Aug 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm #1262342
My girlfriend (Gretchen) and I set out for Glacier National Park at 4:00 am from Oak Creek, Wisconsin. It was going to be a memorable 12 days.
Short rundown of our itinerary:
1. Drive to Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota; spend the night
2. Finish the drive to Glacier NP.
3. Spend the night in the Flathead National Forest
4. Spend 6 nights in Glacier’s backcountry
5. Spend another night in the Flathead
6. Stay at the Village Inn on the shores of Lake McDonald for one night
7. Drive home
Like I said, we headed out in the early morning on the 30th. The morning was cool, the air was still, but the buzz of excitement had us energized. The drive through Wisconsin on I-94 is more exciting than many would think. While much of the Badger State is relatively flat and checkered with farmland, our dense, lush forests, moraines, drumlins, and various other glacial formations make for a decent drive through the state–especially north and west of Madison, through Black River Falls, and on to the great Mississippi River.
We entered, drove through, and left Minnesota without much to note. On to North Dakota! Now, for someone who has never visited the Great Plains, North Dakota was exciting for about 6 minutes. I missed my Wisconsin forests. However, once we started into the hillier Badlands, it became much more entertaining. The colorful canyons, buttes, and hills were a welcome sight, and it is always fun to explore a new terrain.
That evening, we turned off of I-94 onto Buffalo Gap Road into the National Grasslands (opposite of Theodore Roosevelt National Park), and drove up a rocky, rutted dirt road on which Gretchen’s Toyota Corolla seem slightly out of place. We picked a place on a small, flat patch of earth between two hills to pitch our shelter. That night was warm and clear, so all we set up was our two-person Bear Paw Tents Pyra Net 2.
[Sunset in the National Grasslands]
The next morning, we were up, cooked breakfast on some Gram Weenie stoves to the sound of some mooing gigantic black cows that were apparently free ranging, and continued our drive through the plains of Montana. Later that afternoon, for the first time, I set my eyes upon the great Rocky Mountain Range, shrouded in a gray, misty, rainstorm–a harbinger of weather conditions for the rest of our trip.
“That’s where we’re headed,” I said as I pointed out to the great peaks with renewed excitement.
“Wow,” replied Gretchen. The singular word was spoken like a child who was too encapsulated by awe and wonder to show outward excitement; yet the twinkle of joy surely danced in her eyes.
We drove on to our destination, which was an undetermined spot in the Flathead National Forest near West Glacier. I found a sign indicating “National Forest Access,” and turned onto the dirt road. The sky had clouded again, and thunder could be heard in the distance. Up went the MLD Trailstar with the bug net underneath. Lightning, thunder, and rain woke me up, but Gretchen slept right through it. We were in Montana. I smiled and went back to sleep.
The sun peeked through the towering pines as we sponged off the wet Trailstar, and the heavy, damp air left by last night’s thunderstorm began to evaporate. After breakfast we made our way to the backcountry permit office in Apgar Village, which to first-time visiting Wisconsinites on a sunny, warm, Sunday morning, seemed to be an incredibly charming and well-kept secret community hidden from the large populations. I still hold that view.
Gretchen’s Corolla was once again crawling up a rocky, winding road. This time to Bowman Lake Campground. We stepped out of the car and were greeted by the fresh scent of pine, clean mountain air, and amazing beauty all around us. We spent little time making final adjustments to our packs, and hit the trailhead around 11:00 am.
[Bowman Lake from Trailhead]
As you can see from the picture, the morning and early afternoon was beautiful. Oh, Nature’s little tricks… a thunderstorm popped up mid-afternoon, complete with pea-sized hail. We donned our pack covers and rain jackets, and onward down the trail we went. The cold rain and hail bounced off my jacket’s hood, soaked my hands on my trekking poles, and drenched my pants. But it was all good. It added to the flavor.
We got to Bowman Lake Campground late-afternoon and chose a site next to a Henry Shires’ Squall 2. We later found out that the owner of that tent was spending a month out on the Continental Divide Trail collecting data on wolves, elk, and ash trees, as their habitation was somehow intertwined–though I forget the exact function of the ash tree in that equation. The sky cleared, and the day became sunny and warm again.
