A Miserable Day in Yellowstone!
A Test of Endurance
Bear Charges Trail Riders
Brother No.1 Takes a Hike
Camping,Boating and Bears!Part I
Camping,Boating, and Bears! Part II
Cooking School with M
Dust, Dips, and Bear Tracks
Family Forestry Expo
Grinnell Glacier Hike
Hoar, Ghosts, and Pits!
Lost on Father's Day?
M&E:Kids in the City!
Marmot Mountain Fun and Terror!
Mystery in the Rain Forest
Shuttle Bus Adventure
Snowshoe Fun on Winter Trails Day!
The Big Fair!
The Blood Red Moon
The Great Goldfish Adventure
The Swan Rangers and the 79 Switchbacks!
The Tough Trail
Ticks, Elk, Buffalo, and More!
Too Much to Bear
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Dips, and Bear
On a warm Saturday, we began packing
our supplies in preparation for our camping trip. The supposed
destination was Bowman Lake, a large lake in the northwestern part
of Glacier. Dad’s plan this summer was to go to new places and do
new things. Camping in this far away place was very different.
Anyway, we packed our duffel bags, sleeping bags, tents, and
foodstuffs into the van. Even though it was only about 65°, we
sweltered in the heat. After about an hour of packing our gear, we
set out. Our first stop was the grocery, where we checked out ice,
fire logs, and a couple of other picnicking necessities.
After our quick stop at the store, our family began our journey past
Columbia Falls. Soon we left civilization. Since it was Memorial Day
weekend, we were accompanied by other cars along the black topped
road. The mountains loomed above us, appearing craggy and
We drove along, nonchalantly admiring the scenery, when suddenly;
the cars ahead of us hit their brakes! A sign warned us, “Pavement
Ends”! Onto the gravel road we drove. The cars ahead of us created a
huge cloud of choking
dust. Soon we
were engulfed by it. Luckily the windows were closed, but we could
still smell the dust.
Cars traveled like snails along the bumpy, un-maintained road. The
bumps made so much noise; it made me feel furiously agitated. After
about an hour of tortuous road, we reached a paved road. Although it
did have many potholes, it was more bearable than gravel. Dad felt
that our brakes were mushy and turned onto an obscure side road
leading to the Polebridge Mercantile to get brake fluid. The store
resembled the way it looks when I play store with E; various cans
placed on shelves with other items I find around the house.
the Mercantile, Mom seemed obsessed with taking pictures of the
supposedly rustic store. It seemed Mom and Dad really wanted to buy
stuff because Dad bought some silly looking postcards titled
“Montana Rest Stop” and “Montana Double Date”. Mom bought a tiny
loaf of fancy pizza bread and a magnet.
After eating the scrumptious
pizza bread, we headed back out to our destination. The
washboard road resumed and we, at last, reached the entrance to the
park. There was a line to the pay booth and Mom took photographs
while we were in line. Dad asked the ranger which campground was
better, Kintla Lake or Bowman Lake. The ranger said she was unsure.
Dad chose Kintla. We passed lots of ATV’s on the rocky road up to
the lake. It was so bumpy that it took us an hour to travel the 15
miles to the campground. There were only about 10 campsites, and we
chose one near the creek where we could wade and cool off.
While Mom and Dad had a chat with the ranger, in which they found out
that a black wolf had visited campsite no. 5 just two days earlier,
my sister and I traversed the campground. We discussed that the lake
was an ideal place to cool off and that there were some excellent
hurdles and balance beams around our campsite. I went to the pit
toilet, and was a little disappointed because it wasn’t exactly a
civilized rest room. At least it was clean.
We set up the tents and got a couple of cans of pop to drink while
we walked along an incredibly boring trail. The full distance was 12
miles, and Dad planned to take it the next day.
After we checked out the trail, E and I waded in the chilly creek,
then went to wade in the lake. When we returned, it was time to
start the fire. Dad got a bunch of leaves and squirted charcoal
starter all over it. When lit, the fire pit was aflame! A roaring
bonfire leaped up about 4 feet into the air. Moments before, Mom had
been sitting on the bench where the flames now were.
made hot dogs. We gobbled them up and then went to wade in the lake
some more. Mom and Dad took pictures of the scenery while I waded
around Kintla Lake. I was walking around in the water when I slipped
and fell! My pants and shirt got soaked. Mom seemed extremely
distressed by this and hustled us back to the campsite so I could
change my clothes. After I got into a dry change of clothing, we
watched as a city of ants was consumed in the flames of our
campfire. No one survived, although E insisted upon seeing ants
escaping the deadly fire pit. Most of the time we sat around
talking. I tried to get Mom to play her flute and imagined what
would happen if she did. What would the few people in the campground
think? I recalled the last time Mom played her Wind Spirits flute in
the campground, and we heard emotional responses as she played each
After a couple of hours we decided to retire to our tents for the
night. I snuggled in my sleeping bag, and closed my eyes. I was soon
sound asleep. Next morning I was awakened to the sound of Dad
yelling, “Move your clothes! It is
raining!” I groggily left my tent to find my clothes still
wet from my fall in the lake. I clumped back into the tent only to
be told to get dressed. For once my mummy bag was cozy and I was
supposed to leave it at 5:00 in the morning! I lazily lay in my
sleeping bag as E bravely got dressed, then I followed suit. As I
got out of the tent, Dad proclaimed that we wouldn’t go on the
boring trail along Kintla Lake, but the boring trail in the hills
near Bowman Lake. We packed up and headed down the rough road to
It took 52 minutes to get to the junction of the roads to Bowman and
Kintla Lakes. At Bowman Lake we put on our packs and gear. The trail
went through the forest. E noticed a deer mandible along the side of
the trail and Dad observed hair all around the trail. Upon further
investigation, we saw deer bones and legs-all crunched up by the
powerful jaws of a predator-probably a
Farther along the muddy trail, we saw distinctive bear prints.
Luckily, everyone had bear
spray and nobody smelled bear. The trail went through the woods and
was very boring so we turned around and went back. After the hike,
we got back in the van and went back down the bumpy road. As we were
traveling along, a very fast truck sped past us and engulfed us in
dust. He got far ahead, and
and his trail of dust disappeared around a curve. Perhaps the
speeding driver flew off the road - we may never know. After a long,
bumpy, dusty ride, we hit black-top. It felt like we were gliding on
smooth ice and pretty soon we reached home - sweet - home.