Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Trip to Glacier - Day 6

Today is the day that the mountain is too much for me. Slogging through a snow field is hard, but I handle it. Scrambling around a shoulder of the mountain on dirt that is not a path is a little nerve wracking, but I handle it. I *almost* make it to the Hidden Lake over look. I see a baby mountain goat, I see the deepest blue sky I've ever seen in my life, and I see the final uphill stretch, and I turn around.

That deep blue sky means I'm also breathing the least oxygen per volume that I've ever dealt with, and the stitch in my side says, "No more!" Joanna gives me the keys to the minivan and a walkie-talkie, and I trudge back down to the Logan Pass visitor center.

I meet Teebs along the way, who turned back at the dirt-not-a-path-around-a-sharp-ridge scramble. He says he made a snow man, but it's gone already. I say we should write "Hi Amy" in the snow and take a picture for the Amy, back at the cabin recovering from the trailer hitch attack. But the photo wouldn't come out well, so we both continue down hill.

One really wants to scold the ground squirrel, who sits calmly nibbling a glacier lily. Can't he read the signs that say to be careful of them!?! Oh wait. He *belongs* here, eating lilies. I wish I could be his size, and live in such beauty all year.

Back at the minivan I curl up around some Powerade and potato chips and try to get my wind back. It's amazing how much richer the air feels down here, and how much lighter the sky is. I sit drowsing in the sun-warmed car until the walkie-talkie crackles and Kerri's voice says they'll be down soon.

We eat lunch on the sidewalk by the parking lot. Then Mark and Joanna head out for an exciting hike along the Garden Wall, which I've already decided my fear of heights will not permit. But Teebs and I aren't quite ready to call it a day, so the rest drop us off at Lake McDonald Lodge on the way back to the cabin.

We browse the gift shops then wander along the lake shore and spend a while skipping rocks. At which we are both abysmally bad. :-P Rolling gray clouds are looming up over the mountains across the lake, and we watch the storm come on until the other shore fuzzes with rain drops. Then we go into the lodge, and sit near the window.

I decide to book a seat on a Red Bus tour for the next day, since the rest of the group will be rafting, and cold water is not really my thing. A bit feline on that point.

I think this is the night where I learn how to play Nerts, a wicked game of competitive solitaire, with so much going on that I completely addle my brain trying to figure it out. I get so addled that when I try to talk, I get stuck.

"But I, but I, but I, but I, but I, but I, but I, but I . . ."
"Would someone reset her?"

Which is why I can't remember if this is the right night. It takes me almost half an hour and a quiet walk as the sky grows dark to actually speak in complete sentences again after I stop playing. At least tomorrow I'll be on the Red Bus with people who don't know me, so I shouldn't have to talk much! :-P

Good, good, good, good, good, good . . . *SMACK*. . . Good night!

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