[Bowman Lake Camp: our Trailstar and the lake]
I swam in the cool (freezing) water of Bowman Lake, soaked up all the scenery I could, and dried off to the realization that I felt more at home here than in any city. That evening, a family led by a guide from Glacier Guides came to camp. While I’m not going to criticize anyone here, I will say that their packs looked heavy! When I saw fresh veggies and other non-lightweight foods come out of their packs for dinner, it confirmed my suspicions. They were also most curious about our tiny Gram Weenie stoves. It was nice to know that my entire cookset weighed less than one of the green peppers they pulled out. But, they were a fun, nice group of people that Gretchen and I enjoyed talking to. A fire to dry out soaked socks and shoes capped the night.
Morning brought more sun. After breakfast we hit the trail and headed to Brown Pass. The trail led us through the forest and streams, with views of mountaintops peeking through the trees.
[Morning on Bowman Lake]
Also along the way we came upon some trees wrapped in barbed wire. Caught in the tines was some brown hair. Grizzly hair.
“Yep, they’re here alright,” I muttered with a sense of respect. The unfortunate events just a few days earlier in Yellowstone where a man was killed by a griz rang fresh in my mind. Even knowing the very small odds of an attack didn’t prevent that fear from creeping in just a bit.
[Grizzly hair along the trail to Brown Pass]
[Crossing Pocket Creek]
[Along the trail to Brown Pass]
After a brief lunch of tortillas, cheese, sausage, peanut butter, and hummus, we continued up the switchbacks leading to Brown Pass. With each step, the views became increasingly beautiful as we ascended up and out of the deep forests. Along with the expansive views came another thunderstorm. We could see the dark clouds brewing over a peak not too far to the west. I could feel the air change and the wind picked up. I pointed to the grayness with my trekking pole.
“I want to get to camp before that does,” I said to Gretchen.
“Yah, so do I.”
Its not that we would have been put off by another rain, but setting up our tarp over dry ground sounded nice.
[Storm brewing up and heading toward Brown Pass]
We threw up the tarp just as the rain started falling. A quick pitch of the Trailstar prevented most of our stuff from getting wet. We relaxed inside our bug shelter as the rain pattered on the silnylon canopy and the voracious mosquitos buzzed outside the permithren-soaked mesh.
“Ha ha!” I laughed out loud at those little buggers. I hate mosquitos.
A nap was in store before dinner as we waited for the rain to abate. As the storm passed, cool, damp air set in–the kind of air that doesn’t let a single sock dry out.
The sound of other campers getting into camp roused me from my nap. We were to share this campground with the same guide-led group we met the night before in Bowman. They were drenched. No pack covers. No pack liners. Bummer. They set up camp and their guide began cooking their meals.
I watched a few deer mill around camp and near the pit toilet. I do believe I could have pet one had I the inclination. They seemed to be waiting for an opportunity to nibble a sweat-soaked sock, pack, hat, or anything else left unattended. One took a fancy to Gretchen’s Platypus while we were in Bowman the day before. Thank God for Seam Grip and Super Glue. If anyone sees deer Poop with a blue bite valve and bite valve cover in it, you’ll know where that came from!
[Fruitlessly trying to dry gear at camp at Brown Pass]
That night we all ate dinner under either headnets or rain gear. The mosquitos seemed hungrier than we were. The sun poked out just long enough for us to see it set a deep, hazy red. The guide told us the haze and color of the sun was intensified by some fires burning to the south in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Sure was pretty, though. Later, as I lay inside my bug net and listened to the mossies buzz away, I just smiled and drifted to sleep.
This morning saw a shimmer of sun, but the clouds won out. Some rangers had come into camp to do some maintenance, including painting the pit toilet. Even the backcountry needs a pretty crapper. They also brought news of the weather forecast (scattered thunderstorms all week) and current grizzly activity. Apparently, some women staying in Hole-in-the-Wall campground a few nights before had a female grizz and her cub wander through camp. At some point both bears stood on their hind legs. What a sight that must have been! The same bears also prevented some hikers from continuing on the trail. Momma grizz didn’t want to move. According to the rangers, the bears were headed down toward the Lake Janet and Lake Francis area. So were we.
