When I was thinking about writing this post, I thought I would call it "Blame it on the Rum". I was going to start by explaining how this is an expression me and my girlfriends sometimes use, and we even made up a very silly song that goes with it. (any country singer out there that wants to steal that song title should go for it...I think it's pretty brilliant) Then I was going to explain why I was drinking rum the night before deciding to do this hike--which consequently lead me to plead for help on my favorite hiking forum because I knew I was not thinking straight. (and they talked me out of doing "Lake Ann", thank God) But, explaining why we made up that song, or why I happened to be boozing it up on a Thursday night...well, that's probably more than anyone needs or wants to know.
The hike that was so mercifully recommended was "Skyline Divide", and I knew it was the perfect fit. It's only 2 miles to the payoff views, which I knew my oldest daughter and her friend Misun could handle. (my oldest enjoys hiking more than my youngest--but after doing Oyster Dome, she prefers avoiding too much uphill)
After picking up Misun in Bellingham, we were on our way to the Glacier ranger station to buy our Northwest forest pass. The poor woman at the information counter must have spent 5 minutes trying to explain to me what passes are needed at which parks and why. I won't complain about the $30 bucks though...I appreciate our parks too much and I know the money is really needed.
It kept them from biting, but unfortunately not from constantly buzzing around us. It was annoying for sure. I was trying to tell myself to consider the noise the same as a hummingbird's, but of course that didn't work. (buzzing and humming really aren't that different.. it's weird to think about why one is so irritating while the other is pleasant)
I will blame the fact that I was even slower than usual on the previous night's libations. ("Blame it on the rum"...you always have to sing it. I wish you knew the tune; it's quite catchy) Usually I can count on Amber being at least close to me--but both girls were almost always waiting for me to catch up. Occasionally I would gain on them enough to see Amber wildly whipping the branch she was carrying around in an attempt to ward off the flies. I think it just made them madder.
|Hurry up, Mom!|
When we finally got to the grassy knoll, Amber was pretty much over it. "Yes, the views are amazing, Mom...I see them. Can we go now?" She let me know she didn't love all the uphill (I sort of purposely failed to mention that when I asked her if she wanted to go) and she was especially loathing the flies. I could tell she didn't care much about sitting down for a nice lunch--what she really wanted to do is pull the legs off of each and every fly and boil them in a pot.
But she humored me, and we found a gorgeous spot amidst the wildflowers. After taking a few pictures, we all started to feel a little better. (nothin' like a photo shoot to make the assaults of nature more tolerable ;) It wasn't enough to make the girls want to stay though, and it saddened me to know this hike, even with the amazing views, was only going to be remembered as "That hike we took with all those horrible flies". Sigh...time to head back down in defeat.
|Look close, a fly (or bee?) made his way into the picture|
I have a horrible confession to make; we used our leftover potato chips to feed the birds. I know it's awful--honestly, I feel really bad about it, because I can't imagine it's any good for them. But I'd like to see you tell them to stop, especially when you look into Misun's adorable sparkling eyes when she gleefully announces, "this is so magical!" So, to avoid this horrible moral dilemma, I strongly encourage anyone who plans on doing this hike to take some bird appropriate food along with them. I want to make sure these wonderful creatures who turned our horsefly hell into bird paradise are well taken care of.