Brother Dear checks in with a report from near Babb:

I love professional football.  This post is not about professional football.

I will briefly point out that during the course of my beloved Redskins’ wretched 5-11 season, we beat the Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants by double digits not once but TWICE.  We also beat the cellar-basement Seahawks, Cardinals, and Rams by a touchdown or less and lost to everyone else we encountered, did not make the playoffs, and obviously did not actually win the aforementioned Super Bowl.  So, I can’t really take enough pride in my team stomping the eventual champs to write a whole blog post about it, as that would be only slightly less pathetic than the Rex Grossman/John Beck QB duo I was forced to endure all season, plus I doubt GCHC blog readers would much care.  I digress.  This post is about a trip to Glacier, shortly before the Super Bowl.

It was a gorgeous day, of course.  When you live here you get your pick of the nice days, and this one was pretty tops.  I set off down the Going-to-the-Sun Road, hoping it might be open to Rising Sun.

No luck.  Closed a little ways down Upper St. Mary Lake.  It was already mid-afternoon so my plan of skiing up to the Wild Goose Island overlook wasn’t happening from this far away.  Looks like a nice, flat, pleasant ski- doesn’t it?

Temporarily stymied, I cruised back to the visitor’s center and sat in front of the webcam on the hood of the Suburban and ate lunch.  Apparently the rest of the family was otherwise engaged because no one got a screen shot!  Here’s what it looked like from my angle.

So I went up the Red Eagle Lake Trail, and hooked around the old Beaver Pond Trail to the 1912 Ranger Station.  Saw a bunch of tracks- deer, coyote, and even a moose that kept crossing the trail.  Lots of snowshoe hares around as well.

Pretty fresh!  That’s Curly Bear Mountain right in front of me.  I was hoping the nice warm day would soften the snow for me, but it was still fairly frozen and quite noisy on XC skies, so I never did actually find that moose.

This is the beaver pond itself, as you can see by the lodge in the foreground.  I kind of fell down a hill to get here, but that was the point of getting out on the skis.  I’m terrible at going downhill without edges and a locked heel so this was a nice bit of practice for me.  The mountain in the center of the photo is Red Eagle Mountain with Little Chief to its side.  Sorry for the blur…dumped the camera in the snow during my ill-fated descent.

Friends of the family will probably recognize Napi Point at the very far end of East Flattop Mountain here.

At the end of my lovely 3.1 mile loop I ended back up where I started- this is what the world looks like through my sunglasses.

I cruised around the valley and saw a herd of deer but not much else.  I’m pleased to report that Johnsons, Two Sisters, Park Cafe, the KOA, the Cattle Baron, and Thronsons are still standing!  Also, Kip’s is open AND has a giant snowcastle built along its wall.  Since this picture was taken it was beefed up with the wall next to the “turret” colored a bright purple

I was also thrilled to see a slightly-limp windsock on the Babb Airstip.  Poor thing needs a day off every once in a while, too.

Glacier County Honey World Headquarters is still standing, too!

The evening was sublime; warm with no wind.  Natalee (Pseudo Sista) and I built a fire, and sat outside by the firepit as the coals died with the sun.  We set up targets on the ice and blasted away with old and new .22 rifles.  We could tell our misses by the zinging shallow ricochets echoing across the ice and skipping to the far shore.  I forgot about football for a little while.  But eventually we lost the last sliver of reasonable light and went inside for a homebrew, some extremely good cookies (Natalee’s hobby is not as silly as once perceived), and the Super Bowl.

Congratulations to Eli Manning – Go Rebels.  See you next season.

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All credits reserved to Sanford Stone.