We broke camp and headed out into the hazy morning. Down the switchbacks toward Thunderbird Pond we went, and back into the dense, lush forests. Muddy trails and rain-soaked foliage soaked our shoes, socks, and pants. “Hey Bear!” became a commonly heard phrase that day, especially since we knew there were some bears in the area. We ate lunch at the Hawksbill campsite, then continued on to Lake Janet.
Gretchen and I were the sole occupants of the Lake Janet campsite. We took the opportunity to rinse off in the creek, which was amazingly cold (I just hope I didn’t do any permanent damage to my, er, well, you know.) The night became damp and cold, with temps reaching down into the mid 30s. By this point, I had become familiar with putting on damp socks before bed. They were always dry by morning.
Sun! We were always excited to see the sun. It meant cheerier days, more opportunity to dry clothes, and it was way better for photography. I took the chance to snap a few morning photos before we left the Lake Janet camp.
Today, our route backtracked to Brown Pass, but continued to Hole-in-the-Wall campground, which was considered by many to be one of the top campsites in the park.
“Today is going to be an amazing day,” I said aloud.
“Its all been amazing,” replied Gretchen. She was right.
[Sunrise at Lake Janet]
Even though we were retracing part of our route, it was like seeing all new scenery. The clouds and sun paint the landscape in completely different ways. Colors are different, water seems to change its opacity and clarity, and the very shape of mountains seems to morph with the presence of low-hanging clouds. It was actually a treat to be able to see the same landscape in two very distinct ways. Plus, the added sense of familiarity made the hike back up to Brown Pass seem new and old at the same time.
[Sun-kissed ridge at Lake Janet]
[Mirror surface of Thunderbird Pond]
We decided to eat lunch at Brown Pass before continuing on to Hole-in-the-Wall. The sun and warmth that reined throughout the morning were waning. Clouds were moving in again. No matter. We were about to see some of the most amazing views of our lives.
[On the trail to Hole-in-the-Wall. Bowman Lake can be seen to the left of center below the horizon]
The trail to Hole-in-the-Wall follows the side of the mountain. As you gently ascend, the view opens up and the entire valley lays at your feet like a giant mural. You look down and see Bowman Lake in the distance.
“Look!” I yelled to Gretchen. “That’s where we started!”
As we rounded the bend, more mountains kept popping into view. Then the campsite. Hole-in-the-Wall is a level, lush, cirque that sits between ridges and peaks. Several waterfalls feed into streams that crisscross the area before convening into one or two larger rivers that plunge off the edge to the valley several thousand feet below. From our vantage point, we could see where the water originated from snowmelt and fed the streams and waterfalls that eventually ran into the lakes we had swam in days before.
The sound of a helicopter interrupted the moment.
“Must be some tours,” I said. “That’d be kinda cool.”
“Yeah, but I’m certain our view is better than theirs,” was Gretchen’s retort.
And she was right. No matter how much “more” they could see by being in a helicopter, it simply couldn’t match traversing the land by foot. We actually knew the land. They were merely looking upon it.
The trail splits, and depending on your itinerary, you continue around the upper rim of the cirque, or you descend into the campground. Hole-in-the-Wall is an amazing little pocket of alpine fields, waterfalls, streams, and tiny stands of pines that have been disfigured or have grown with odd little bends and twists in their branches and trunks. We picked a site that is disconnected from the rest of the group; it requires a small stream crossing just to get to the pit toilet and cooking area!
Adjacent to our site was a stream fed by the cascading waterfalls originating from the peaks above. It was a mighty fine place to take a little shower. Every way you turned, your view was saturated with beauty. Mountainous peaks hovering in the distant mist, waterfalls, snow fields, and sun-drenched foliage of your immediate surroundings. This truly was a special place.
After chasing a deer around camp for a while (she was very interested in salty items) we cooked a fine dinner of Ramen, then watched a mountain goat teeter on a rock ledge far above us. He would not be the last we would see.
Before bed, I decided to take a solitary walk as the sun set, and dusk brought its cool, crisp air. This was a special walk. It would be my last moment alone before I was to open the door to a whole new chapter in my life. Tomorrow I was to ask Gretchen’s hand in marriage, on top of Boulder Peak. At this particular moment, this was my time to reflect. To rejoice. To take it all in.
