Hard to believe that we were still climbing big mountains two weeks ago. The snowstorm that dumped about a foot of snow on the Warehome this past week has shut down the high country, and I believe winter is on its way.
At any rate, Sunday’s dawn found the mountains encased in ice, glimmering in the pure October sunshine, a mighty west wind pluming snow off the peaks. Neither Brother Dear nor I really felt like hiking, but what with the sunshine and the sparkle and the late date and the fact that I had a babysitter (not sure if it’s Honeydew or the NFL, but I’m grateful either way for fall Sundays), we decided we had to do something. And it turned out that something was driving to the end of the Many Glacier road and heading up the Swiftcurrent Pass trail.
It’s funny how a pair of neighbors can still find plenty to talk about, ambling down a trail. Our daily conversations generally revolve around whether or not Brother Dear wants to come to my house for lunch, if we’ve seen each others’ dogs, whose turn it is to go to the post office, and if I want to come to his house for dinner. On the trail, we caught up on each other’s college exes and law school roommates and high school buddies and mutual Montana friends — although we attended different universities and law schools, we’ve been lucky over the years to meet and befriend each others’ friends, and I love how many pals we have in common these days. Anyway, I enjoyed the quiet rhythm of our steps and our conversation as we walked up the valley.
About a half hour after our departure, we arrived at Red Rock Falls, a mighty pretty spot about 2 miles from the trailhead where my younger self drank plenty of cold beer, and where Maggie Rose’s mom now accompanies many neighbors and guests and their small children.
The trail, already more icy than not, turned into an ice skating rink after Red Rock Falls, and we decided to turn around and get on with the day.
It was Sunday, after all – football to watch and weekend Glacier County Honey orders to prepare for Monday’s mail run.
The return trip was over in minutes, and I wondered when we would be back. In two weeks or in July?
As we drove out of the Many Glacier valley, I kept making Brother Dear pull the truck over so I could take just one more picture … it’s so hard to say goodbye.
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