Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Lows, and the Highs

Wednesday was the complete opposite of Tuesday.......sunny verses cloudy, hazard materials (HAZMAT) cleanup verses back to normal, taking a hike instead of dismantling our water bay.....YAY!

Our preference is to bike, or hike with a little cloud cover.  The older we get the less we like direct sunshine.  Tuesday would have been a perfect hiking day, but then life intervenes, or should I say Mr. Jello stirs the pot.  So our hike planned for Tuesday was taken on Wednesday with clear blue skies, and lots of direct sunshine.  It is remarkable how intense the sun is this far north, and at 5,000' elevation.  In the sun it feels 10-15 degrees warmer than in the shade.....the air is actually very cool, and as soon as the sun begins to go down the temperature drops quickly.

We doodled around the coach until late morning and then began our hike up to the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) trailhead.  Our plan was to hike about 10 miles round trip which would have taken us to the National Park boundary.  To access the trailhead we crossed US-2 to MT-49 which takes us under the railroad crossing, up past the Glacier Park Lodge to 1st Street where we hung a left walking on a dirt road for about 1/2 a mile to the CDT.  

Along the way I spied Clarke Drive.....I wonder how long it would take to unscrew that sign?  Only kidding......of course.

Eventually we came to the beginning of this section of the CDT (the CDT runs all the way from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, and takes 4-6 months to hike if you are so inclined) and began our ascent.  We were unsure about how much elevation we would gain to reach the park boundary, but thought we would hike around 90 minutes before turning around.

Initially the trail wound through pretty dense growth, but eventually the trail opened up with some views.

This part of the CDT is used heavily by horseback riders, and the ever fresh evidence of their prior passing was everywhere the first 1 mile, or so.  On two occasions we met riders coming down the trail and had to get off the trail to let them pass.

Eventually we came to a very steep section.......

It was even steeper than it looks here

I think in this one section alone we gained over 100' of elevation, and by the time we reached the top TLE had decided for the two of us that we had gone as far as we would go this day.  We were at the 3.6 mile mark and at just 5600' elevation....we started at 4,800'.  We took a break and enjoyed the view.

Nice shade tree at the top....TLE hung her hat & poles on the tree....:-)

You can just see the Glacier Park Lodge in the distance from our 5600' perch.

After about 20 minutes we started our trek back down the CDT to East Glacier Village were we both snagged iced coffees at Brownie's Bakery and Deli.  Some clouds were beginning to roll in by this time, and the rest of our walk home was very pleasant.    We arrived back at the coach having covered around 7.2 miles around 2 pm, and before we took showers we decided to put the fresh water tank back in its proper place.  

All "buttoned up" again!

Amazingly it probably took us less time to put the tank back in than it took to refill it with 140 gallons of fresh water.  I must note that before I began filling the tank I let TLE take her shower.....filling the tank, and shower taking are not compatible as the shower has little, or no water pressure while all the water is being diverted to the fresh water tank.  While the tank was being filled I sat outside reading a book on my Kindle with occasional glances at the filling process.....had to be sure I didn't fall asleep while this was going on, otherwise we would have water everywhere again.....:D

Eventually I did get my shower, and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, listening to 50's music, and reading in between naps.

Another day spent near heaven...................oh, and by the way, for dinner TLE made Veggie and Noodles Alfredo......very, very good.  Of course, it only follows that after eating a delicious dinner prepared by the loving hands of TLE we watched another episode of Master Chef before retiring for the evening!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Nice essay Clarke but you need a caption for that pic of you and TLE "MAG2734.jpg" with the hat in the tree...


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