05 Oct Roadtrippin’: Glacier National Park
My purse, journal, wallet and camera charger had been looted, cherry lip-gloss eaten, by a bear. This might have been expected by a well worn bear country camper but it surprised the hell out of me. So did the doe and felt-nubbed young nibbling foliage at the perimeter of our campsite. Bucks wandered into our camp to snatch soft banana pieces out of Shakespeare’s bowl.
We were in Jewel Basin, Montana near Hungry Horse. Snowy peaks and lanky mossed pines met a perfectly transparent lake called Lid Creek. Such an ugly name for a spectacular stone beach to watch sunsets or sunrises or sun do nothing. A perfect place to do yoga, breathe in the cold, clean air, and try not to think about my heisted bag (and what I would or wouldn’t do to that sneaky bear if I found it.)
A giant full moon rose above the peaks in the east. Back at camp, mule deer were everywhere, as we gathered twigs and made a fire with leftover fruit tree logs that wouldn’t burn the night before. Black cutout trees against the clear sky. Punctures of light appeared dim by full moon.
The next morning we cruised into West Glacier National Park. Logon pass was closed, leaving behind disconnected halves of glacial rivers. Sixteen miles of thick forest lay beneath a spilt glass of milk. We circled past Two Medicine River into St. Mary’s east entrance. Stone peaks sprang up around every corner, each different, some crags of grey rock, some lush and green, some beige with crumbling sediment highlighted by the sun. Goose Island was five trees and no space to walk unless you’re a gander. Jackson Glacier was a receding slant of machete blade ice ridges.
At a riverside bowl stop, we spotted a grey wolf as large as a Rhodesian ridgeback inspecting the car. It darted into the meadow and watched us. Too bad for little pint-sized Shakespeare …he probably looked like the perfect off-leash meal. We went and played in the icy glacial runoff anyway, admiring the reflection of the infinite mountains in tranquil water. “I feel so small,” I told Eddie.
“I feel so hungry,” Eddie retorted.
So, we ate a hummus wrap at Mike’s, a little diner in the park. Our Russian-Armenian waiter ends up telling us his life story after Eddie recognizes his ears. His adopted dad had always said, “Never trust a Russian Armenian. You can spot them by the ears.” Eddie disagreed and tipped thirty percent on principle. When we got back to camp I cooked up a simple dinner while Eddie set to gathering twigs and chopping logs. We sat around the campfire for a few hours in flame-lit trance until Shakespeare started snoring. At which point it was time for us to do the same.
As the morning sun lit the page through the trees, a fully equipped Raptor Key Performance trailer pulled up startling the deer, drowning out birdsongs and disrupting the general glacier tranquility. It took these assholes thirty minutes to maneuver into the campsite. Why go camping? Why not watch just Animal Planet in your living room? “I’m going to shit by their campsite,” I told Eddie.