Day 12 of However Many – Traffic Jams

This morning, seeing this red barn and the old corrals, I asked Howard to stop and then back up, and even then I had to walk just a bit further to get this picture of tranquility and peace. This is my most vivid sense of Canada, probably because of the contrast to my own country right now.

I’d looked forward to driving the Going to the Sun Highway through Glacier National Park but the road was jammed with cars, the turn-outs filled to overflowing, our drive-through not much better than one would have on a tour bus. Thousands of people seeing the beautiful things all at once shouldn’t make the beautiful things less so but it did somehow. No place to park meant every look was fleeting. After a while, it felt like a movie.

Last night we camped on what was essentially a prairie dog village on the side of a river next to a big dam. We arrived late and while Howard went off to register I stayed behind with our dog lest someone else showed up to claim the space, it appearing to be the last remaining one. While he was gone, I saw that the picnic table was covered with bees. My feelings about camping have not yet settled into a reflexively positive spot. There is the coffee in the morning, though, which makes up for quite a bit.

We hit Missoula, Montana, late this afternoon, heading to a campground in the Lolo National Forest, when we saw the temperature on a bank sign – 95 degrees. So we found a pet friendly hotel and ordered a pizza. Too hot and too big a risk that the campground might not have showers which after last night’s prairie dog extravaganza we sorely needed. Here is a picture of Swirl checking out the accommodations before he settles down for the night.

The stories from El Paso about the baby who lost both parents and the grandfather who protected his wife and granddaughter, the rivers of tragedy, and the needlessness of it all, weigh on everything, weigh on me, on my husband, I can tell by how he listens to the radio and what he writes on social media. It seems crazy that we are just driving around the west when all this is happening, stopping in the middle of the road for pictures, fending off bees, and eating pizza in an air-conditioned hotel room. But that’s what we are doing. When we get home, we will do more. We will do what we can as long as we can. I know that so it makes this time spent here, doing these things okay.

2 Comments on “Day 12 of However Many – Traffic Jams

  1. We took the Red Bus because neither of us wanted to drive. Our driver was very accommodating and I was the only one who wanted to sit in the front seat. She would slow down (really slow) and I hung out the window snapping photos. This year we are going to the west side. I feel like I have crossed the line into a very uncomfortable place with politics and mass shootings and stupid people. I am really ready to run away for a while. Don’t hurry back, these problems aren’t going away any time soon.


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