I awoke the next morning in a puddle of sweat—our tent acts as a sort of greenhouse when the weather is hot—and walked outside to find Raffi whipping up some oatmeal. We ate, packed up our camp, and began our drive up Going-to-the-Sun Road, a mountainous route world-renowned for its stunning views of ancient glaciers and jagged mountain peaks. We cruised past thickening pine forests, meadows carpeted with vivid wildflowers, and crystalline rivers, stopping frequently to walk down to the bank of the stream our road followed and mill around for a while. The water was cold enough to make your bones ache.
As the road climbed higher and higher into the Rockies, the view of the mountains surrounding us and the river valley below us grew preposterously beautiful. Waterfalls would periodically wind their way from the still-frozen heights above downthe cliff faces adjacent to our route. I won’t do it injustice to the place by attempting to describe it any further. What I will do is tell you this: sometime in your life, make the trip to Glacier National Park. I know I'll be making at least one more.
We arrived at the Eastern part of the park around 3:30 p.m., but the campsite at which we had intended to stay was full, so we instead fished for a while in the St. Mary river right above St. Mary Lake. We caught nothing, but I did succeed in losing a lure and somehow breaking my fishing rod. About an hour later we hopped back in the car and headed 20 miles south to another campsite tucked away in some woods along Cutbank Creek. Finding plenty of campsites open, we set up our tent and explored the place a little bit. We decided to hike a nearby trail despite the fact that it had started to drizzle, a decision that I’m glad we made as it soon cleared up and we got to enjoy seven or eight miles of the park's nature in relative solitude. After we returned to camp, we fished in the creek by our campsite for a while, but to no avail. Troutless, we settled for Chef Boyardee ravioli. It started hailing (strangely enough), and soon after we all climbed in our tent and went to sleep. It had been a wonderful day.