Upon Ewart's insistence, and the general feeling of the group, we decide to continue with our trip itinerary. In the back of my mind, however, I'm ready to make any modifications necessary to accommodate Ewart, should he even hint at any.
Our next major stop is Waterton-Glacier Park, which straddles the border between Alberta and Montana. Our path takes us back up through Yellowstone and past the famous Old Faithful geyser, which Markus really wants to see, so we stop and view an eruption with thousands of other tourists. As you might imagine given the nature of his injuries, Ewart stands and watches rather than sits.
From there it is a long drive north, through wonderful scenery, into Montana. We eventually stop in the city of Butte, where we locate another small-town motel (Butte is a
In Their Own Words...
Ewart: "One must understand that by this stage I have not had a proper meal in 48hrs. After limping into the restaurant and gingerly parking my arse on a chair, I realise that I am a bit far from the table. Pulling my chair up to the table would be too painful, but thankfully lateral-thinking Caroline comes to the rescue and nudges the table up to me instead. The feasting can now start."
very difficult place to find a motel that has parking-lot level room access - most are of the 'hotel' style - and with the huge amount of gear we need to lug in and sort those types of places are not desired). We choose to have dinner at a Perkins that evening in Butte. We haven't had a shower yet after the Teewinot adventure and we are looking like war survivors at this point... Ewart especially with his sweaty and blood-encrusted clothes... so we aren't sure how the restaurant staff will receive us, but fortunately they do. We sit down to some good hearty food, and for some reason uncontrollable giggling seems to be the majority of the interaction at the table.
The next morning, fully showered, we perform a major re-org of our scattered gear while everyone is gathered in one motel room watching 'indecent proposal' on the TV. We hear rumours that there are bad forest fires about and that Glacier National Park is closed! ack! Since this report is unsubstantiated we decide to head up to Glacier anyway and see what's up. Turns out that there are indeed fires at Glacier and there are closures but it isn't the entire park. Fortunately one of the areas I intend to explore is still open so for now we are still in business.
Early afternoon-ish we arrive in Glacier. Smoke haze fills the sky everywhere and I feel compelled to tell everyone that Glacier is much more spectacular looking when you can actually see the mountains. We inquire at the ranger station and discover that the going-to-the-sun-road (the road which bisects the park east-west) is closed westward from Logan pass. Well, that still leaves us access to the St. Mary's area and the pass itself, so all is not lost.
We find the last two spots at the Rising Sun campground and then settle down for the rest of the day. Ewart has bought everyone a whack load of Bud beer, and we sit around the picnic table in our campsite and vegetate a little. We even convince Markus to have a couple of beer, albeit with much protesting. He definitely becomes a more mellow fellow after having a few.... nice!
At the picnic table at the Rising Sun Campground, Luc shares his thoughts about Ewart's tumble on Teewinot. Others chime in as well. (RealAudio Clip, 352 Kb)
There is much daylight left,
so after some dinner we drive up to Logan pass to check things out,
have a look around. It is very smoky, which is really too bad because
those of us who've never been to Glacier National Park (ie- everybody
but me) are really missing out on the spectacular views. The police
barrier is right at the pass. Markus is enthralled with the architecture
of the Logan Pass visitor center and informs us of this many times.
We return to the campground to catch the 8pm ranger program.
Before retiring for the night, we have a brief discussion about how we can accommodate everyone for tomorrow. Luc is
feeling a bit unwell; Peter is also feeling not-so-good but is still planning on joining us on a climb. Ewart, being quite sore in the bum from his accident, is happy to stay put for a day.
We decide on Reynolds mountain, a steep-sided horn which is very prominent from the Logan Pass visitor centre. I am thinking of something a bit more 'intro', but Markus is keen on trying the famous 'north ledge' route on Reynolds. Caroline is ok with the idea too, so Reynolds it is for tomorrow.