I held up the ring, and snapped a photo with Boulder Peak inside the band. I smiled, put the ring back in its box and ziplock bag that I had kept deep inside the hydration pouch of my Exos pack, and slowly walked back to camp. I slept well that night.
[Evening view from Hole-in-the-Wall]
The clouds had stayed away that night, and the sun greeted us warmly. We packed and ate breakfast, and continued our journey. The trail between Hole-in-the-Wall and Boulder Campground was an extremely fun hike. Varying terrain and spectacular views filled our day, and was a seamless continuation from yesterday of the great interactive mural mother nature had painted for us. We ascended out of Hole-in-the-Wall, followed the higher ridge of the cirque, crossed small snow and scree fields, and pushed on towards Boulder Pass.
[Terrain and view as we approached Boulder Pass]
Following trails, footprints in snow, and strategically placed cairns, we made it easily over Boulder Pass. Here, we contemplated summiting the peak directly from the pass, or heading a short distance to camp and setting up our shelter before heading to the top. We opted for the latter. Marmots scurried as we walked over the smooth rock face that made up much of Boulder Campground. A quick setup of camp, and we were off to the summit.
After an initial failure at finding the best spot to gain the ridge up to the peak, we made our way up, past alpine grasses, trees, wolverine tracks in the snow, and loose rock, toward the summit. Down below us to the southwest was Pocket Lake, with Kinnerly and Kintla Peaks towering behind us. No, we were not in the company of giant 14ers or greater, but that mattered not. We had the most beautiful day on our shoulders, and we felt alive.
[Our goat friend who frequented the pit toilet at Boulder Campsite]
[Me, taking a load off]
[Campsite at Boulder Pass]
[Pocket Lake from the ridge heading up to Boulder Peak]
Now, Gretchen is afraid of heights in certain situations. Standing on a rock ridge, looking down at Pocket Lake was one of those situations. She initially froze and insisted I go on alone, but…what about my grand plans to propose on the peak!? I calmed her, and guided her up slowly until the ridge widened. All was safe. We reached the summit and found ourselves with a 360 degree view of endless mountains, illuminated by the most beautiful sunlight. The gentle breeze cooled the sweat we worked up climbing uphill, and we just took it all in.
Now was the time.
I set up my camera on a small tripod to take a shot of us together among the three rock cairns that marked the top of Boulder Peak. I set it for video. With camera rolling, I fumbled around in my pocket for the ring I had sighted Boulder Peak in the night before.
“Well,” I said to Gretchen. “I figure if we’ve made it this far…”
I fell to one knee.
“We can make it the rest of the way.” The box opened, and the ring sparkled as light danced around the facets of the stone.
She gasped and held her trembling hands to her mouth.
“Oh my God!” she cried.
[Frame excerpt from video of proposal]
Except one thing wasn’t right. She stared at me for a few seconds, and I back up at her. I had forgotten to actually ASK her to marry me!
“Do you have a question for me?”
“No!,” I sheepishly and jokingly said, which was promptly followed by me actually saying those four words.
“Will you marry me?”
“YES, I’LL MARRY YOU!”
We spent a bit more time at the summit, then began our way down the ridge back to camp. What’s more to say? That evening we cooked dinner with a couple from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I brought out some fine scotch whiskey I had been saving, and the four of us toasted to a wonderful day. Good conversation and a stunning sunset capped the evening of the first day of the rest of our lives.
[Sunset at Boulder Campground]
But the night wasn’t over. At about 2am, a thunderstorm from Hell unleashed a torrent of wind, rain, lightning, and thunder upon the camp. Rain was definitely misting through the Trailstar, wind was whipping us in all directions, and a rock slide very near our tent scared the crap out of me. Gretchen slept through that part of it. The rock slide was loud and close enough that it prompted other campers to poke their head out of their tent to see if we were ok. Once I was certain I wasn’t going to have large, pointy boulders rolling over us, I was able to fall back asleep. The storm was rather enjoyable at that point.
