Thursday, September 26, 2019


We were *this close* to skipping Glacier again this year. I haven’t been there since 2015, when I was pregnant with Neva. After having her, and subsequently Mac, hiking in Glacier with four little kiddos lost some appeal. 

But all my kids are walking now, and the news around town is that this area is due for an historic winter storm this weekend. Eighteen to thirty-six inches predicted over two days, and dreary cold temps for the rest of our stay. So Erin and I decided rather last minute (the night before) to use up our last beautiful warm day in Glacier.

What a good decision that was. Just... such a good choice. We each must have made that comment a dozen times. Perfect weather, perfect day, perfect company. The kids watched movies for the 1.6 hour-ish drive there. The entrance booth was closed so we got in for free. There weren’t many people there at all- just enough to take some group photos and have a few friendly conversations. OH- and the mountains were breathtaking. Did I mention that the mountains were breathtaking? I would say unforgettable, but apparently I had forgotten, since 2015, how amazing Glacier is. Beyond description. 

We went through East Glacier Village to Two Medicine, hiked around there for a while, then exited via the St. Mary entrance. Lots of incredible views on foot and from the car.

We hiked four or five miles with the kids. One day, I look forward to really exploring that amazing park, but for now, we travel at their pace... which is really beautiful in its own way. At one point, William took the opportunity to hold my hand. He didn’t seem to want to let go. When the trail narrowed, he volunteered to walk in the brush next to me so we could continue to hold hands. I really had to have both hands for Mac, and I could tell Will was disappointed to have to separate. How long will my big boy want to hold hands with me? When we finally got back to the car, he signed contentedly, “Can I take off my sweatshirt? I’m so warm, I can barely not even feel any little part of cold.” Erin and I looked at each other and cracked up. “Well put, Will,” I said. 

Mac enjoyed running as fast as he could (“ray, sick, go!”- always over the most uneven, root-covered, or muddy stretches), jumping as often as possible, throwing endless rocks, and attempting to wade into any puddle, stream, or lake he found. THEREFORE, he spent much of the hike on my shoulders. The hiking frame carrier would’ve been nice- alas, it’s in MI, in my laundry room. 

Neva did very well. She became quite adventurous; the winding trail has that affect on you. She desperately wanted to wade in the river, like the big boys in their waterproof boots, but succeeded only in soaking her shoes and socks. I scolded her: “Neva, I told you not to wade in the water! Now you have to walk back in wet shoes.” She was so sad; I instantly regretted making hiking the punishment. This is supposed to be fun! She rallied, though, and walked so cheerfully after that, that I relented and gave her a piggyback ride (Erin had taken Mac at that point). My reward for this was hearing her make up songs about fighting bad guys,  singing them softly into my ear. She fancies herself quite the warrior, apparently, and her songs are equally hilarious and precious.

Barrett gathered an impressive collection of “pieces of the mountain,” which he stored in his winter hat. He proceeded to swing this rock-laden hat around by its strings, with much enthusiasm, unwittingly putting anyone in danger who dared venture within a few feet of him. He really meant no harm, and none was done, and he definitely got a good arm workout. 

Erin is the best hiking buddy. Best buddy possible- period. Positive, energetic, and definitely necessary- I needed another pair of hands for hiking and she was amazing. But just in general, I have loved spending this time with her. Next year, as she and TJ are planning to foster, she’ll likely have kids of her own. I hope I can be as helpful then as she has always been to me. And gosh- I will remember this day so fondly. 

(Will, holding my hand)

(Waiting on Auntie and Mac to catch up. I wanted them to sit quietly and soak up the peace of nature, but they kept cracking up.)

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