Summer (upcoming) Vacation 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Hiking trail in Glacier National Park

As the summer heat continues to bake us here in dry, drought stricken Arizona, I look forward to my planned getaway in August. We all wish it would rain and even though we are officially in the “monsoon” season, any hint of precipitation is alluding us. In lieu of staying in the desert and shriveling like a dried up piece of fruit, I am again heading North to cooler climes.

This August begins with a 4 day drive to Northern Montana for an exploration and adventure in Glacier National Park. My visit there begins with six days backpacking deeper into the wilderness with an organized group. Our guides will lead us and prepare all meals while on the trials. We will carry all our own equipment including sleeping bag, pad and tent, hiking poles and a portion of the meals which will be in sealed plastic baggies. While on the trails we are likely to see a variety of wildlife, including bears. Necessary precautions will be in place (bear spray) to assure of the group’s safety. 5-12 miles will be hiked daily, with average days of 8 miles. This should be relatively easy for me (despite carrying a 40-50 lb. backpack), as I most recently completed a local 10 mile hike (without the heavy pack) in about 4 hours. I have added more extensive leg exercises several times per week at my gym, including the stair stepper, one of my least favorite machines. But it is getting better as I add more time and intensity each week. My twice weekly yoga classes are also benefitting my leg strength. The cooler weather in Glacier will make carrying a heavy load much easier to bear, and the beauty of the Northern Rockies are sure to inspire and motivate me.

After 6 days backpacking, the next 2 days will have us rafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. It will be a welcome relief to drop the backpack, relax, paddle hard at times, get wet, and end the day around a campfire with others and then doze off at night gazing up the star studded heavens. The big sky country of Montana will surely deliver outstanding scenery.

After the backpacking/rafting I will spend two more days on my own in Glacier, then head up to Canada for more adventures. In Canada I will head to Banff and embark on a much more relaxed 5 day hiking journey carrying a lighter day pack and bedding down each night in the comfort of lodges along the way. Included in this part of my trip will be a visit to Lake Louise high in the Canadian Rockies. The awe inspiring beauty that I have seen in photos of this famous lake are sights I have included on my bucket list of places to see in my lifetime.

After the Canadian adventures, I have no specific itinerary. I may spend a little more time up there but eventually I will sort of backtrack and aim for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, specifically to the remote Toroweep overlook, one of my most favorite places to camp and relax. After a 61 miles drive on an unpaved road, the road ends at the edge of the Grand Canyon where one can look 3000 feet straight down to the Colorado River, catching sight of rafters passing by before stopping further up the river at Lava Falls, the largest rapids drop off on the river. 

As I make my way back home, I will allow myself to be guided by whatever strikes my fancy. 

You may be assured that I will write about this adventure as time and conditions permit.

u © Donald E. Kline 2012