My father and his wife visited us all of last week and we had a great time showing them our new-temporary home. The four of us went on a guided fishing trip down the Flathead River, picked huckleberries, took the Looking Glass Road to Babb Bar, visited Many Glacier Lodge for a drink, and played several intense games of shuffle board and pool.
During the week, I learned that Dad does not like to lose. It was a side of him I’d never really noticed before and I found it highly entertaining, especially when he underestimated my mad pool skillz. However, he got me back by attempting to operate his automobile like a race-car driver while I was hungover.
It was great to be around family again and engage Dad in what he likes to call my “femi-nazi” conversations where I do my best to remind him that it isn’t 1952 anymore, and while Mad Men might be one of my favorite TV shows, I don’t actually wish to go back to a time when “things were simpler and women didn’t wear pants.” More than anything it was so wonderful to get lots of good hugs, since someone else I know likes to pretend he’s a corpse when you hug him. So before Dad left, I made him get out of his rental car one more time so I could give him another hug and he whispered in my ear “I was just picturing you when you were 4 or 5 years old and look at you now.” Damnit, Dad. Just when I thought I’d be able to keep it together you had to go and get gooey on me.
I will also never forget Dad attempting to eat this bad boy at the Babb Bar:
Thank god he never saw The Great Outdoors.
After Dad left on Saturday, the Southerner and I decided to hike the Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park. The famous Going to the Sun Road is undergoing construction at the moment which causes some slight delays along the way, and parking is an absolute nightmare. Horrible childhood memories of my mother jumping out of the car with her billy stick when someone stole her parking space at the mall came flooding back as the Southerner asked me whether or not he should threaten the man who had taken what “was rightfully MY space.”
Hidden Lake Trail was beautiful and a fairly easy hike as the stocky fellow in front of us loaded to the teeth with bear spray and bells kept annoyingly yelling back to his poor girlfriend who couldn’t keep up with his pace. I would have loved to unload just a small amount of spray in that man’s face. And taken those bells and …..
As we were on our way back in from the trail, the Southerner yelled “Ho!” and I looked down to see an enormous badger right by my feet.
This sight might be common place for the locals but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a badger outside of the zoo. As we walked away from him, the Southerner asked me:
Southerner: What’s the first thing you thought when you saw it?
Me: I was thinking that he might talk to us and invite us back to wherever he lives for tea. What about you?
Southerner: Not that.
Me: Really? Didn’t he just smack of the type of animal that could talk to you if he really wanted to?
Southerner: Jesus. No one thinks those thoughts for your information.
Whatever. I’m almost positive that the badger was on the verge of telling me the secrets to the universe; not to mention if the reincarnated buddha-squirrel could talk.
We also saw mountain goats, sheep, and several ram, but they paled in comparison to the squirrel and the badger. Trust me.