We are riding along on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park and pull into a turnout. We get out of the car and walk down an embankment to view McDonald Falls. Howard and I are enjoying the magnificent scenery and I am taking a few photos.
I see movement out of the corner of my eye and glance in that direction. On the other side of McDonald Creek is a family of Canada Geese coming out of the forest They seem in a big hurry and within seconds I realize why. Behind them, emerging from the forest, are two hikers.
The Canada Goose Family, two parents and three juveniles, are heading for the creek traversing over rocks toward their destination. I don’t believe they realize just how close they are to McDonald falls. They should have been more afraid of the falls than the hikers.
In the creek the father goes, followed by the rest of his family.
I think at this point they realize their mistake! They are trying to swim upstream, the current is swift, they are not doing well. They try to climb up on some boulders to get out of the creek, the boulders are slick and they keep sliding backward. They flap their wings trying to lift out of the fast flowing water, it doesn’t help. They are getting soaked.
Finally, they get a foot hold and four of the five make it up out of the water.
One of the young is having trouble, the current is too swift and over the falls it goes. It tries to climb up on a boulder in the pool in which it landed. The boulder is too wet and too high.
I was watching its face, it was like it just decided this wasn’t working and resolved to float out of the pool and further down stream. It turned and went over another small fall.
It floated several feet before it got a foot hold and was able to climb up and out. I was not able to see where it climbed out.
At this point it was on a slope of solid rock and was able to make its way toward its family. As it waddled toward them it was fussing the entire time.
Once the family was united they hurried back toward the woods.
So glad this episode ended well.
Howard and I were not the only ones watching this drama play out. About 15 other tourists were there to view the falls. Everyone was yelling, including me: “swim, fly, you can make it, get out, oh no, its going over, yeah it made it”
And, everyone was clapping when it got out of the creek and waddled its way up the slope of rocks to its family! The hikers, dang them, were sitting on a boulder watching along with everyone else.