by Bob Sparrow
Depending on your perspective, this is the ‘natural’ part of our trip or the ‘natural disaster’ part of our trip; Linda shares the latter perspective. To help frame this, you need to know that Linda was raised on a dairy farm in rural southern Minnesota; there was no indoor bathroom facilities for the first 5-6 years of her life, so she used an outhouse, which was about fifty yards from the house; which in the winter was fifty yards too far and in the summer, fifty yards too near. Pheeeew. Linda left the farm for California immediately after graduating from college . . . on a motorcycle. No, she wasn’t a passenger, she was driving. Linda plays golf and walks the course. I say all this to establish the fact that she is not a wussy, but she is also not a lover of the great outdoors. Wilderness to her is the rough along the 4th fairway at Yorba Linda Country Club. ‘Roughing it’ is a Marriott without valet parking. She believes that people who had no cars invented hiking. So over the last three days of our trip, we are operating on two totally different wavelengths, sounding something like the following:
Lake McDonald in Glacier Nat’l Park
Four mile hike to Avalanche Lake:
One perspective: “The trailhead starts at a waterfall where the Avalanche Creek cascades magnificently into Lake McDonald and weaves back through the majestic pines to Avalanche Lake, a serene, crystal clear lake set in a glacial valley surrounded by 7-8,000 foot mountains.
Another perspective: “The waterfall’s pretty and the lake is nice, but there are too many trees between them and I can’t get any phone reception here; apparently there is no Big Cell or Big Wifi in this Big Sky state.”
We check into the Lake McDonald Lodge
One perspective: “What a quaint room, rustic wood beam ceilings, step-saver bathroom and a view of the forest.”
Another perspective: “This is the worst room I’ve ever stayed in, no TV and where’s the mini bar?”
Flora and Fauna
One perspective: “Did you know that in Glacier National Park there are nearly 1,132 species of plants including 20 varieties of trees, over 200 species of birds, nearly 60 species of mammals and 24 species of fish, including 18 native?”
Another perspective: “No, but if these damn mosquitos don’t leave me alone, I’m going to eradicate one entire species myself.”
Going to the Sun Road
One Perspective: “This is one of the most spectacular roads I’ve ever driven on, look at the water falls and rock formations here on the Continental Divide.”
Another Perspective: “Keep your eyes on the road! Couldn’t they have just blown a tunnel through the mountain instead of creating this road along these cliffs? Who wants to go to the sun anyway?”
Many Glacier – Hike to Johns Lake
One Perspective: “I know it’s early, but do you want to take a quick 3 mile hike before breakfast to John’s Lake, the walk along the river is beautiful?”
Another Perspective: “Zzzzzzzzzzz”
Five mile hike to St. Mary’s Falls
One Perspective: “These are spectacular falls”
Another Perspective: “If they’re so spectacular, why didn’t they build the road closer to them? Oh crap, I broke a nail.”
Into Canada and to The Prince of Wales hotel.
One Perspective: Great old railroad hotel with spectacular views
Another Perspective: No elevator and we’re on the 5th floor? No cell, no wifi, no Starbucks and I’ve seen this view on the Internet. When do we check out?
For someone who wonders why people would want to walk through a forest without any real purpose, she did pretty well particularly in light of the emotions she was going through with her father’s health. She did enjoy the scenery and the company of Moose (Pat), Rocky (Pam), Glacier (Bob P), Current (Jeanne), Digger (John) and Dug (Lisa), Slot (Linda) and Akeem (me) – it’s a unpublished rule that you have to have a mountain/hiking name.
Now that I’m home and have the luxury of wifi, I’ve attached the pictures to the 3 previous posts – Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Flathead Lake that you can revisit in the archives, including the video of the buffalo walking next to our car. (Yes, I learned how to insert a video into the blog!). All the pictures, including the ones here, are mine, except the one of Linda on the motorcycle in 1972.