Saturday Sun-day Drive

A sun-kissed view on the way to the Great Bear Wilderness

Tim Rains

Subject: HWY 2 (near Stanton Lake Lodge, looking into Glacier National Park)

Rolling over in bed, bleary-eyed, I check the weather forecast on my phone. For the next 10 days it will be a gloomy mix of snow, rain, clouds, an all-around slushy, icky, wet mess.  I want to go back to bed, but a small yellow blinking dot hints at sun for the day. Twenty minutes later, coffee in hand, I stare out over the brown and white garden, at the slate-colored sky. I check the forecast again, the yellow blinking light is still there. This goes on for about another couple of hours, while I shuffle myself around the house, poking at projects and hemming and hawing over cookbooks. About 2:30 p.m, the sky clears. Disbelief shocks me out of my mellow mope into a frenzied flurry of activity. Twenty minutes later, and I am on the road, galvanizing my partner to go along.

One hour later and the two of us are cruising down Highway 2 just east of West Glacier headed towards Stanton Lake Lodge for a hike in the Great Bear Wilderness. When we come around the bend near the lodge, we are greeted with a crisp, sunny winter view staring deep into Glacier National Park. He asks if we should turn around. I nod, mindful of the time, knowing I was giving up a sunset on Stanton Lake. Where he parks, the pull-out is a thin, ice sheet, so although I am excited, I shuffle, careening in a slow ballet towards the edge of the highway, mindful of the ledge and of the trucks streaming by.

The view is so incredibly clear and detailed. I must have driven by this spot at least a dozen times in the last two summer seasons at Glacier National Park but never saw it quite so memorable. My thoughts are interrupted by a train heading east below me on the tracks and my partner waving his phone, trudging through the snow, excited about the view. 

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About This Blog

An explorer, wanderer, photographer-artist, Tim Rains is a national park ranger seeking out connection and community to Montana’s wild places.  Come, explore with him as he discovers why Montana's glacier country is considered "the last best place." Follow Tim on Instagram @rangerrains or view more of his work at

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