Thursday, August 3, 2017

Glacier Glee

We're both very gleeful to be in Glacier.  We've been talking about and trying to make this trip happen for years—14 years to be precise.  Our first and only brief exposure to Glacier was in June 2003 on an NVUM Secret Shopper Road Trip. We didn't have time to linger since we were on such a tight schedule.  We promised ourselves during that one night in Apgar Campground over on the other side beside Lake McDonald that we would “come back soon”.  Well, I guess it turns out we now know how long “soon” would be—14 years.  Better sooner than later, eh?

Various factors have always stepped in the way of our annual desire to “go to Glacier”.  It's always easy to find an excuse to put off an expensive, long-distance, long-duration Road Trip.  In fact, we almost did it again this year.  We looked at verified reports of massive crowding inside the park; ridiculous high temperatures and forest fire smoke obscuring the views.  Three times we came within an eyelash of canceling this trip.  As we write this blog post August 3, we can hear echoes of our pessimism from just last week.  That's how close we came to wimping out of this trip.

It's laughable to sit here Thursday morning covered with a dense ground fog and an outside temperature of 43 degrees.  It's laughable to think we thought we'd suffocate from the heat in our little trailer.  Even though storm clouds completely obscured the Rocky Mountain Front yesterday and hid most of Glacier's Jewels, the temperature was perfect--in the upper low to upper 50's all day long.  That's a far cry from the mid 90's we feared just a few days ago.

Yesterday, as we were driving through the cloud-draped splendor of this magical place, we made a pact—we're not going to threaten to wimp out of another Road Trip.   We're just going to go.  This Road Trip was a gleam in my eye dating back to mid-January 2017.  I tried and tried to get reservations at Many Glacier.  Each morning I'd be shut out of the electronic lottery.  Finally, on Susun's birthday, February 2, I changed plans and decided to book us into Saint Mary Campground.  Even though it was more than half full six months in advance, there were still plenty of sites available.  I was able to spend a couple of hours tediously checking each and every availiable site to find The One with the best shade.

Site C109 is definitely one of the very few high quality shady campsites here. Most campers have no shade.  Of course, that hasn't been a factor in the last couple of days.   Shade has been the last thing on peoples' minds.

Visibility this morning is perhaps 100 yards—this place is really socked in.  But we have no doubt the fog will burn off and the sun will shine today. It's going to be a Glorious Glacier Day for sure.

Luckily, we're booked into Glacier and its Canadian Twin Waterton for a week. That's going to allow plenty of time to finally soak up the Glacier Glow in as many different places and ways as possible.  It's something we've dreamed of for 14 years and, as fate would have it, we're finally here with the right rig, the right gear and the right attitude.

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