|My first view of Lake McDonald.|
But now I’m out here for the summer. You might say the stars finally aligned. Or you could say that I’m working my way through my bucket list, that I am methodically making my dreams a reality. I did that exercise where you imagine you won a the lottery: what would you do if you could do anything right now, had absolutely no financial constraints? Then, realize that you really can do anything (well, you know… especially if you don’t have kids), that you can make it happen if you really want and it’s that important. So I am here in Montana. Life is short. The glaciers are melting.
The roads are deserted, the parking lot at Lake McDonald Lodge (which is closed still) has only one other car. How can this be Glacier? Where are the crowds of people? Apparently they are not early birds.
As I am getting ready, a couple arrives at trailhead and we strike up a conversation. I luck out and they are extremely knowledgeable hikers who offer advice on trails, answer my questions about grizzly bears ("Carry Bear Spray."), snow conditions (they’ve hiked this the previous week, and tell me to pack microspikes), AND it turns out they are botanists (they have a native plant nursery)! I guess I should no longer be surprised when I meet EXACTLY who I most want to run into, who I most need— seems to happen a lot out here. (Though I’m still reluctant to call this fate. I don’t believe in that. Nope. I just smile and enjoy the coincidences that life throws at me.)
|Climbing to Snyder Lake.|
|I could get around this ice bridge OK.|
|This is how deep the snow is.|