Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vacation, Day 6-7: Glacier Park

Maybe I won't go on any more two week vacations. That way I don't have to deal with pictures and so much writing. While I'm sitting here, Eryn is agonizing over her writing assignment, "What was your worst day ever?" and "What was your best day ever?" To write five sentences has taken her 70 minutes so far, and she's only answered the first question. She's been missing recess because she can't finish her homework at school because she keeps going back over it obsessively to correct the letters and the spelling and think about what she's writing rather than just writing it. I watched her take two minutes to write a four letter word (bike) which, if no one was around and she was in a good mood, she could write in a few seconds. Serious performance anxiety. So, I have it easy. I can turn out 30 pages straight on almost any topic when it's necessary. It's just an urge to dick around that keeps me away from churning out what I want to get on paper. Or on bytes. I should take a lesson and quit diddling around on Facebook and Call of Duty and finish that book I've written twenty pages of notes and thirty pages of text on. Maybe it's something Eryn inherited.

After our cross-Montana trip, we were only forty miles or so from Glacier National Park. We thought about going to the many glaciers area on the northeast end and, if we had, we'd have probably seen a few bears (Pooteewheet had an unpleasant discussion over dinner with some people who had been up there but were apparently very crabby about the majesty and grace of the mountainous west), but we took the Road to the Sun that cuts through the center of the park, with a brief stop in St. Mary to have some pie at the Park Cafe (pie for strength!), which is where we heard that the fugitives had possibly been sighted in St. Mary the night before.

Here I am at the entrance to the park. Probably the shortest haircut I've had since I was 18. I only just got it cut the other day. I remember being annoyed at this stop because things like the camera were in the suitcases. Trying to get the camera out a suitcase in a packed Ford Focus isn't something you want to do on the side of the road.

The first lake we stopped at. Eryn told us this was one of her favorite parts of the trip. She really likes just hanging out on the edge of the water.

If you're familiar with Ansel Adams, this might be a familiar picture. If you think black and white and get rid of the little girl. Behind the tree there's a guy kayaking out to the island. That looked like a perfect way to spend the day.

One of the streams in the park. Even the rocks on the bottom of the streams are beautiful. Nature's mosaic.

Eryn and I crossed this stream to check out the waterfall close up. I waded. It was COLD. You'd think that would be obvious, as it's glacier runoff, but that didn't really occur to me at the time.

In the middle of the park is Logan Pass, where you can walk up to the glaciers. It's a bit of a hike, particularly on the way out as it's up the wooden stairs for a couple of miles.

These wooden stairs. It was amazing how much wildlife wandered up to the stairs or galloped past. Big horn sheep. Hoary marmots. Mountain goats. There were animals all over the damn place.

Eryn was excited when we actually got to the snow. As a kid, I remember going with my mother and brother to the park and playing in a big field of snow we could drive right up to. It wasn't winter, so I think I have an actual memory of global warming at work. She's holding on to her goat, one of the many stuffed animals she bought with the money grandpa and grandma gave her (plus the nature books). So her mountain goat from Glacier has actually been up and down the mountain.

Eryn's always looking for hidden Mickeys. I, on the other hand...

Family photo! There's a place to hang out up here at the end of the trail. Perfect place to sit with a book for hours.

When we turned around to go back down, I told Pooteewheet, "I'll catch up with you! I'm going down the other side!" She looked at me like I was crazy. And perhaps I was. This is just part of the down that takes you to Hidden Lake. That last picture and the next one should give you an idea of how far down it was. I literally ran down the mountain. Hung out at the bottom for a few minutes, and then ran back up. Down wasn't too bad. Up nearly killed me. I forgot that there isn't as much air in the mountains and that there isn't as much air in me now that I'm older. Midway I had to lay down on a big rock and pant and pant and pant and pant and pant until minutes later I finally had enough oxygen to continue. I almost caught them. Pooteewheet said I was only about 10 minutes behind them. Not bad for adding a 3 mile jog.

Overlooking Hidden Lake from the other side.

Closer to the bottom (actually on the shoreline) in black and white. Despite that it might not have been the best idea to jog down a mountain of loose rock, I'm very glad I did it. I was incredibly happy hanging out on the trail by myself, taking in the mountain air, and just staring at everything. One of the highlights of the trip for me.

At the bottom. This guy was fishing. To the left was a painter. I'm not so sure the fishing was very challenging, because these big trout (?) would swim right up to the shore. They were about as long as my forearm and perfectly visible. The guy with the pole would look around, cast, and then real in a fish a few seconds later, and let it loose again. I suppose it made him feel like a world class fisherman.

Eryn taking a break. She needed lots of breaks. Climbing up the mountain made her sense of injustice hurt.

Another glacier picture. I'm not sure what's she's doing here. Maybe Hamlet? Get thee to a glacier!

On the way back up the mountain I met a goat and her kid. They could have cared less about me. I gave them plenty of space. Those horns look sharp and I suspect their heads are like my dog's head, just bigger and harder.

You didn't have to leave the parking lot to find wildlife. Mmm...antifreeze.

Eryn at the first lake. Funny picture. Apparently she's claiming her place in nature.

Close up of her at the Ansel Adam's spot being a cutey.

One of the ladies of the evening at Glacier. In this photo I'm giving her $60 for services rendered.

On the second day we doubled back a bit and hit the lodge and the boat tour. Incredibly relaxing, even with an old ranger telling tales the whole time.

I like this wide angle lens with just the boat's flag sticking up.

Eryn on the boat. She looks sad, but she was super excited she got to run all over.

Stream along the hiking trail.

Ah...I mentioned before where I got my toes cold. This is the photo. It was colder on the way back for some reason.

The lodge at Glacier had these beautiful lamps. I took a bunch of pictures of them, but this one was my favorite. We got Kyle his Glacier bread in a bottle near here and Christy her huckleberry gummy bears at St. Mary's.

It's not all global warming. There are some glaciers still hanging around.

Who's got moose feet? Eryn has moose feet!!!

I was there was a way to dress up as this picture for Halloween.

Just a beautiful hiking area. You could go back into a glacier fed lake if you went back far enough, but on day two Pooteewheet and Eryn were wiped and I'd already seen what I was sure was a much more beautiful lake during my jog of the previous day.

Me getting all Zen. Or maybe Eryn is, as she has the Glacier Park walking staff. Oh wise one, what is the meaning of life?

This is the meaning of life... Actually, I didn't draw this. And I don't know what it means. It could be a swear word. We were hoping Ming or She Says know, depending on what language it is. It looks more Japanese to me, but I can't be certain. Despite the pictographs in the dirt, Glacier was a MUCH better park to visit than Yellowstone. There were about a tenth the tourists, and most of them were families and individuals out for a hike or a boat ride, not people shoving and pushing to get a good view of a geyser. I think I could have spent a week there if I was in better shape just walking the trails. A big recommendation from me if you're into the park scene.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures. I particularly love the one of eryn peeking. I wasn't there, but it reminds me of the day she was born.


Scooter said...

She didn't fit through the hole then, either.

Anonymous said...