By then I was ready to head back, but we didn't want to take the stinky trail again, so we took the road. The walk was kind of stressful as there was no shoulder to speak of and traffic was a little heavy. The sensory experience was not inspiring, as you can imagine. It was much shorter and we did get back to the where we started in one piece. All in all, a goofy hike. Not what I imagined. If there is a next time at Glacier, we'll take the lovely shuttle to Avalanche Lake trailhead.
By the way, we did carry our bear spray with us. The bicyclers and park staff we saw commended us on our well placed, accessible bear spray. The only wildlife we saw was a hummingbird.