Isolated Beauty

2014-09-05 22.45.36

I decided to get up before dawn yesterday and head up to hike in Glacier National Park as things have started to cool down in the high mountains this early September. I decided upon the Highline Trail near the main visitor center off Going-to-the-Sun-Road for two reasons: one, I had never hiked the east end of the trail, and two, there were some impressive high cliffs you pass along that are not like any other hike in the park. This trail eventually reached Haystack Mountain where a pass would take hikers to the isolated Granite Chalet. Having climbed over mountains and shale outcrops camping as a kid I felt pretty confident in my footing so I advanced down the trail at a pretty good clip dancing my way around people from all over the world as I made my way past them. By-the-way, Aussies always the friendliest while Italians won’t give you the time of day. Anyway, I eventually came upon a gentleman sitting on a large rock block with his mouth open scanning the valley below. He said, “Wow, we’ve got nothing even close to this in New York.” I responded, “Yeah, well just wait until you try to order a latte.” We both laughed and I moved on. About a mile and a half in on what would be roughly a six mile hike for the day I saw a particularly nice view and stopped to take a photo. As I adjusted the camera settings, my legs got a little wobbly and almost passed out. I forgot I was at high elevation and just about went ass over tea kettle off the high cliff. The drop from the two foot wide trail was about 1,000 feet. I would have seriously splatted and been bear food with no prospect of being heard from again. I think maybe getting in shape is going to be a priority this Fall.

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