Glacier National Park is one of our favorite places on the planet. It had been three years since our last trip to the park and we decided it was time to visit again. Apparently lots of other people felt the same way, because even in mid-September, we found backcountry campsites were popular and permits were sparse. Fortunately we managed to reserve campsites for a 4 day trip starting at Kintla Lake and heading up to Boulder Pass, then back down to the lake. The trip ended up being a very memorable one!
Day 1: Kintla Lake Trailhead to Upper Kintla Lake Backcountry Camp (11.6 miles)
We began our journey walking around the edge of Kintla Lake. The trail followed the shoreline at first, then broke away, climbing uphill. When the trail rejoined the lake, we gawked at the dramatic peaks surrounding us. It was a gorgeous day. The sharp laughs of loons echoed across the calm lake.
After a few miles of walking we reached the end of the lake. The trail continued through a burned area. Most of the pines had been killed by the flames, but many of these dead trees were still standing. To our left loomed the Boundary Mountains, so named because they sit on the border with Canada.
Eventually the burned area ended and we reached Upper Kintla Lake. This pristine lake is contained by massive peaks towering thousands of feet above.
When we can’t be out hiking, we enjoy watching nature-themed films. Here are four favorites we’ve seen in the past few weeks:
James Balog’s photography captures the beauty of ice, but it’s his time lapse photos of glaciers that are truly eye-opening. His dedication amidst knee pain and equipment issues is inspiring.
Good Eats: Whithering Bites
Alton Brown explains his simple, practical approach to food dehydration. Dehydrating your own food is a great way to make healthy backpacking food without any extra preservatives or sweeteners. As always, Alton includes some science, history, and a large helping of goofiness.
High Sierra: A Journey on the John Muir Trail
Follow a group of high school students as they set out to hike the JMT. They aren’t so excited at first, but the splendor of the trail converts them. A fun watch with plenty of eye candy.
Rivers and Tides
This documentary about Andy Goldsworthy is a meditation on the impermanence of nature and the beauty of natural forms. Goldsworthy is one of our favorite artists and his work has influenced Shutterbug’s photography.
North Star is slowly recovering from shingles. The first four days after she began taking medications were rough. The painful lesions grew and she felt terrible. On the fifth day her symptoms finally lessened slightly. She is still low on energy, but we are happy to report that she is now improving a little each day.
Our family, friends, and this online community have been amazing throughout this tough time. Thank you so very much for your supportive comments, suggestions, and good wishes. We’ve read your notes many times. They lifted our spirits and put smiles on our faces. Thank you.
While North Star was out of commission, the Annual Day Zero PCT Kick-Off (ADZPCTKO) event occurred. This Southern California gathering marks the beginning of many thru hikers’ journeys. It’s also a reunion of past PCT hikers. We obviously couldn’t make it, but Gossamer Gear kindly shared our PCT photography book in their booth. Hopefully some of you got to flip through the pages. We wish all the 2013 PCT hikers a wonderful and exciting adventure. Have fun and remember to HYOH (hike your own hike).
North Star probably won’t regain her full health for a while so our plan remains to keep things low key. We’ll be writing essays for two magazines(!), acquainting ourselves with Fort Collins, Colorado, and researching backpacking options in the Rockies. The dramatic mountains here are already beckoning us to come out and adventure…when we’re healthy.