Now is probably a good time to tell you about how I got a little preoccupied with summiting a mountain. I follow all these people on Instagram in Colorado or wherever who are always posting pictures on the tippy top of a peak and it looks really amazing. Also we found a guide book showing climbers routes to the top of Glacier's peaks, and from the pictures and difficulty ratings, the peaks near Logan Pass looked totally doable. The only thing standing in my way were Travis' reminders of his fear of heights and his footwear.
I was not to be deterred! We got up really early to catch the first shuttles up to the Pass, but still ended up waiting an hour and a half, then rode on the shuttle for another hour and a half. I'll tell you something, you want to see Travis in his element? Put him on a shuttle bus with other tourists for a couple of hours. He can yak and yak about our trip while finding common ground with absolute strangers, and he can keep it up for the ENTIRE journey. There is political greatness in his future. Mitchell for County Commissioner 2022!
We walked with the hoards over to Hidden Lake, trying to ignore the feeling that we were in a theme park. The completely tame mountain goats didn't dissuade me of that feeling.
There is a tried and true method for ditching the crowds at any national park, no matter how many people you're rubbing elbows with: walk ten minutes off onto a side trail.
Within a quarter mile of turning off on the trail leading to The Dragon's Tail ridge, we only ran into 6 other people. Getting up the base of the mountain was pretty easy, we just followed the well defined official park trail.
The hard part was figuring out how to make it over to the goat path leading to the peak of the Dragon's Tail. We attempted to skirt across a sandy hillside with preciously angular drop, and Travis said he was NOT going to walk on something that had no horizontal foot placement, and by the way we are not mountain goats and did not evolve to do this. Considering that we were already on all fours clinging to a hillside within 10 minutes of our attempt, I agreed to retreat.
We looked to the left and saw a big group descending Reynolds Mountain down a basically vertical path, and for some reason Travis was willing to follow where others had gone even though the trail looked equally treacherous. Reynolds Mountain is the peak to the left, and the ridge to the right is The Dragon's Tail.
So we took big breaths and started climbing, using all four limbs to haul ourselves up the mountainside. The Dragon's Tail is behind me.
And then I had a little feeling. A feeling like, "Wait, how am I going to get down from here?" And then another feeling like, "Wait, I'm to scared to stand up all the way on two feet right now." And then we got to a stopping place and I told Travis I didn't want to go anymore. He rejoiced! He said he was glad I finally reached the panic level that he had been sustaining this whole time, proving that he wasn't just a scaredy pants and that being uneasy that high up is a normal human reaction.
MAYBE one day I will summit a mountain but I think I need real hiking shoes first.