I followed a creek down to Slide Lake. (Because Todd was heading back
to Chief Mountain Service, he took a different route down the
mountain.) It was not an easy hike for me. The mountain was steep and
everything was wet and muddy. Down by the lake, and after I got my
tent set up, I decided to hike back for the mosquito dope. I needed
something to do anyway since there was no way I could enjoy myself in
the bad weather. I figured I would get wet, but I would at least keep
warm by walking.
Once I made it out of the park, and across the Reservation dirt
trails, I was tired and my feet were very sore (hiking in wet shoes
was a bad idea). As it turned out, I had walked the entire distance,
twenty miles. Back in the bunkhouse, I rubbed my wrinkled, swollen,
feet and decided to stay there for the night. I soaked my feet in
Epsom salts. There was a lot lying around.
In the morning I got a ride up to where the dirt trail met the
pavement, and then began hiking back to my camp. Walking was painful.
When I reached camp, there was a constant 5 to 15 mph wind blowing in
my face. I sought out the most wind protected spot I could find and
then reset my tent. Under the cover of large boulders and pine trees,
I was out of the wind except for when it came rushing down from the
mountain and out onto the lake. I spent the rest of the day lying in
my tent listening to the wind’s constant howl and resting my sore feet.
The wind persisted on the following day. It was a little better,
though. The sun broke through the clouds a couple times. I met some
backpackers who had hiked in from the Glacier side of the mountain.
Harvey, his wife Pat, and their son, Matthew, wanted to try fishing
Slide Lake. They were surprised to find me camping there. The weather
was bad, and Slide Lake, on the very edge of Glacier, was off the main
trails. I was surprised to see them also. As it turned out, I was very
happy they showed up. At dinner, Harvey shared his catch of trout with
me, and as we were sitting around the campfire, I helped him empty his
bottle of Blueberry Brandy. These people, for me, became the bright
light in the otherwise very dark day in Glacier National Park. After
breakfast the next morning, they hiked back into the main part of the
From day one in Glacier, and every day since (nine days and counting)
it has rained on me. Last night it rained, and today (as I write) a
storm is brewing. I hope my tent holds. Glacier is beautiful, but I am
so tired of the rain. It is impossible to enjoy this place in this
weather. The thing that is bothering me even more than the rain,
though, is the wind’s constant howl; it is driving me mad.