Day 20: Glacier National Park drive-by

IMG_8033After managing to find my legs on Monday, I muscled through and headed up to Glacier National Park.  My first obstacle was a low tire pressure light going on in my Rav4, so after pumping in air, I thought I was good.  But an hour later, the light came on again, so off to the Tire store in Kalispell I went.  Luckily, the guys at Big-O Tire were sweet, honorable and kind.  They checked the pressure, did a little adjustment, and concluded the tires were fine, but the battery in the sensor was weak.  “No charge, ‘mam,” was music to my ears and then they wished me a good trip and off I went to the park.

Now, just a moment to talk here about a subject that deserves more time:  good will.  Everywhere I have gone, and each and every person I have met along the way, has always been kind and sincere when they wish me a good trip.  They are curious, some jealous, but all are sincere in wishing me well, so that alone could be a reason for anyone to get out there and do this sort of trip:  you meet good people who wish you well.  Sincerely!

So, reassured that my car was okay, I drove up to Glacier National Park and started the long and winding drive up the “Road to the Sun” route.  Because I had gotten off late, I didn’t have a lot of time to stop and explore, so I stuck to a precisely timed drive up to Logan Pass, then turn around time of 3-3:30 PM.  I needed to get back to the cabin before dark.  The deer and other critters start to come out at dusk, and my eyesight isn’t the best at night, so the trip to Glacier was beautiful, but less than optimal.   I’ll call it my drive-by.

So, up the road I went, past newly extinguished wildfires, the beautiful, old MacDonald Lodge, and along the streams and clear rivers that drain ice-aged waters down the mountain-side.

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I looked for Grizzlies and Elk, but they were hiding in the woods and I didn’t have time to wander, so I focused on the autumnal beauty of the changing birch and cottonwood trees, and stark, granite mountain tops newly dusted with a confection-sugar of snow.

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Back and forth, at top speeds of 25 MPH, I journeyed up to the spectacular Logan Pass.  Each turn was a new “moment of awe” for me.  I’ve read that you should try to experience at least one moment of awe each day, so I think I got enough in one day to last a month or two!

 

When I finally reached the pass, and got out of my car, it was freezing.  Light snow was falling and the Visitor Center was closed for the season.  But because Glacier had only recently reopened after the Ridge Fire, there were plenty of tourists there to take the requisite selfies.

We all pulled on our down jackets and ran over to the precipice to take our photos and wonder to ourselves how the early settlers must have dealt with such a spectacle.  One of the mountains here is called the “Weeping Wall” and one can certainly imagine why!

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But my sciatica was flaring up, and the sun was starting to set, so back into my car and off to the cabin I went.

On my way home, I saw deer along the roadside, but thankfully, none of them shot out into my path.  Back at the ranch, I stopped in to say hello to Andy, then back to my cabin for a dinner of leftovers and more ibuprofen.   I settled in with my book in front of the fire and reflected on the beauty of the Rockies and how lucky I was to have landed in this particular place.

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