Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Glamping In Glacier National Park

We made a last minute decision to go camping in Glacier National Park over Independence Day.

It was the best decision -- Glacier is amazing and we had a wonderful time.

It took us about 5 hours to drive there, we took a scenic route that took us through some rolling hills and along Flathead Lake.  I've seen Flathead from the air when we fly to MSP (thank you Delta pilots for pointing it out!) but never been there.  It's really beautiful, and we stopped for a nice casual outdoor lunch at a place called The Docks in Lakeside, MT. 

The stop was unplanned (I basically just said "pull over there!" as we were driving through town) but it was perfect.  Sunny, cool, breezy - the best way to start off a vacation!

We finally made it to Glacier a couple hours later, drove in the park and began looking for a campsite.  We pulled in to the Avalanche Creek campsite, which turned out to be the perfect launching point for us.

D and I had never gone camping together before.  And camping is one of those things that can either go really well, or not -- depending on your expectations and whether or not you are all on the same page!  =)  For us, we had a blast.  It helps of course that D is mister eagle scout, former professional camper and all that.  And we also brought along our giant air mattress, pillow and even the comforter off of our bed, so we weren't exactly roughing it!  Hence, glamping!
See?  Not really roughing it.
 M and I basically explored and relaxed while D set up our camp. 

Tough life, right?  The campgrounds had regular flush toilets and running water, so we were definitely not back-country camping.  It was a little nerve wracking because there were signs everywhere about how we were in bear country and needed to keep food packed up in the cars (including all toiletries too!). 

We had delicious Aidell's sausages for dinner and took a short hike around Avalanche Creek that evening.  The water was just rushing so fast, and it was so, so green. 

You could hear it all night long, it was magical.  The campsite was pretty full, I think D would have preferred more privacy/remoteness but I thought it was kind of neat to walk around and see everyone's different camp set-ups.  There weren't any hobos out there, these people knew how to camp!

The only downside was that M was so excited about everything that he could hardly settle down to go to sleep.  I basically walked him up and down the path until he fell asleep in the Ergo, then I put him in the pack n play.  He woke up in the middle of the night crying, so he got to snuggle the rest of the night.  But he was so cute because when he woke up in the morning, he just starting laughing and bouncing around on the air mattress -- clearly he was a fan of camping!

More to come on our day on the Going-to-the-Sun Road!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Overly-Ambitious Self-Imposed Reading Challenge

So, I have been trying to read one book each week during summer.  I am failing, big time!

I still haven't finished The Botany of Desire.  I read it for a little while, and then want to put it down and pick up something lighter and easier.  My husband is often telling me that if I am not enjoying reading something, I should just stop reading it.  But I always feel like I need to "finish what I start."  Which in practice turns into simply putting that book aside for awhile, and reading others.  Once I get into it for a few pages, I can stick with it for awhile, but then I need a break from it.

M and I go to the library every week, and I always try to pick up some new books for him.  I can't resist looking for books for me as well, and I picked up The Last Summer of the Camperdowns a couple of weeks ago.  It took me a while to get into it, but when I got there, of course I had to finish it.  It was just a sad plot and I found myself getting annoyed by all of the adult characters (and their conversations) in the book.  Sad and depressing the whole way through, with a sad ending.

When we were camping, I picked up Where We Belong by Emily Giffin from the park ranger's "take or exchange" collection.  I love Emily Giffin, her books are always reliable summer reads and this one was no different.  The plot centers around an adoption, so I was especially intrigued.  I enjoyed reading it and I thought Ms. Giffin did a good job with some delicate matters at play in this particular adoption.

I would love any suggestions for more books to read!  Yesterday I started a short book called Here Now by Amy Wellborn.  I've had it own my shelf for a while but hadn't gotten around to reading it (is this beginning to sound like a broken record?)  I picked up Brideshead Revisited and The House of Mirth last week at the library.  And this morning when we were there, I picked up three more books: Until I Say Good-Bye (Susan Spencer-Wendel's memoir after her diagnosis with ALS), Defiant Brides ("The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married"), and Another Place at the Table (written by a foster parent, Kathy Harrison).  So I pretty much need to stop blogging and get to reading!  Hope you are enjoying some summer reading too!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Race Report: 4th of July Pass 5 Mile Trail Run


I ran in the 1st Annual 4th of July Pass Trail Run yesterday.  There was a 5 mile option and a 25k option.  It was my first trail race and I had no idea what to expect, so I opted for the 5 mile race.

Waiting to start.

And it was SO. MUCH. FUN!  Wow!

It was a gorgeous, rolling course on XC ski trails.  The 5 miler was a small race (I was the 3rd woman finisher!) but just a great course and fun casual atmosphere.  I'm not sure how many people were in the 25k because they started before I arrived.  The race was organized by the Trail Maniacs, and they were busy cooking up burgers just as soon as we were finishing, and they had coolers full of beers, sodas, water for a nice, fun post-race cook-out.  I had to hustle back home to relieve D of babysitting duty, so I left pretty quickly after finishing, but next year we are definitely going to make it a family event so we can enjoy the cook-out.
My photos while running can't do the scenery justice.

The race organizer mentioned that he had seen some elk on the course the night before, and I was really hoping we'd get to see them, but they must have moved away by the time I came through because I didn't see any.  My time was pretty slow (about 53 minutes) but that included a little bit of back-tracking because a guy in front of me thought we had made a wrong turn.  As it turns out, we hadn't -- thankfully!

4th of July Pass is less than a half hour from CDA.  We have to get back there for some hiking (and hopefully, even some XC skiing this winter) because it is such a pretty area and so accessible.

I think I might be a trail maniac now! =)