The season has been in full swing for many weeks now. For the past couple of days all the campgrounds in the park have been filling. Last year the campground in St. Mary would fill a handfull of times. This season we have been filling every night which is refreshing. I was talking to one of the employees who works at the resturant at the Lake McDonald Lodge and he told me that their sales are down from last year. This leads me to believe that people are scaling down this year and moving from expensive hotel lodging, busting out their tents and hitting the campgrounds. Attendance for our campground evening programs have been outstanding so that is a good thing. I have been able to get out and see programs this year and recognize and appreciate all of the hard work that my fellow rangers and our interns have done. There is a lot of amazing talent here this summer and it has inspired me to make my programs even better as well.
I have the privaledge leading an all day hike this year to Siyeh Pass. It has been an interesting experience where I am able to really get to know the people that I am hiking with and am with them for 8 hours. I lead them up the highest maintained trail in Glacier National Park and discuss the geology, ecology, and the cutural history that they are able to discover along this 11 mile journey. I do have some pictures from this trail to put up that I took when I hiked this trail with coworkers before my first program. It rain but was still good. The view from the top is spectacular. I have learned a lot from the people I have been hiking with. On my second hike we were walking down from the pass and there was silence from my group for a little while. Right as we stopped for water on of the women sighed looked around and said, "This is good medicine."
We have generally been lucking out with the weather for the past couple of weeks. Temperatures have been reaching the 80's and it has been pleasent to be outside. We do however get those rainy days where Logan Pass is completely socked in and the entire visitor population tried to cram themselves into the tiny little visitor center at the top of the Continental Divide. On days like this I just want to tape the weather report to my forhead, sit in a chair, and let the visitors help themselves. When they ask "is it going to rain all day" I start to say..."yes."
Adrien and I hiked Dawson and Pitamakin Passes on on of the most beautiful days of the summer so far. I had never done the hike and was very intimidated by the fact that it was 18 miles long. We got to the trail head at 7 am and were out by 4pm which was not bad. This fantastic hike was followed by dinner at Serrano's (a really good mexican resturant in east glacier) and the Amy's campfire program in the Two Medicine campground. Everything about the day was just perfect. There was not a single cloud in the sky and the peaks in the distance looked crystal clear. After reaching Dawson Pass the view only improved as we walked along the ridge. The sights were enough to take your breath away. Being the only ones on the backside of this high altitude trail made it feel like we were doing something illegal. It was that good. Niether one of us talked as we made our way across the narrow pathway. My mind started to wander...and I thought about what that woman had said to me on Siyeh Pass a week 4 days earlier. "Good Medicine" This place seems to have to ability to heal in a lot of different ways. It is amazing to think of something having that much power. But as I stared of into the distance to was greeted by a wave of tranquility. Standing there on what seems like the top of the world listening to nothing but the wind and the sounds of melt water running over the rocks i let myself zone out. Places like this are special. They have the ability to tranform you, give you different outlooks. The medicine you get from experiences might be better than anything from your doctor. And maybe they it can do more than we think...give you hope, disguise illnesses, mend broken hearts, ease stress, and leave you wanting more.