"What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism." - G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Glacier 07

Well, we made it back from Glacier on Saturday. A few brief observations about the trip:

Compared to train travel, flying is like magic.

Never forget your Leatherman tool in your carry on diaper bag, or you will soon find yourself Leathermanless.

Just because it hasn't rained since June does not mean it wont rain and snow for a week straight upon your arrival.

Mountain Goats are tame.

Just because Adrian hasn't been sick for about four months does not mean that he wont come down with a hacking cough that severely reduces the amount of sleep anyone gets during the vacation.

Just because you want to hike up to Grinnell Glacier does not mean you will get to.

Just because you have never sprained your big toe in your whole life does not mean that you are immune from said injury as you are getting ready to fly to the mountains.

Just because you think your wife ought to be able to hike 5 miles up the side of the mountain along with your infant son does not mean she wants to.

Just because she doesn't want to doesn't mean she hates the mountains.

There is a lot of life that I have absolutely no control over. It really doesn't matter how much I may want something to be such and such a way. I also noticed I have a strong propensity to let my dreams of high adventure conveniently eclipse the realities of how far 8.5 miles is, (when hiking up the side of a mountain) or of what having a 16mo old son and loving wife who may not share my dream to sit on a glacier might contribute to such a journey. It's time to grow up Alex. Not everything in life can be all about you anymore. As much as I know this, it is still quite hard to live it.

That said, we did get a few brief windows of sun that we made good use of...

The happy family near Hidden Lake.

This is the section of the High Line trail near Logan Pass. I have always wanted to at least do this bit that goes along a sheer cliff. Alex liked.

Remember when I said mountain goats are tame?

Bowman Lake

Adrian, shortly after he got his neck caught in the zipper of his little jacket, then proceeded to roll a little ways down the hill when I set him on the ground. He bounces back pretty quick though.

We had spent the day up at Siyeh Bend sitting in the car watching it rain, so we eventually decided we needed to do something. Thus, we hiked in a short trail to St. Mary's Falls.

Towards Two Medicine

Near St. Mary's

Megan said that she wanted a picture with just her and Adrian in it. So I passed off little man to her and got ready to take their picture, but Adrian kept looking over her shoulder and panting like a puppy. (which he does when he sees a puppy) I heard Megan saying softly, "Adrian there's no puppy over there". Which was true. I looked past them and didn't see anything. I continued to try to get Adrian to look at me, but he went right on panting over mommy's shoulder. Just then I heard a sound like someone hitting two logs together. As I looked past Megan and Adrian again I noticed a herd of about 7 big horn sheep who had come up out of Siyeh Creek and were butting heads right on the road! Shortly after taking this picture they all turned and started running towards us, before jumping over the guard wall and racing up the trail we had just came down. I guess my boy has better eyes than his old man!

I must say that Adrian tolerated the whole thing surprisingly well. The poor kid was either strapped into a car seat or a baby backpack the whole time. I can't wait to take him on trips with me when we can do more together than simply have daddy haul him around.

Moral of the story:
Expectations needn't ruin what reality actually presents us. Relationships are more important than personal ambitions. You are not dead yet and the mountains aren't going anywhere. (wish I could say the same for the glaciers) Though this trip was a bit of a mixed bag, we did get to see some awesome sights. Still, I think I'm taking away more relating to personal growth than anything else. I've always known the mountains to be unparalleled teachers. Those cold hard peaks have a way of bringing into focus the dichotomy between awesome splendor and unforgiving severity. To really appreciate the one, we must learn to navigate the other...

...and when it comes to having a young family, perhaps "navigating the other" should be reduced as much as possible.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your comments :) Great photos!

Rachel (Megan's sister)

7:43 AM

Anonymous anna said...

Alex, you have a terrific ability to think deeply and then to communicate exactly what is on your mind. i hope you keep writing. love the pictures!

7:51 AM

Blogger Alex said...

Hey there "sister-in-law"
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!

So happy you see it that way. So often it seems the deeper I think, the more I realize I am nowhere near "deep".

8:17 AM

Blogger jmb said...

Fabulous photos and how lucky you were to see the mountain goats so close. I have seen lots of sheep in the Canadian Rockies over the years but only seen the goats with binoculars.
A good time to go while the young one is still in a backpack.

7:56 PM

Blogger Alex said...

Thanks jmb!
You mention the Candian Rockies...

Oh how I long for the Canadian Rockies! We went to Banff several years back. What an experience! Moraine Lake is my fav.

5:41 AM

Anonymous Bryan McInnis said...

Thanks for your wisdom about needing to grow up and the world not revolving around you (or me). I really needed to hear that!!!

P.s. Dana and I are going to go to Glacier together next summer...pretty pumped about that! Perhaps more so than our honeymoon to Cozumel.

7:36 AM

Blogger Alex said...

I really needed to hear that!!! "

Heh, don't we all! ...constantly

You are going to love it out there man! Make sure you spend the bulk of your time on the east side. Hike up to Grinnell for me would ya?

7:43 AM

Blogger Lord Higham- Murray said...

This post most certainly to Blogpower Roundup today.

11:32 PM

Blogger jmb said...

Alex I love Moraine Lake too. There's a self guided nature trail near there (about 3/4 hr long) that we used to do. Along the way, the sign said look closely near these rocks, a favourite spot of marmots. Almost every time we did it (even years apart) there was a marmot nearby.

If you ever go back, the road between Banff and Jasper is spectacular and so too is Jasper.

I like it better than Banff in some ways because it's more open. We camped in both places often in years gone by. I have lots of bear stories from those years.

11:38 AM

Blogger Liz said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip. I love the photos and the first list of 'just because...'

A path alongside a sheer cliff? Oh, my, no thank you!

2:29 AM

Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Came to this brilliant post via the bp roundup. Wonderful photos as well.

4:13 AM


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