by: Courtney Stone
Confession: it’s been many years since I’ve sat in front of a screen for as many hours as I’ve done recently. And I’m THRILLED about it! Hooray for new jobs that challenge us and hone our minds.
The wildflowers are already in bloom, y’all:
Castilleja / Indian Paintbrush
Erythronium grandiflorum / Glacier Lily. Always the first to emerge after the snow recedes. Tasty, too - kind of like honeysuckle, if you’re Southern.
There’s no water and no shade on this trail, and also nothing but views. Glorious. It’s pretty darn steep, so it’s excellent exercise. I broke my tib-fib last summer, and I’m still stretching my Achilles tendon out from that distasteful experience. Glacier View’s shale-covered, super-steep stretches pushed me and my stiff, somewhat unstable left ankle, in the best possible it’s-time-to-get-ready-for-climbing-mountains-again sort of way.
Looking east at my beloved backyard national park, Glacier.
Looking north, up the North Fork. Hi, Canada!
Huckleberry Mountain, also known as the Grizzly Hilton, is in the background. Can you see the lookout?
I hiked down in deep shadows, drinking in views of the Flathead River and of many mountains I’ve scrambled up in earlier years. I haven’t climbed anything since I broke my leg, and I’ve got lots of peaks in mind for Summer 2016. Essays about why we climb mountains are a dime a dozen, but for me, it’s less about why and more about must.
I must walk. It’s essential to my happiness. If I start walking uphill, generally speaking, I must see the view from the top of said hill. This has lead to much bushwhacking (Exhibit A: Little Chief, Exhibit B: Heaven’s Peak), which has lead to much shin bleeding, which has lead to much cursing, and somehow all of that tied together has led to so much happiness in my heart.
I had a hard time finding consistent trail stats about this hike, but it is about 6-8 miles, 2600-3500’ vertical. If you’re in need of jaw dropping views, Glacier View Mountain will be good medicine. Here’s how to get there: Drive north of Columbia Falls for about 20 miles on the North Fork Road (County Road No. 486). The pullout is on the east side of the road, just past the Camas Road intersection, and the trailhead is on the west side. It is also labeled as Demers Ridge Trail #266.
Got another good post-work leg stretcher for me? E-mail me: email@example.com, or hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.
p.s. thanks to Amity and Emily at Whitefish Therapy & Sport Center for teaching me to walk again after I broke that darn leg ... p.p.s. Wheelie just finished up their website ... y'all check it out!
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
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