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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Day 14: Many Glacier to Kalispell

I woke up in the morning to the sound of rain drops on the roof of my van and groaned. This did not bode well at all. And in fact, as I drove out to the hotel things were drab drab drab. Hoping for better light outside the park, I drove out and found everything gray as well. This was not a good day for photography.

I visited the St. Mary's Park HQ and got talking to Sarah, one of the park rangers who was very experienced with the back-country. She recommended that I come back in the summer for a backpacking trip, including one which would lead all the way across to Waterton Lakes from Glacier National Park's customs border, take the ferry across into Canada, and then a shuttle back to the U.S. border where we could walk back to pick up the car. That sounded fantastic. She pointed me at several other backpacks as well, and said that there was always something held in reserve for walk-ins, so advanced booking was not necessary if I didn't want to spend the $50 reservation fee.

The rangers were so nice to me (on a rainy day they did not get much visitor) they bucked the schedule and put on a movie just for me while I was there. It was a good visit for a rainy day. The drive back to Kalispell was un-eventful. I had gotten a response to my couch-surfing request (my very first couch surf), and discovered that not only were Alan and Sarah friendly and putting me up, their roommate Joan was also making dinner that night! I was pretty sick of my own cooking and so was happy to help gather produce from their garden for the meal.

I repacked my car so that the next day I could simply put all my bags in it and drive to the airport. Dinner with Sarah, Alan, and Joan was fun and the conversation was entertaining. We then took a walk after dinner and visited one of their neighbors: Gina and Greg Nelson. They were affiliated with Stanford and spent part of the evening quizzing me about Silicon Valley matters. I guess if I wanted a transition back to Silicon Valley this was definitely a smooth one!

We had to find our way back in the dark and I set my alarm clock for 4:15am so I could make my 6:00am flight. My photography vacation, the first one since my 2002 Grand Tetons and Yellowstone trip was over.


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