not pictured, were following behind her. Glacier National Park.

I froze. My adrenaline kicked in, yet I still managed to turn off my podcast quick so I could listen. That’s when I noticed it was a mother bear and her two cubs walking alongside the path about 10 feet in…only about 15 feet from me! I had listened closely the week prior to the National Park Ranger explaining what to do if you encounter a bear. Do NOT run. Do NOT turn your back on the bear. Hold your bear spray at the ready and walk backward slowly. Well….nobody said anything about what to do you when you are on roller blades! 

Since my phone was already in my hand from turning off the podcast, I started a video and slowly began to roller blade backward…which I’m not the best at. I needed to know that the bear wasn’t sounding aggressive. But she was head down eating in the woods while her two cubs were following along. I quick took 3 or 4 pictures, because who can resist, and then began to roller blade forward toward Apgar Village…but continued to look back, as I could not roller blade backward any faster and she was heading my direction along the path! I made it to Apgar Village without passing any other people but did run into a biker coming up on the path and warned him of the mama bear and her cubs. 

I wanted to see a bear SO badly during our visits to these amazing National Parks. I would have loved to have had that experience while inside the safety of my van, but that’s okay. At least the kids were not with me and I did not panic. Whew! What a thrill! 

Our time at Glacier National Park was pretty fantastic. WE enjoyed unusually hot and dry conditions for the entire 14 days we were there. The first week was clear, however, the second week became very smoggy due to many wildfires in other areas of Montana and Canada and high winds blowing the smoke. I am so glad that we had that first week with the clear skies to see the true beauty the park had to offer. 

On the day we left, Tony and I looked at each other and decided that 2 weeks was the longest we would be okay staying in one place. We enjoyed our extra time with our friends, our full weekend between of no travel, and all the memories we made on our Glacier National Park stay. However, we were ready to move and experience a new place together. 

Washington State, here we come! Click HERE to see our post about all the highlights to see in Washington State!

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Glacier National Park – Part 1 – Homeschool Nomads

  2. Thank you so much for sharing!!!! My kiddos and I miss you all so very much……. But sitting down together and reading your blog and seeing what your up to helps us still feel connected….. Please let us know when you visit mn, we would love to see you…. Our back to coop picnic was today and we were so happy for you but we missed you so much. When we got home a postcard had arrived in the mail from you guys and it was just so special!!!! Thank you. Jessic and Ada have it hanging on there bedroom wall….

  3. Pingback: Washington State with very little Rain! – Homeschool Nomads

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