A windy morning was not much of a surprise, considering the night we had. But despite the wind and clouds, the sun struggled through. By the end of breakfast, the wind had swept away over Boulder Pass behind us, and a warm glow with a pleasant breeze had replaced all traces of nature’s turmoil.
[The sun pushing away the clouds]
Switchbacks slanted back and forth down the mountain as we headed for Upper Kintla Lake. The sun we enjoyed all morning gave way, yet again, to another downpour. Donning our raingear, we pushed on, back and forth through thick, wet brush, towering pines, and over rushing creeks. We passed a couple headed up to Boulder Pass.
“Where’d you come from?” the man asked.
“We were at Boulder last night.”
“Oh, were you in that storm? We heard it was pretty bad up there, and that there was a rockslide.”
Word travels fast, I guess.
“Yep, we were right in the middle of it!”
Lunch saw a break in the rain. We had stopped at Upper Kintla Lake to sit and eat for a bit before heading down to Kintla Lake for our final night. The ping pong game the weather had played all week continued. Sun cheered us up once again, and deep blue skies with its own mountains of clouds floated above.
[Upper Kintla Lake, looking back on where we had come from]
We strolled into camp at Kintla Lake and pitched the Trailstar as…wait for it…more rain came down. It didn’t last long, and we were soon out and enjoying our surroundings. I swam in Kintla, which was a gorgeous turquoise color. The water was relatively warm, which allowed me to spend more than a few minutes playing in the mountain waters. Loons dove in the distance, resurfacing dozens and dozens of yards away from their entry point. It became a game to try to predict where they’d pop up next.
Our campmates that night were three separate groups of canoers. Gretchen and I marveled at the equipment they had. After carrying near-ultralight packs for almost a week, we saw full-blown coolers, huge tents, many changes of clothes, large stoves, and a huge cast iron Dutch oven. And BEER. After talking to one couple, they offered us a couple of brews. It was pure delight to sit around the fire that night, nursing a cold beer. And, as coincidence may have it, they gave Gretchen and I nothing other than Honey Moon (makers of Blue Moon).
[Evening at Kintla Lake]
[Morning at Kintla Lake]
We had a leisurely morning before finishing the last 6.5 miles of our hike. We passed through thick, deep forest, burned sections from a 2003 forest fire, and eventually to the wildest place of all: Kintla Lake Campground (not to be confused with the backcountry Kintla Lake camp we had spent the night before). Loud cars, and worse yet, loud people were the first sounds to shatter the charm of the backcountry. Whiney little girls bossing around their parents and obnoxious drunk men were the wild animals here.
But we wouldn’t let it phase us. We were us, and they were them. For me, when I leave the backcountry, I leave a bit of me there, and I take a bit of it with me. The bits I take along act as a filter for the parts of “civilization” I don’t want intruding on me. The bits I leave act as a bridge so I can always visit the places I love.
[Canoes at the foot of Kintla Lake]
Despite our simultaneous joy and sadness of ending our hike, there were pressing issues. We needed to get to our car, which we had left at the foot of Bowman Lake some twenty miles away. Hitchhiking was in order. As we finished lunch, one of the couples who had canoed to our camp last night was just pulling up on shore. Jackpot. They were headed out past Polebridge, which would cut our journey back to our car by more than a dozen miles. We found another family to take us the rest of the way, and we reached our car early that afternoon. We were scheduled to stay at the Village Inn in Apgar the night of the 8th, so one more night in the Flathead National Forest was in order.
Before we checked in to our room at the Village Inn, we decided to drive along Going-to-the-Sun Road and do a few dayhikes. Avalanche Creek Trail was an easy, two mile hike through old-growth pines terminating at Avalanche Lake. The rushing water through Avalanche Creek had carved out the mountain stone over millennia, creating beautiful gorges filled with blue swirling water.
Our other hike was over Logan Pass to the lookout at Hidden Lake. The trail starts at Logan Pass Visitor center. People, people, everywhere. The weather had whipped up a nice cocktail of high winds, driving rain, and diving temperatures, causing everyone to cram into the visitor center. It was the role reversal of a zoo. Many humans crammed inside a small building with numerous large windows, while nature looked upon us from the outside. Touché, mother nature.
