Though the water in Glacier National Park's vast backcountry looks pure, the presence of giardia makes it unsafe to drink in its untreated form. This parasite can wreck havoc on your system so it's best to filter, chemically treat, or boil water. Each system has its proponents, its pros and its cons. Boiling is very safe but you have to do it for 5 minutes and at elevation, it takes longer to boil in the first place. You have to carry more fuel too. More fuel, more weight. Chemical treatment is fine but some don't like sticking chemicals in their bodies and you have to wait to drink the water. A filter is more work than it looks like but it is relatively fast and taste free. It will filter our giardia but not viruses so not good for travel in third world countries. We used chemical treatment for the beginning of our six month trip but switched to a filter for the majority of our backpacking trips and liked it more. Nothing like heading down to the water and pumping up your night's water supply before dinner and then doing it all over again before breakfast. Ok, that kind of sucks but nothing better than being hot and thirsty and pumping up some ice cold water and drinking it immediately!
Spring is a relative thing. In the mountains it generally runs a little later due to the elevation and in years of great snow and late snow melt, it comes even later. We arrived in Olympic in early August to find it in very spring-like with regard to trail conditions and more pleasantly wildflowers. Thistle, Mountain Bluebells, and Alvalanch Lillies are some of the most common. We often walked literally through corridors of them, a sea of color surrounding us.
Coming from Vancouver, I know all about the west coast obsession with coffee, but the drive-through espresso huts all over Washington State, including in every tiny town, was a new one on me. A straw (to drink it with?) and a chocolate covered espresson bean is a customary addition to your cap. Much faster than Starbucks too!