Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Wildfires in the West

Glacier National Park, Montana

We take the Going-To-The-Sun Highway over Logan’s Pass. The air is full of smoke. Usually the road opens about June 26th when the snowplows can clear the road.

We’ve never been here late in the summer before. With most of the snow gone, the waterfalls and rivers have greatly receded. With the poor visibility from the smoke, I don’t bother with pictures on the normally spectacular drive.

We drive by a firefighter base camp on the south side of glacier. It looks like 500 little dome tents have been erected for the firefighters.

I Google and find there are at least 20 major wildfires going on in Montana. Yellowstone down in Wyoming was closed on the east side because of a 10,000 acre fire sparked by lightning. Air quality in many Montana towns is very poor because of the fires. We feel the heat here high in the Rockies and we wonder if we’ve come south too soon.

We take a lovely 10-mile hike to a place called Grizzly Medicine Lake. The trail roughly parallels a river that runs down the valley from the lake. We find a place with a babbling brook in an alpine meadow for lunch. As we eat our peanut butter and jelly, we consider what an unlikely place this is choose to have lunch. It's a magical spot, six miles up into an uninhabited valley. Mrs. Phred takes a nap in the sun, resting her head on my soft belly.

I have a blister on my heel from the last hike, but with two pairs of socks on today, it doesn't break.

There are few people on this trail. There is a constant view of glacier carved mountains as we walk up the trail.


  1. love your blog, perhaps I have enjoyed your trip nearly as much as you. respectfully, David

  2. Wondering which nephew is getting married-Have been embarassingly out of touch

  3. Hi David,

    Tony is the oldest. He is getting married next Saturday. Danny is the middle one. Danny is a Captain in the army. He is just back from a second tour in Iraq. Todd is the youngest son.

    We are on the way to NY now and should be there for the weekend wedding.

    If you want to send a card or something, here's your cousins address.

    3121 Swamp College Road
    Jacksonville, NY 14854