With peanut butter & jelly sandwiches packed and a thermos full of coffee, we leave pugs in the Airstream and drive into Glacier National Park for our second day of exploring. Today we do most of it on foot.
It is early in the morning and we find an unoccupied pull-off next to Lake McDonald. The lake is so peaceful and the mountains are mirrored in the water. Hubs has his coffee while I poke around in the pebbles.
Just past Lake McDonald, a parking area along the road is jammed with cars, indicating something good to see. This is the Trail of Cedars which serves as the hub for several hiking trails. It takes us twenty minutes to find a spot to park, and for the first time ever, there is somebody waiting for me to complain to them, just when I am mad! The convenience! A fellow with an official-looking hat and tablet approaches us as we are walking to the trailhead. He wants to ask us some questions about our driving and parking experiences in Glacier. I don't think there is an option in his tablet for most of the answers we give.
At the beginning of the Trail of Cedars, there is a slot canyon with that mesmerizing blue-green water sluicing through it.
We climb down into the canyon and I spend a good while feeling and listening to the thunderous roar of the water.
Thick, moist moss clings to the canyon walls and lush ferns soak up water in the shade. If ever a place were endued with magic, this would be it. I want to sit and sit and watch and watch, but Hubs reminds me that there is a hike to be done. I reluctantly leave this mysterious place. We take the trail to Avalanche Lake. A sign says the trail is 2 miles or 3.2 kilometers. I don't want to be gone all day and decide to do the hike in miles so it will be shorter.
(If you're reading this, that one's for you Devin!)
Walking through an evergreen forest, cedars and moss dampen any sounds. It is so still and quiet and lofty, we feel as though we are walking through a cathedral.
After about an hour, we reach Avalanche Lake. Like the last few cheerios floating in the bottom of the cereal bowl, we look up at the mountain walls around us and feel small.
Long, spindly waterfalls cascade down into the lake.
After a brief rest and a few minutes to take in the view, we turn back and make the return hike to the parking lot. As soon as we pull out, another car is waiting to fill our spot.
Back at camp, I make dinner while Hubs hitches up. It is Saturday evening and we want to attend the church in Kalispell that we couldn't make it to last week due to tire problems, so we leave the area tonight in order to have a short drive in the morning. As Hubs is attending to chores, a small, curious bird follows him about, watching his every move.
After dinner and a solar shower, we spend a few minutes playing with the bird. She comes very close and takes bugs from us, discovering the usefulness of a fly swatter. Everywhere I go with the swatter, she hops and chirps behind me, waiting for the next juicy fly. There are plenty to be had.
Hubs names her Boyd.
My dad used to work in Jersey City and once heard one side of a phone conversation coming from the cubicle next to his:
"Yes, my last name is Boyd.
NO, B-I-R-D! You know, like CHOYP CHOYP?"
Pugs run themselves out and we load them into the tube, go through our checklist, and roll out.
After an hour and a half, a paid dump, and a full tank of gas, we are once again in the the Cabela's parking lot that we started from two weeks ago.
I think about what we would have done differently had we known two weeks ago what we know now. Would we have taken precautions to not get the screw in our tire that necessitated us buying four new ones? No, I don't think so.
When Hubs got the new tires put on, of the three "good" tires left on the car, one was pretty worn, and both of the others had a large crack deep into the rubber of the tread that we would not have seen unless the tires had been off the car. God once again protected us from what could have resulted in a nasty blowout, although at the time I spent my time sulking and asking why. It is not often that we get an answer to why in this life, but this time I think I did.