We went to Glacier national park, along the Montana/Alberta border. We actually did go to Canada for two days in Waterton. Oh, and we drove (well, my parents drove, I sat in the back). It's really pretty out there, especially coming from Chicago. The drive back was boring (Nebraska has corn, power lines, the occasional cows). All the better for obnoxious music like Once More With Feeling, the musical episode of Buffy. We all sing to that. And we keep the windows up ;).
There are an awful lot of mule deer in Glacier. Mule deer are more... daring than their cousins, the white tailed. They walk through your campsite, and one rager told us that they actually gang up on people's dogs. There are also lots of cute, furry ground squirrels who run around and I swear do silly popping around to get free food. I wanted to take one home, but that's not a good idea, the park service frowns on that. We also saw... Some mountain goats (my dad got pics of fuzzy baby ones), a snowshoe hare, a grouse (they make these really funny chicken noises), and... TWO YOUNG GRISSLYS. We were very excited about those. And my mom took a pic to prove it. It was just sorta funny, because everyone else had seen a bear, and we all kept saying "And the big, brown bear cam Lollopin', over the mountain..." (Grandpa in ChittyChiity Bang Bang, anyone?). And then finally, driving out of Waterton, we see these two bears in a field.
But along with all the pretty views and hiking and animals (and bugs) comes inspiration. Not only inspiration for the stories I'm writing, which was plentiful. Well, inspiration may not quite grasp it.
"And you dad? What did you find?"
There. In the words of one park rager, Pat Hagan, (who is absolutely hilarious, by the way), "Glacier National Park is so beautiful that it will mess you up for the rest of your life." And it is. I got to climb up (not over, but UP) a snowfield. And I skipped a lot of rocks. And I spent a lot of time watching the clouds over the mountains and the play of light as the built up, were blown around, and dissapated below the sun. And true, while I was glad to sleep in a normal bed and have my toes still be warm in the morning and come back to my computer and catch up with Doctor Who, those two weeks felt real good. It does mess you up, in a sense. In a good way, that makes you feel just a little more alive despite all the energy you spend swatting bugs. Sure, I didn't quite get that religious-type or scale feeling that some people do. But...
I must thank the mosquitoes for reminding me it was real.
So, now that said, I shall let it rest for a bit. Unless you want to know all the details, like that we saw 49 states, in licese plates. Only missing Delaware. That means we saw Hawaii. We also saw 8 Canadian provences. Northwest Territories has a polar bear shaped one. In Canada, they maximum instead of speed limit. And they call the rangers 'interpreters'. There are about 15 differetn Montana plates that are all commonly seen, and a lot of people from Illinois. My dad has interesting ways of pronouncing things and yes, it was a VERY longs few days of driving.