The next day, we were off to Cracker Lake in the Many Glacier area. After checking out the hotel there and eating our lunch outside, it was time for the backpacking portion of the trip. We gathered all of our gear, adjusted our poles, changed our shoes, and we were on our way. Jennifer had warned us that the first bit of the trail would have a lot of horse poop, but we underestimated how much there would be. It was everywhere! And we had to stop at the side several times because of horse rides that were happening. Nothing we couldn’t handle though…
As this was my first backpacking trip, I had never experienced what it was like to carry that much weight on my back while hiking. There is definitely a difference! Certain muscles in my gluteus area have clearly never been used. Eventually, my body adjusted to the weight and it was smooth sailing, but I was quite tired by the time we arrived at the lake. Also, apparently we had just missed a moose spotting. Argh!
Cracker lake was absolutely gorgeous. The campsite was located on the hill beside the lake and near a cliff. The views from the food area and our tents were quite nice: we overlooked the lake with mountains surrounding us, and not too far off, we could stand on the cliff and gaze upon the area from where we had hiked in. After roping up our food and toiletries and setting up our tent, we headed to the food area to mingle and make our dinner for the evening. On the menu: a soy-based veggie pasta sauce and spaghetti. Unfortunately, it was a little dry, but it was edible nonetheless. The night ended with David and I stargazing. The sky was clear and with no light pollution, we could see endless amounts of stars. Off in the distance, a storm was passing through and every now and again, lightning would flash and light up the night sky. It was a beautiful evening with great conversation. I slept a bit better that night, and waking up in the backcountry the next morning felt quite serene.
After hiking out, we were thrilled to return to East Glacier for a hot shower and luxury motel living. We gorged at a Mexican restaurant (Serrano’s) and relaxed afterwards. (I watched a pretty bad movie: “Something Borrowed”. Not so good. At all.) The following day, we decided to spend a few hours driving along the Going-To-The-Sun Road, a must do when in Glacier National Park. Those are some windy roads, but the views are incredible. After that, it was a long drive back to Calgary, where I was exposed to the music of Ben Folds. Not too bad at all!
When I think about the trip, it was super quick, but I love the fact that I met Anna, David and Malene at a pretty nerdy workshop/course and we have managed to stay in each others’ lives in some capacity over the years, whether that’s meeting up for vacations, liking Facebook posts, or the occasional random message from time to time. It was awesome we were able to coordinate a little reunion and enjoy each others’ company like it was three years ago :).
So what was the fail of the trip? We basically saw no wildlife. It’s not like I wanted to encounter a bear on the hike, but it would have been nice to see one from afar. Or a moose. Or even bighorn sheep. I think we saw a fox though… or maybe it was a coyote. Either way, I’m sure next time I’m there, I’ll see something. Another fail? Accidentally having blood from my nose bleed drip onto the toilet paper supply. Eww. Gross.
As with any road-trip, there are always memorable sayings. For posterity, here are some of the “inside joke” quotes from the weekend:
“Perfect, entering Glacier with Beyonce.”
“Is that a flying skunk? No, it’s a magpie.”
“83% of all bear deaths are caused by their only predator, the T-Rex.”
“I hope you don’t get Wood’s Diarrhea.”
“Diarrhea in the woods.”
“I think we need a field guide to diarrheas.”
“Do you think the logo is a dinosaur because that’s where oil comes from?”
“You’ve gone from the OC to the BC.”
“‘Cause you know, hiking’s a fashion show. You never know what bear will eat you for your looks.”
“It’s a squarmot.”
About the horses/riders: “They’re so ugly you can’t blame them.”
Sitting in a hot tub being spoon-fed chili. By David.
David- The epitome of rugged and macho, while listening to a college acapella group.
And just like that, the weekend has come and gone. So much fun! Thank you David and Anna for an awesome reunion. I definitely can’t wait to do it again. Next time, it seems we may convene in the east for shenanigans and adventuring. Boston anyone? :)
Hike in: 2:50 – 3:50
Hike out: 11:35 – 2:15
Distance: 6.1 miles (9.8 km) oneway
Elevation Gain: 426.7 m