Just a little bit over-prepared

Yesterday was fun day. It was “Media Day” up in Glacier, and that’s me — a proud member of the big, bad, liberal media. : )
The media was invited to join members of the Park Service and the USGS for a guided tour of Going-To-The-Sun road above Avalanche Creek. Officially the roads are closed at Avalanche and opening day is still weeks away. But because we are media, because we will tell a story the park wants told, we were escorted up to about two miles shy of Logan Pass to photograph the snow removal in process.
Snow. In June. It’s just so wrong. I know I’ve been here more than a year, but really, I can’t let it go. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. And there is a lot of it. Sigh.
Well, since I hate the cold, and since I have been warned about this photo shoot being up there in the freeze-out zone, I went home the night before to gather my gear and plan. I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to do whatever was necessary to not be cold. The problem is, I don’t know exactly what not cold will require. When in doubt, bring everything.

Sorrel boots. Check.
Winter socks. Check.
Thick sweat pants. Check.
T-shirt. Check.
Another shirt. Check.
Flanel jacket. Check.
Down coat. Check.
2 pairs of gloves. Check.
Wool hat. Check.
And just like that, the word of the day is suddenly “over-prepared.”
Plus there is all my camera gear.
And when we got there, we were outfitted with avalanche homing beacons, bright yellow safety vests, and hard hats.
“Oh good grief, Charlie Brown,” says I.

Two things become immediately obvious with this list. One: I have finally taken all the advice I’ve been given about wearing layers to heart. And two: I was prepared to meet the abominable snowman yesterday. I could have walked right up and shook his hand and still been warm. Ha! Snow! I laugh. I scoff in the presence of the white shroud.
Actually, it wasn’t nearly as cold as I had been led to believe. I can’t help but wonder if some of my fellow co-workers weren’t just having a bit of fun at my expense. As gullible as I am, it wouldn’t be a hard trick to pull off. Or maybe I just didn’t notice the cold because I was too busy enjoying the mountains. It’s every bit as gorgeous as I remember. The clouds gathered quickly and the tops of the peaks were rapidly obscured but I still walked away with one favorite shot of the day and here it is.
If I’m reading the map correctly, and remembering exactly where I was (which means I have an above average shot at being wrong here) that is Mount Oberlin, Clements Mountain, and Mount Cannon off there to the left. And just when you thought the day would be totally gray, a splash of sunlight to bring to life the spring green of the valley along McDonald Creek. The only downside? Getting out of all that stupid gear when the photo shoot was over.


3 thoughts on “Just a little bit over-prepared

  1. great shots Bren! i got so engrossed in your dress for the weather story that i had to GO BACK and look at your photos!
    I am so sorry that Montana weather has been mistreating you so early in your time here. All of us are complaing about this spring, let there be no doubt. My garden looks like tent city with so much cover protection.
    So, when are we having lunch to commiserate?

  2. Hi Brenda. Your favorite shot is indeed spectacular. I’m so glad to be following your stories – and I totally get your aversion to the cold. Cathi keeps prompting me to move to Montana but as I look out my window today at the blue skies and slight breeze, around 70*, I think, “nope”. Not for me! I guess I’m too used to moderation, weather wise. However, that said, I did bicycle up “Going to the Sun Highway” at age 40 (and 20 years later am incredulous about having done it). It was a highly spiritual experience, seeing and feeling the Native American presence throughout. So, I look forward to your next posting!

    • Thanks Pam. If you like connections to Native Americans my next really will be a treat for you. This weekend I plan to post my photos of the Legends of the America’s by Sunti. You won’t believe these things are made of bronze. Cheers.

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