Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Temporary Wheels

Sunday September 4, 2011
Glacier Campground
West Glacier, Montana

Today, after two full days of
sitting around with ice packs on my ankle
I went back to the Glacier Clinic for them
to check the progress while I
waited for the holiday week-end to be over.
I apparently have a thing
for the Friday before a holiday.
The original break of this same ankle was on
Friday before New Year’s week-end 2001.

Labor Day is tomorrow,
and at the end of the day,
the park buses stop running,
and there are no ranger programs.

lucky for me,
the West Glacier Clinic also closes down. 
So when I was leaving the clinic and noticed the
wheelchair folded up in a corner, I
jokingly remarked that I’d like to hijack it.
Pam immediately offered to loan it to me until
Monday at 4:00 when they close down.

The folks at this clinic are just the
nicest two people you would ever want to meet.


Going to the Sun road will be closed
as of September 15th so with the
wheelchair we thought perhaps we
could go back up the road and stop at
the handicapped accessible Trail of the Cedars
and also get a non cloudy look at the views
from the road itself.


But when we got to the Trail of the Cedars,
there were absolutely no parking places
except, ironically, a handicapped space with
a $100 fine for parking.  You cannot
park just because you actually are handicapped.
You have to have the official state
sanctioned vehicle sticker which requires that
you get a form from your doctor and either mail it in or
take it into the DMV.   So………
we drove on up the road.


And here are some
pictures on a clearer day.





Can you see the waterfall running down one
side of the road, under the road and
then down again?


This road and this great stonework
were begun in 1922.
Isn’t that just amazing??




Since you’ve seen me running, I so many times,
I thought you might like to see me



This should give you an idea of just how
narrow the Going to the Sun Road is.
There is a VERY steep drop off just on
the other side of that low wall.
Apparently Montana has no laws about riding in the
back of an open pickup truck.




We made it to Logan Pass.
Here’s a view of how crowded the parking lot
was on this Sunday before Labor Day.
But what a setting!




Everyone was jockeying for parking places.
David was uncharacteristically aggressive,
zooming into a spot while two other
cars also tried to pull in from different angles.
But he got out and played on their
sympathy for the woman in a wheelchair. 
Well that’s one way to get a parking spot
on a very busy day.
Although I would not recommend this
as a strategy.


We headed out to the boardwalk which
is “sort of” handicapped accessible until
you get to the stairs.  A lot of it
is uphill though and great for those
with electric chairs but tough on
the guy pushing and a tad scary
for the passenger on the way “down”.




The wildflowers were simply gorgeous.




Just like a carpet



Here’s today’s lunch spot
with all the current paraphernalia.



And here’s the guy who was complaining pretty
loudly that we wouldn’t share with him.




There really isn’t much you can do here if you can’t
hike so we decided to just drive the rest of the
52 mile road over to the main visitors center
at St. Mary.


On the way, we saw this great bowl




and one of the park’s namesakes.



The waters of St. Mary lake here on the east side
are the same Glacier blue as Lake McDonald
on the west side.

The distant peak in the middle here is
known as triple divide peak.
It was carved by 3 separate glaciers and
the water on each of those sides
drains to a different point.
One to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
One to the Saskatchewan River and the Hudson Bay.
And the last to the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
Pretty amazing I thought.




The St. Mary visitor center exhibits are devoted
to the Native Americans who originally made the
park their home, the Blackfeet, the Pend d’Oreille,
the Salish and the Kootenai.

I almost always go through the exhibits but not with
the detail I did today.  I watched all of the
excellent videos, shown in this tipi,
of Native Elders talking about this place now
known as Glacier National Park and
their lives past and present associated with it.





I read every word on all of the exhibits.
And cannot recommend this installation
highly enough to you. 




They were beautifully done





And the words so heart felt and inspirational.



If you cannot read them here,
and would like to,
click the photo to enlarge it.



The animal exhibit had a cast of the footprints
of each animal.  My hand is about half the size of
a grizzly paw.  WOW!
It also has a handset in which you can choose to
listen to a Native American story about each
animal and also hear its voice.
Great to hear the grizzly roar, the elk bugle and the
differences between the howl of the coyote and the wolf.


I was so impressed that
I stopped at the desk before leaving
to fill out a comment card to compliment
them on such a sensitive and informational

Do not miss this!


We headed back to catch the activity
at the Logan Visitors Center parking lot
that Jeannie had written about
in her blog Where's Eldo.

But on the way we found some of
it just off the side of the road.


When I first saw the 3 white butts
I thought elk……



but no,
this gal got up on the rock and
pretty much posed showing us every side.
I thought she was quite the glamour girl
and could have watched the 3 forever
but it was getting close to sunset.




The moon was up at the visitor center
and other cars were waiting. 



no one else showed up so on we went and



The mountain goats were fairly chunky and very furry.
The one on the left looked like he was shedding
his horns.



One was gone and one was flopped over.




The moon followed us back as the sun was setting.











Thanks David for driving, taking all the pictures,
lugging the wheel chair in and out and in and out of the
car and pushing me all around.
I certainly got to see a lot of beauty because of you.




  1. Awwww, what a sweetie he is....The night photos are AWESOME. I need lessons from YOU on how to take them! glad you were able to see the action at Logan Pass and glad you got to get out on a trail....

  2. At least you were able to get outside for awhile. When pushing my parents in a wheelchair, I would sometimes walk backwards and pull them over any bumps or cracks in the sidewalk. I never attempted any stairs with them.

  3. Thanks David for getting Sherry back out in such beautiful settings!!

    Sherry...we know you miss getting out on the trail, but what beauty you saw today!! Don't want to hear about how boring the blogs will be ;o)) This post was spectacular!!

    Are your ears burning?? We are all here at Cheraw hoping things go well for your recovery!! Remember the "thoughts are things"... You have lots of very positive thoughts/things coming your way:o))

  4. What a fabulous day. Great pictures of the sheep and goats. Glad you got out today to enjoy the beauty.

  5. Nice to see that you had an opportunity to get out ... and Mother Nature cooperated to provide good weather. That visitor center sounds really lovely.

  6. Obviously nothing will slow you down Sherry :) Great post, beautiful photos. I found, from my time in a wheelchair, you have a whole new perspective on things.

    Sorry I missed the phone call last night. We were late arriving :)

  7. Now that's more like it -- love seeing you two eating lunch together again in the midst of such beauty. I knew you'd figure out a way to get out there again. Fantastic photos, David, and kudos to you on sweeping up that parking spot for your lady love!

  8. If you have time to drive East again on Going to the Sun Road, turn N at St Mary and then west into Many Glacier area. A neat old hotel, campgrounds, spectacular lake and mountain views. We saw bears on the hillside from the large windows in the gorgeous hotel lobby. Be sure you have binoculars.

  9. Thanks Dad - I'm glad you are out there so Mama can at least see something! That museum sounds amazing and the pictures, as always . . . excellent!

  10. Oh, I'm *so* happy to check back in after a few days away and see that you've been able to get out, Sherry. These pictures are great. I love the goats! Thank you both.

    By the way, I visited the Fredericksburg area Civil War battlefields this weekend and tried to emulate your style of picture taking and will definitely write up my impressions this week so I don't forget. Of course, it's not like I can't drive back to Fredericksburg, but you've inspired me. In a nutshell, I learned about some incredibly inspiring and caring and smart people as well as some complete idiots. Honestly, I think that even I would have made better decisions that some of these generals. I'm going to concentrate on the incredibly kind and smart people instead of the insane ones. Have a great week! -- Pam


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