Once things settled down, we started along the trail, which for much of it was a boardwalk of zig zagging wooden planks. I assume this was to prevent hoards of careless tourists from trampling the sparse vegetation that dotted the expansive meadow that sat just below the pass. Once higher, the trail reverted to the normal dirt and rock path. We were accompanied by a mother goat and her kid. They ambled very near the gawking tourists, who occasionally rushed in too close to get a photo. We took in our fill of the scenery, and made the drive back to Apgar down the winding road, and found our hotel room.
[Kid at Logan Pass, with Hidden Lake in the background]
[Continental Divide weather at Logan’s Pass. Cold, rainy air mass on top of us colliding with a clear, warm air mass in the distance]
Soap! Shower! Our tiny little room at the Village Inn was just what we needed to air out some gear and relax. That night we had a hearty meal at Eddie’s Restaurant (outstanding buffalo burger, by the way), got some beer, and watched the sun set over the mountains, creating a collage of deep blues, purples, and blacks. Sleep beckoned.
[From our room at the Village Inn]
[Evening settling in on Lake McDonald]
[Morning on Lake McDonald]
We were sad to leave. Our journey was over, save for the long, long, car ride home. This wasn’t an epic traverse of hundreds or thousands of miles through untouched wilderness. It wasn’t a summit of the world’s highest mountain. Hell, we didn’t even go incredibly far for a week’s time. But we didn’t need to. The test of oneself in the backcountry isn’t necessarily how far or high you can go, but what you take away from it. A man could walk a thousand miles and be unchanged, while a child could spend five minutes watching a caterpillar inch its way down a leaf, and understand the majesty of life. We were that child, and our trip took us exactly how far we needed to go. As I closed the hotel room door behind me, I looked out to the blue mountains framing Lake McDonald and smiled.
“I’ll be back.”
[The mountains disappearing into the distance on the ride home]Aug 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm #1638289
Ken T.BPL Member
Congratulations on a terrific trip report! A happy ending(she said yes). Wish the two of you many happy years together.Aug 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm #1638290
Thank you, Ken. Now, I have to see about one of those SUL wedding pricetags….Aug 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm #1638292
Jason ElsworthBPL Member
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
Congrats to you both.Aug 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm #1638293
. .BPL Member
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
A big congrats to the two of you and may God bless your years together! Thanks for sharing the fine start and magnificent backdrop of your joyous journey.Aug 18, 2010 at 2:17 am #1638307
JASON CUZZETTOBPL Member
@cuzzettjLocale: NorCal - South Bay
I spent 3 days in GNP alone before a BPL course in May. It was my first time in Montana and it was beyond amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and your engagement. I was touched. Truely a cool thing. Congrats!!!! – JasonAug 18, 2010 at 6:01 am #1638327
Jonathan RyanBPL Member
@jkrew81Locale: White Mtns
Awesome! Congrats. I did the same thing in the Grand Canyon (brought out the ring and forgot to ask).Aug 18, 2010 at 6:18 am #1638328
Justin CBPL Member
@paintballr4lifeLocale: East Coast
It looked like you had a wonderful time. Congratulations on the engagement.Aug 18, 2010 at 7:10 am #1638343
Philip DelvoieBPL Member
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
Congrats Gretchen and Travis….sounds like an amazing trip and a great start for the future.Aug 18, 2010 at 7:32 am #1638345
@davecLocale: The West Slope
I totally teared up when I read the story of your proposal. Well written, and well done sir! I'm really psyched you two had such a good trip (funky weather, much worse than usual mosquitoes and all), and really grateful you took the time to share such a complete picture with us.
Thanks!Aug 18, 2010 at 8:02 am #1638351
Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
But the real question remains…
Did the trekking pole in the Pyrra get in the way? I have contemplated the Trailstar and net tent for 2 but the pole throws me off. (cuddler for wife)
BTW- the report and pics are awesome.
