Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brian's Math: 11=15

Glacier National Park, MT
I’ll let the pictures (which I’ll post here and on facebook) do most of the talking, but there is a bit I must share from the past two days.  Let me begin with Monday.  There is one main road through Glacier; it’s called Going-To-The-Sun Road.  Despite our drive the day before, I was happy to hop into the Fit and drive along the historic and scenic road.  Along the way, we made a few stops for pictures and exploration.  When all was said and done, we spend about 8 hours away from camp.  It’s a long road and there are ongoing construction projects.  Notable aspects of the drive included the Weeping Wall, Jackson Glacier, Trail of the Cedars, and the black bear sighting (it was in the ditch on the opposite side of the road!).  
Tuesday required a rather brave face and a calendar.  It was hard to believe that it was nearly mid-July as the wind was gusting around 40mph, and the temperature dropped to somewhere around 40 degrees.  We planned our longest hike of the trip that day, and lucky for Brian, I am one stubborn woman, so I agreed to stick to our gameplan.  We settled on an 11-mile hike along the most popular trail in the park.  Brian kept reminding me of its popularity as a way of settling my irrational bear concerns.  I was not the only one exhibiting irrationality; at mile 7.5 near the chalet where we planned to have lunch (and the point I had been waiting for since it marked the near-end of the hike), Brian proposed continuing along a different trail for another 7+ miles.  At that moment, 11 became 15, and now I will never trust Brian’s math skills again.
 I should also clarify one thing; though Brian mentioned his harebrained idea, he didn’t fully declare it or get my go-ahead until we were on the new trail.  Sneaky, Brian…very sneaky!  The real catch was that we had to complete the second half of the hike in fewer than four hours so as to catch the final shuttle of the day, the one we needed in order to get back to the place where our car was parked (the first half took us that long, though it featured many very slick ice fields and snow patches).  Not only did we hike, we trail ran…and were almost blown off the trail by the high winds through the pass.  
Seven hours after departing, we arrived at the end of the trail.  My ankle was a mess, but I did have that great feeling of accomplishment that Brian assured me I would have.  We traveled many miles, saw mountain goats, big horn sheep, and marmots (they liked us; every one we saw would walk with us or run ahead on the trail, turn around, and wait for us to catch up), and Brian was forced to listen to all of my rambling without complaint (the noise was needed in order to keep the bears aware of our presence).  GREAT DAY! 

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