Friday July 24
It was a cold night! Dave said he turned on the car to check the temp and it was 46 degrees at about 8:30.
Close readers will recognize something amiss right away. Dave was checking the car temp at 8:30. Which means…
He slept in again.
I am actually starting to think he must be sick. No coffee in bed again. I still waited him out though. I called it my Broffee (Brunch Coffee).
I got up to start breakfast: diced ham and scrambled eggs with bacon and campfire-toasted bread (Charlie’s continuing specialty). We didn’t really even finish cleaning up until after 10, so we filled a couple water bottles, packed a few candy bars and headed up the road to a trailhead for a 5-mile hike to Glacier Lake.
Dave had calculated that the road went another 1 mile before dead-ending at the trailhead, so our hike would actually be about 7 miles, which sounded perfect. There was actual literature to support the length of the hike, so it seemed mostly impossible that Dave could be under-estimating the mileage.
We walked and we walked and we walked. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the end of the road and the start of the trail — though no one was 100% sure of the time we left camp.
Then we started the trail. Then we went beyond Glacier Lake to Emerald Lake. It was really a really pretty hike. We drank all our water and snacks at the top.
Saw marmots and one pica, so it was deemed a success by Morgan — who we can’t really call the Angry Hiker anymore, now that she is a hippy. Sort of sad really. It’s like time moves on, the kids grow up, and I have no one to mentally abuse anymore. Grandkids will hopefully give me new blood some day…
We were hoping to see a mountain goat that two backpackers told us was up ahead, but we never saw it.
After coming back down to the trailhead we struck up a conversation with a couple from California who had some cool chairs (ever on the lookout for great chairs). They had a rig on the back of their pick-up that inspired a lot of envy. It popped up and had a solar refrigerator that worked even when they were off backpacking for a few days (!!), held 15 gallons of water, extra gas for the car, had a rack on the top that held bikes or kayaks… It was pretty dang cool. Now we’ll have something to google when we get cell service again![In addition to googling their camper, I googled the guy because we were very perceptive while chatting (#stalker) and picked up on both their town and the fact that he made banjos for a living. Ha! Found him. I’m going to link to his website and maybe he’ll find us and we’ll become friends and someday meet up in the back country and they can teach us all they have learned, and he will play his cool banjo and we will live happily ever after. Or at the very least, maybe one of them will get in touch and we can find out where his wife got her cool plaid shirt, eh Morgan?]
We started walking back. And walked and walked. We were actually delirious. Dave picked up a big log and I scavenged for some wood. We thought we were a lot closer than we were. Parched, tired, headache… I started to wonder if we might all die.
We didn’t die. We made it. But even Dave (the most under-exaggerater I know) agreed: that road walk was at least 3 miles, which made our hike at least 12 miles.
Dave announced that he was going back to Red Lodge for ice, water and propane and that it would take “45 minutes.” Seriously. That guy. It is a 45 minute drive one way!
Morgan, Charlie and I devoured everything we could get our hands on. Rice krispy bars, cheese, a cold smoked rib, I made guac, chips, crackers. Beer, wine…. It was going to be a good night.
Grilled pork chops with potatoes, green beans and caprese salad. Dave got back about 1 hour and 45 minutes later (I rest my case). He also came with some startling news: he had clocked the road from our site to the highway. Knowing the road is a total length of 8 miles, he said the trailhead was 3.8 miles from our site, making our hike just shy of 14 miles.
No wonder! So: is Dave a liar? Or was that just a sensational headline I used to catch your attention? I don’t have the answer. All I can say for sure is that we have never gone a hike with Dave that wasn’t at least 2 miles longer than originally stated. So while liar might be overstating it, truth stretcher seems a bit too kind. Being seven miles off… though, is a new record.
Even though it had been pretty nice all day, rain once again sent us scurrying for the camper. We did get out long enough to wash the dishes. Then in again. Then out for one s’more.