The Bear's Hump: Harder Than Milking a Grizzly, and Half as Fun.
27.08.2014 - 27.08.2014
Day 5: The Bear’s Hump – Harder Than Milking a Grizzly, and Half as Fun.
We woke up to the smell of freshly baking muffins and yawned deeply between crisp sheets that had been lined dried and pressed with lavender. The Northland Lodge was just what my aching body needed.
So was a day off.
Our original plan had been to get up at 0-dark-thirty and drive back to Montana in time to catch an 8:30 a.m. boat to the Grinnell Glacier hike in the Many Glacier are of Glacier National Park. When I mentioned this plan, the rest of the group started plotting a coup that involved ropes, a gag, and burying me beneath all those suitcases.
Screw hiking. I wanted muffins.
We slept in and spent the morning doing nothing more strenuous than slathering butter on hot muffins.
With no real plans for the day, we decided to drive around Waterton Village. It was small and quaint and literally overrun with deer.
After that, we decided to drive out Red Rock Canyon Parkway before leaving Waterton because I had read that you were likely to see bears there.
We only saw one bear.
The views were worth the drive, though.
We did a short, two mile stroll that took us to a waterfall and ran along the side of the Red Rock Canyon.
Because I simply couldn't bear the thought of giving up a complete day of hiking, I convinced everyone to do the Bear’s Hump, telling them it was only 1 mile each way.
What I didn’t tell them was that you gained 750 vertical feet in that one mile, on 18 switchbacks. Some of the switchbacks were so steep that I’m pretty sure I could kiss my own butt as I walked by.
And it was HOT.
We climbed. Then we paused. Then we climbed. Then we heaved. Then we climbed. Then we lay in the dirt crying. Then we climbed some more. I think Teresa was devising ways to kill us all in our sleep as we went up.
But the views when we reached the top…..all I could say was, “Wow.”
We had a 360 degree view that included Waterton Village, the lake, and the mountains beyond.
We even saw a bear. Sort of. Really. I think that’s a bear. Or a big fuzzy black pig. I really can’t be sure.
The one thing I’ll say about the Bear’s Hump: going down sure is more fun than going up.
Before we left Waterton, we had a picnic lunch by the lake: tuna salad sandwiches, grape tomatoes, and cheese-its.
We made the drive back down to Montana and re-entered Glacier National Park at the Many Glacier entrance. This has always been, and will always be, my favorite area of the park. The mountains are giants. The lakes are blue and still. And the Many Glacier Hotel is majestic.
We headed to the lounge for drinks to take the edge of the sore muscles. Yes, Matt got another pink Martini. He just can’t help himself.
As we sat out on the expansive deck, looking over Swiftcurrent Lake, we got to watch a moose frolic in the water. Mostly, she just ate. And ate. And ate. I guess it takes a lot to fill up a moose.
It was time for Matt’s favorite dinner of the trip: the Cattle Baron Supper Club.
What looks like a dive from the outside, is actually an oasis of steak awesomeness on the inside.
The bathroom, however, leaves something to be desired.
A bottle of red wine, a salad, a filet cooked perfectly rare with their house potato covered in god-knows-what-creamy-deliciousness, a loaf of freshly baked bread, and a slab of coconut cream pie and all was right with the world.
Okay, almost right. Sometimes you need an authentic Indian headdress to really complete the meal.