Glacier

15 Aug

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WEST GLACIER – Officials at Glacier National Park announced Friday morning that the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road has been re-opened to vehicles.  The road had been closed due to the Reynolds Creek Fire that has burned an estimated 3,913 acres several miles east of Logan Pass.

I had noticed my eyes burning two days earlier and a hundred miles to the east, and yesterday the mountains before us had been shadowed in a haze.  But today the air at Logan Pass is clear.

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With only one entrance to Glacier National Park open, we leave early to beat the crowds.  Climbing thirty miles on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, we arrive at the pass shortly after 8:00am.

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Open only from May through October, the pass crosses the Continental Divide, has known wind speeds of 139 mph and can be buried beneath eighty feet of snow.  Hard to believe as we make our way through the stillness of the morning.

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Although much better since she’s started walking, stairs are tough for mom, and these are big steps at a high altitude.  She soon finds herself out of breath, and insists that Jetta and I go on without her.  She will sit and rest, and then catch up with us in her own time.

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So we continue on, passing chipmunks, marmots, Mountain goats and a warning that we are entering Grizzly bear territory.  Jetta meets a young man, a friend of friends, who is getting married later that day.  They chat for a time and then, with an amazing lightness, he takes off at a dead run to catch up with his family, heading further up the trail and disappearing over the ridge in a matter of seconds.

Having reached our destination, we turn back to see how mom’s doing.  But she appears just a few minutes later, smiling, her borrowed hat flapping in the wind.

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“How far did you go?”

I point to a large rock in the distance and she takes off, shouting over her shoulder “I want to go as far as everybody else.”

And she does.

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One Response to “Glacier”

  1. Barbara Bell-Collins August 16, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    I miss you. What a life time of fun! I was ready to go back the next day Thanks to Jetta, Karen and the rest of those GREAT Ladies! Always a dream to hike a mountain.

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