We drove the Red Sled into Glacier to hike the Cedar Trail. There is plenty of parking near the trailhead, but this is the peak season, and we found no space. “Every cloud has a silver lining” and here the benefit of road construction is ten minute gaps in on-coming traffic. We used that gap to make an impossible U-turn and drove six miles back to the Lake MacDonald Lodge parking lot. From there we caught a shuttle and walked the beautiful Cedar Trail. These giant cedars live here because the mountains to the east block the clouds coming off the Pacific, and those clouds drop serious precipitation while moderating the winter temperatures. The water in these streams comes from snow melt and springs, and is unbelievably clear everywhere in the park.
Next we checked out the Lake MacDonald Lodge where Charles Russell, the American western painter, regaled audiences by the fireplace every night for weeks on end. He and Frederic Remington, famous for his bronzes but also an accomplished painter, were contemporaries and pretty good buds. The Norton Museum in Shreveport, a town I still call home, has a letter from Charles to Frederic in which Russell whines about being underappreciated. It goes something like this: “Fred, if the Indians ran this country, we would be paid one horse or two women to paint anything we want on a war shield or buffalo robe. I wish we been born a hundred years earlier!” Maybe, like a former President, I misremembered that. You can check it out in Shreveport. Go there: there’s plenty to do, great food, and they can use the business.
Approaching Glacier in July all the roadside stands sell huckleberries, or as their signs say, “Hucks”. We paid an astounding $6 for a parsimonious eight ounces of Hucks. Kat made a pie. Lord-a-mercy! That may be the best pie I ever et! We felt real good until we noticed that not too far outside our Airstream was a pretty good huck patch. Kat picked enough for another pie. We wouldn’t have known they were edible had we not bought some, but you know, “Living well is the best revenge.”
Who first said that? I had thought it was a Gertrude Stein quote, but it seems that she borrowed it from a 16th century English parson and metaphysical poet, George Herbert. Who knew she read such things? And how’d she find that guy without Google?