You know how when you come back from trips, no matter how long or how much you may have packed, anything is better than unpacking? Ya, me too. Which is why I’m sitting here writing a blog post. Not doing homework. Or unpacking. Or worrying about the fact my phone is marinating in a bag of uncooked black rice. Which brings me to my weekend.
I am so lucky to have people who live in such fantastic pockets of this Earth. I decided it was high time to visit Kalispell and play in Glacier National Park instead of doing the Bozeman Halloween scene. That, and I didn’t get a fabulous costume together in time. My high school friend, turned college friend, turned college roommate, now college graduate, Cassady Daley, and her adventure partner, Nathan Christianson, opened their new apartment to Christian and me. We spent Saturday drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee and sent it up to Glacier. Highly caffeinated and belting our hearts out to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” my foot met the gas pedal a little too friendly and a park ranger, lights ablazin’, pulled my speeding butt over. Facepalm. I never speed in national parks. I don’t want to kill a grizzly bear either, Kathy Dodd! Oh Kathy. Word on the street is she’s the strictest park ranger in the North, but she let me off easy with a warning. First time being pulled over…check. My bad.
We parted our separate ways and made it to the trail head. Kathy was there too, another car’s rear being lit up by the flashing lights. The rain continued to lick at our shoes and faces as we set out for the Mt. Brown lookout. Cassady says she’s heard Mt. Brown referred to as “Mt. Frown” due to the quick elevation gain in not a lot of mileage. But I was determined not to frown. Initiate nordie mode: these kids are runners, and here I was, my alpine training, telemark body wondering why I was running up a meowtain. In the rain. With ultra runners. But it was fun…we got to speed hike once it got steep, and then guess what? About 45 minutes in, the rain turned to snow! And then before we knew it we were in the white room, snowballs flying every which way and sinking into the snow mid-shin. We made it to the ridge and couldn’t see darn near anything, so we figured we’d chase our tracks back down before the snow filled them back in. I like running downhill on snow, but skis would have been nice! Once the snow turned back into rain, Cass thought she saw an animal in the trees, and we ran with our bear spray in our hands the rest of the way. I wasn’t scared.
Ok, maybe a little.
We made it back to the car and munched and let seat heaters and full blast heat breathe life back into our fingers and cheeks. It was about this time I realized my phone wasn’t working. I had had it in my rain jacket pocket and eventually my sports bra, it gets one hint of cold air and shuts off and of course I wanted pictures! Which I did. Get pictures. But apparently it got real wet in that process. So I threw it in a bag of uncooked black beans, courtesy of Cassady. I wish I could show you pictures of our snowy adventure but…alas, it is currently residing in a bag of black rice now that I am back in Bozeman.
After a quick nap and some dank homemade pizza, we threw on costumes and headed to the Kalispell Brewing Company, owned by Maggie and Cole Schneider, ex US Telemark team members! It’s been about four years since I saw them last, and they made it out for the music around 7 with their five-week old son, Charlie. Winning. While ordering a flight at the bar, (so many beers, so little time!) I heard a familiar voice singing…the band they had was Moonshine Mountain! I looked over and sure enough, there was Rio Mattole, father of 13-year-old super shredder, Cedar Mattole. The telemark community was out in full force! It was awesome to catch up with everyone and drink beer that Maggie and Cole have worked so hard to make taste so great! Kalispell is lucky to have them. Once the brewery closed, we headed up to Whitefish for more music. Wow, does Whitefish know how to dress up on Halloween. I don’t think anyone in the Great Northern had spent less than $200 on their costume. Impressed I was. The band was playing mostly covers and were pretty bad, but we boogie-ed hard anyways. After crossing the street for pizza (twice in one day, sometimes it happens) we headed back home. This morning was daylight savings and we took our time cooking breakfast and packing up. Christian and I said our good-byes to Nathan and Cass and drove the 5 hours back to Bozeman, faces full of smiles and hearts full of joy as we realized that we live in a beautiful place.
And now I sit in my bed, tummy full of curry and neglected readings at my feet. Stay playful, friends!
Thanks for reading!