Perhaps you are wondering why we were so intent to drive so far?
Were the photos of Lake McDonald not enough? Here’s a bit of the view out our cabin, along McDonald Creek.
Staying right at the Creek
You step out the cabin door, wander over about 15 feet towards the creek, and it looks like this:
We were finally able to swap time in the car for some time on the trails. We hiked to Avalanche Lake, stopping a couple times to take photos. At the Lake, I blocked in a quick sketch of the mountains across the lake with their waterfalls, but sensed that I had become a bit of a spectacle, people peering over, trying not to be obvious in their attempt to see what this drawing person was drawing. Or, maybe, not really even worrying about being obvious ("Oh. Look what she's doing. I'm going to go see").
Okay, so, I’m not real keen on being a public spectacle.
At least, not without being paid.
I packed up my sketchbook and we turned our attention to gobbling up our granola bars. Thankfully, people aren't so excited about peering over to watch other people eat their granola bars.
The next day was grey and we let ourselves have a slow, late start, enjoying the luxury of being able to make our own breakfast.
We worked out at Moving Image Health gym at Columbia Falls (and you thought we were just sleeping-in-late, lazy bums, didn't you? Ha!) where J has gone several times before while staying at Glacier. It turns out the owners are selling the business, retiring after 20 years. While we were there, there was a steady stream of local members, moms with kids, people coming in for the tanning beds, all sorts of people. The shower rooms (at least the women’s) was cozy and homey, with toiletries and towels supplied, in case you didn’t remember to bring any. You can't beat that kind of hospitality!
Connie, the owner, seemed happy, but not surprised, to hear that we’d come from so far. She said they got a lot of out-of-town people on vacation coming to work out at the gym. She mentioned a visitor from Australia who’d been in the week before. The gym had just raffled off a gift basket for the Relay for Life. A gift basket filled with booze. Apparently, lots of booze. The Australian dude sees the basket, on display atop the check-in counter and, his eyes bugged out, “What the heck is that?!?”. His girlfriend later told Connie that they knew they’d picked the absolutely right gym to work out at.
The gym raised $700 from the ticket sales for the basket of booze.
I picked up a local paper, the Flathead Beacon, after reading through the reports from the week’s police blotter. Here’s a pretty typical sampling, verbatim:
Tuseday, June 9:
11:12 a.m. Someone in Columbia Falls feels as if he is being harassed by a neighbor. In reality, however, he is not actually being harassed.
3:50 p.m. Someone in Hungry Horse was peering through a neighbor’s windows and noticed that a dog had been alone in the home “all day and all night”. [I had to wonder what's the crime here? The dog being left alone? Or the person peering into the neighbor's windows during the day and night? Hmmm!]
8:21p.m. Four miniature donkeys continually run amok in a neighbor’s yard.
10:18 p.m. An individual at a local diner took one bit of his steak, claimed that it was “rotten” and promptly stormed out without paying. He was later located in a gully behind a nearby box store.
Thursday, June 11:
1:09 p.m. Several individuals have taken up residence beneath a cellular tower. Their presence is unwelcome.
5:17 p.m. A small herd of horses was running down Highway 2. Authorities facilitated in an efficient round-up.
2:29 a.m. A father managed to corner his daughter’s boyfriend in her room. Evidently the wily youth likes to sneak in late at night.
I had to stop reading there, not even finishing the rest of the week, when I slowly realized that these crimes, collected from across the county, were probably nothing compared to the mayhem that we suspect happens back home in California, just in our block, alone.
See McDonald Creek and more, here.