Congrats MR and MRS FunkAug 18, 2010 at 8:10 am #1638354
Michael LBPL Member
Great trip report! Sounds like you had a blast. Congratulations on the engagement. Hope ya'll get to continue enjoying decades of backpacking together.Aug 18, 2010 at 8:19 am #1638356
Removed.Aug 18, 2010 at 8:25 am #1638360
Jared DilgBPL Member
Congrats on your engagement! What a wonderful trip report and photos. That made my morning!Aug 18, 2010 at 8:30 am #1638364
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Firstly, let me say I have a terrible bias about Glacier National Park because I love it so much so if my breath quickens with excitement over hearing about a marriage proposal atop Boulder Peak it's probably because of that.
But all kidding aside, what a great trip report you've written for us here. I'm so glad the Bowman to Kintla trip worked out for you, and that the side-trip down to Janet was a cool addition.
Also, if your marriage ends up being as persistent as the deer at the Brown Pass camp then you two are set for life because I've had those same deer slobber all over my sleeping quilt on multiple occasions!Aug 18, 2010 at 9:17 am #1638387
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Well Travis, you've certainly upped the ante for trip reports. This will be hard to top :-)
Congratulations and well done!
RickAug 18, 2010 at 9:18 am #1638389
Trevor WilsonBPL Member
@trevor83Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Congrats on the engagement Travis!
Beautiful trip report too. We took a very similar route last year and your report and pictures make me miss that trip so much.
Thanks for taking the time to pull the report together!Aug 18, 2010 at 10:56 am #1638423
Thank you everyone for your well wishes and compliments! It truly was a special trip, and we plan to be on the trail for many, many years to come.
Jonathan- I'm glad to hear I'm not the only doofus who's done that! :)
David- Yeah, the weather was extremely fickle, but I'm glad I was able to experience the entire spectrum of summer Glacier weather! Were you very near Logan's Pass, or far down the trail?
Sam- Thanks again for all your help with my pre-trip preparations and answering all my questions. We both appreciated it.
Rick- I had fun putting together the trip report, and writing it in a bit more narrative and colorful storyline fashion made it even more personal. I'm glad the format was enjoyable for people to read!
Jeff- I answered you via PM, and thanks!Aug 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm #1638445
Elena LeeBPL Member
@lenchik101Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
Congratulations, you made me cry!
and the picture with the boats is magical…Aug 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm #1638517
Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thank you for sharing such an amazing and intimate trip with us and letting us bear witness to the next chapter of your lives together as man and wife.
Great photos and wonderful storytelling with your words to take us there with you.
Congrats and many more outdoor adventures for you both in the years to come!
-TonyAug 18, 2010 at 9:19 pm #1638578
Kimberly WersalBPL Member
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
I enjoyed the trip report and photos enormously! Thanks so much.
May your GNP engagement lead to as long and happy a marriage as MY GNP engagement 24 years ago (in the winter, along a snow-covered Going to the Sun Road near Lake McD, on skis!). I made him do it right– get down on one knee and instead of "I WANT you to be my wife", he had to say a proper "will you marry me?" It stuck.
We've enjoyed the Hole in the Wall CG, too. A deer chewed the armpit out of my husbands t-shirt.
And we've shared the bounty of well-provisioned canoers, too. Aren't they great?
Anyway, congrats, and wishes for many more happy Montana adventures.Aug 19, 2010 at 8:36 am #1638655
Addie BedfordBPL Member
What a great report and photos – course, after I got over the gushy feelings about the engagement, I kept wishing I could have published this as a feature. I have my head in "editor mode" too much!
I added a year to your subscription at Roger Caffin's urging. From us to you: God bless your marriage and give you two many many years together!
AddieAug 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm #1638742
wow. incredible! man I want to go there so bad.Aug 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm #1638895
Addie and Roger,
Thank you very much for your kind words, and the extra year subscription is so very wonderful and much appreciated!
I don't know your rules/protocol for publishing, but you certainly have our permission to feature this if you choose to.
Both Gretchen and I are very happy to be able to share our experience with the BPL community, and the responses I've gotten to this trip report are exactly what make this community truly special and something we can feel proud to be a part of. (I keep telling her to get her own subscription!)
So, again, thank you all, and I look forward to seeing what BPL has in store for the future!Aug 20, 2010 at 10:22 am #1638996
Steven EvansBPL Member
Just read this from start to finish. Wicked report – and awesome proposal. Congrats!!!!!!!!
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