Geoff and Jenn's 1997 Glacier NP Trip
Day 5: Moving on to Washington State

The increasing clouds of the previous day turned quickly into a steady rain through the night. We yet again thanked the seams of the Eureka tent for keeping us comfy and cozy. The only major casualty was a pair of shorts left on top of the trunk of the car.

Upon getting up, we immediately checked the car to observe the results of our sunflower seed experiment. Results: seeds on top of the car: soaked, seeds outside the driver's door: washed away, and seeds in the trunk and the cabin's floorboard: devoured. Needless to say, this left us a wee bit queasy, and as with most successful experiments, with more questions than answers. Mostly, did the little critter actual live in the car with us, or was it only a moonlight escapader? Only time will tell.

We packed everything up and headed off to take morning showers, our first in several days. Two minutes into Geoff's allocated 8 minutes of shower, however, disaster struck: the shower stopped, leaving Geoff completely lathered and soaped-up with nowhere to go.

The only discourse was to wrap the tiny towel we had, run outside to the women's showers, and call for Jenn, and quickly beg for her to buy another token at the main store. Needless to say, Jenn and the gals behind the desk at the general store had a good laugh, Geoff simply got away with a cold bottom and raised eyebrows from the tourists in the parking lot.

View from the Going to The Sun Road

Feeling (eventually) refreshed, we headed back up the Going-To-The-Sun road to make our final route through Glacier. The clouds were still in, but occasional sun breaks peeked through. When we could, we took some snap shots during the final descent.

Roadside Wildflowers
The Final Glacier Picture


After leaving the park, we decided on a back country route through Montana. But after coming within just 7 miles of the Canadian border, we found it just too hard to resist making a quick trip across the border. The quick trip eventually became a 180 mile bypass.

While we discussed Canadian's greater sense of nationalism and apparent awareness of excessive commercialism, we crossed through some most beautiful areas. Most impressive was the sheer number of trees dominating the view. Every mountain was completely blanketed, even the valleys too. In the U.S., it seems like the valleys would be cleared, and the hills clear cutted. There were no overt signs of either here.

At one point we heard a loud thuMP, and looking in the rear view mirror, I saw the unsettling image of a small bird bouncing along the road behind us. A quick look at the rear left passenger window showed that not all of the bird went along with it before it went bouncing on the road -- much of it remained on the back window. Quickly popping in the nearest tape to get our minds off of the horror we just partaked in, we heard Tom Petty's voice coming to assure us. Unfortunately, all the songs had the worst connotations, given the tragedy: "Running down the bird [dream]", "Free Fallin'", and "Learning to Fly". Eventually, Erasure came to save us. We stopped at the next gas station, while Jenn cleaned up the scene of the crime.

The farther we traveled, though, the worse the weather got. After a strong downpour, we headed up towards the Kootenay pass. Immediately the heavy cloud bank disappeared, leaving us with a brilliant double rainbow, over looking some of the few scatterred farm areas.
A Gorgeous Double Rainbow 
(Much more beautiful in direct contact)

The clouds then returned, only breaking at the top of the pass, which ironically had pure blue sky. On the reverse side, the clouds only got worse, resulting in a heavy downpour followed by slush, and then with a final course of hell bearing hail, all collecting beneath the windshield wipers.

We then hit the border crossing, and had to go through customs to get back into our homeland. After watching a young teenager get completely searched before us, we figured it would be a long night. When it was our turn, Jenn began stammering out answers, suddenly nervous. We got away with just a trunk opening, and frazzled wits at the experience.

By this time, we began to be resolute against staying in the campground given the meteorological pummeling our car was taking. We stopped at the little town of Metaline Falls and had dinner at "Cathy's Cafe" -- the only other option being "Heidi's Restaurant". There, we learned our waitress was headed "back east", meaning Spokane. She recommended a newly opened hotel down the road. We gave her a huge tip.

The hotel turned out to be above the Box Canyon dam and freshly renovated. A small bulldog greeted us. The room ended up having EchoStar, which we used to watch Backdraft before heading off to bed (and journal writing).

As for the mice, we yet again left a few seeds in the front, to see if we had a companion in our travels.



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