• Mary Anderson

What I Will Remember About Glacier Park

Walking through one of the most gorgeous places on earth.

Doing it again the next day and the next.

Walking by at least a dozen waterfalls . . . in one day.

Walking by a dozen the next day . . . in the first hour of walking.

Seeing rainbows in the falls.

Washing my face in snowmelt.

Drinking glacial water.

Seeing the glacier my water is coming from.

Being attacked by a spruce grouse for 15 minutes.

Hiking in the perfect hiking temperature.

Being freezing cold in rain and hail.

Boiling in record-setting heat.

Seeing new species of wildflowers every day.

Going through meadows with dozens of different flowers in all colors of the rainbow.

Having plenty of water to drink.

Getting lost in the snow.

Cutting steps in snowfields to cross safely.

Always having my bear spray with me, even when pooping.

Seeing lots of bear scat and grizzly tracks.

Seeing a mama grizz and a cub playing by sliding on the snow.

Having hiker hunger kick in and eating lunch by 9 a.m.

Finding an M&M on the trail.

Picking it up and eating it.

Talking all day to an imaginary bear.

Doing it again the next day.

Wondering if you can talk all day for thirteen hundred miles.

Deciding I'd rather be eaten by a bear than hear myself sing and talk anymore.

Swallowing a mouthful of mosquitoes as I talk to the invisible bears.

Hanging my food up every night.

Having a marmot lick the salt off my hiking pole.

Learning the cool sound that pea- to marble-sized hail makes when you walk on it for a mile.

Doing a real self-arrest.

Getting charged three times by moose in one day.

Walking through miles of stinging nettle and cow parsnip.

Crossing a rushing river up to my crotch, so cold my feet hurt for at least a half-hour afterwards.

Crawling under blowdowns on my belly.

Thinking an animal is snorting outside my tent—then realizing it was just the sucking sound my feet made coming out of my boots after a pouring rain.

Finding an almost one-thousand-calorie bag of potato chips and a Huckleberry beer in a hiker box.

Taking a full seven minutes to devour both, perhaps because I don't like either.

Seeing mountain goats.

Marveling at turquoise lakes and spectacular sunrises.

Not needing a flashlight even at 11 p.m.

Meeting some wonderful hikers.

Saying good-bye to them.

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