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?
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.