24 June 2007

Wild for the North Fork

The human was insatiable--so much so, that he went back for more--TWICE! As if oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, and a ridiculously large, sweet cinnamon roll weren't enough, the second time he had to try the sugar cookies and something called a butterhorn (like a cinnamon roll but with LOTS of butter--tasted like if Cinnabon made ensaymada). The third time, he went back for the oatmeal raisin and peanut butter (what? no chocolate chip? is he nuts???), plus he tried their foccacia: one with blue cheese, spinach, and garlic. Smelled good to us! Looked good all over his face, too. Ha ha! To be fair, we spent so much time on the upper North Fork, we did pass the Polebridge Merc all those times. And, really, if you're there, why not just stop in for some goodies, right? (And--we couldn't believe it--we did pass the merc one last time, but the human kept going!)

Anyway, yes, we enjoyed the west side of the upper North Fork much more than Glacier National Park on the east. Our first night camping, in fact, we enjoyed the whole Tuchuck Campground all to ourselves. (It really did spoil us because our Glacier experience followed...) The human got what he wanted: he chose the northernmost, most remote campground he could find on the map. Getting to Tuchuck (campground, trails, and mountain), we turned onto Trail Creek Rd. from North Fork Rd. just six miles south of the Canadian border. On the way, we passed an array of cabins and homes that made us want to live up there: spectacular views of Glacier (without the people), not to mention the river and all the creeks. We were told that, indeed, everyone up there is off the power grid. Some folks use solar, most rely on diesel. All have CBs, many have some medical knowledge, but there is a helivac, in case of emergency (though it takes 20-30 minutes to get up there). Yikes. But it's outrageously beautiful and totally away from it all. And the deer! They populated our campground--but we weren't allowed to chase! They clearly did not understand the situation: they just stood there watching, trying to determine what manner of beast we might be. Ha, we woulda shown them if we had the chance... :)

The trailhead for Review Mountain was right at the campground. (What happened to the Tuchuck trailhead is what we want to know?) The boys were very thankful to sit this one out. Narra took her human straight up the mountain! They gained over 1000ft in elevation in about a mile. The trail was pretty spectacular, though. Blooming wildflowers everywhere, in all sorts of colors (though bear scat everywhere, too--the human was armed with his bear spray!). The terrain changed quite a bit also, from a bed of pine needles and moss to rocky slate and gnarled roots. The human is not much for heights, so when the trail ran along a precipice, he got a little nervous. And, of course, his nervousness translated into constant calls for Narra to be careful. Sheesh. She was much more sure-footed! After the serious ascent and a little switchback, they reached a rocky outcropping that opened up to an outstanding view of the valley and snow-peaked mountains in the distance. Well worth the workout. Even better yet, not another human in sight!

1 comment:

wally said...

Is Montana made of pastries? Because that sounds good to me. We could send my sissy off on wild deer chases and enjoy the peace and quiet as we munch on our buns (of the cinnamon sort).


p.s. I'm out of chicken backs! Hurry home!