The last few days of our vacation slipped away far too quickly. On Thursday, September 20th we awoke in Waterton National Park, on the border of Glacier Nat’l Park in Montana, and drove to the trailhead to Bertha Lake. Just as we started up the trail a couple from Wisconsin was scurrying toward us. They said a young black bear was coming down the trail and despite all the clatter they created, the bear wouldn’t leave the trail but continued toward them, so they came back down. We decided not to press our up-to-now great fortune and headed down to Montana.
We ended up camping in the Lewis and Clark Nat’l Forest campground, Cave Mountain, near Choteau and stayed two nights. We hiked on Friday up to the pass into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a steep and somewhat arduous six mile hike, which we enjoyed immensely because we were lengthening our vacation with an extra day and knowing we would be home the next day. But while we were in Cave Mountain Campground we met up with someone we knew from Rec Lab back in ‘95; in the same group of friends gathered from Conrad we also met a man who was married to the niece of a good friend of ours from the Livingston area. Small world: coincidence? We just don’t know.
The following day we loitered in Augusta on our way home to have a cup of coffee and were home by late afternoon. Not too many days passed before the time we had spent in the Canadian Rockies seemed more like a fantasy than an actual event; had it not been for our pictures, the time we spent in Canada would have been more difficult to believe had actually happened. It has now been two weeks since we returned, a time equal to the time we spend camping and hiking, and the wonder and beauty we experienced and remember seems too fantastic to be real, but isn’t that the way all great and wonderful events and periods of our lives seem when we return to our regular schedules? It always seems that way for me. But because of our pictures, the time we spent in Canada will always have a connection to our fantastic reality.
On the trail above Cave Mountain Campground
We saw a group of eight mountain goats across the ravine grazing around this cave, stopped a few times and watched them for several minutes through binoculars. The picture is fuzzy because of the distance. All eight goats are here, but one of them almost blends into the rocks and one is partially hidden by the trees.
The end of our hike
The following pictures, our final reminiscence, are of the Canadian Rockies we experienced just driving down the highways of the national parks.
I, too, wish they could have continued on indefinitely.