Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Journaling a Family Vacation - Glacier National Park

I have been looking forward to composing this post for months. As a child, I would travel with my dad quite a bit, our most common destination being Yellowstone National Park. My many fond memories of these trips left me eager to expose my kids to nature like Dad did with me. Since last fall, we have been planning a backpacking trip in Glacier National Park with my dad and step-mom. It would be Everett's first big trip into nature! BUT my real cause for excitement over this trip: I was looking forward to getting some good Dad Stories out of the deal.

Anyone who has spent an extended amount of time with my dad knows that some pretty hysterical things can happen when he is in charge. On each vacation we took when I was a child, I would sit with a travel journal on my lap, pen quivering eagerly as I watched and waited for something to document: Dad catching his foot on fire, Dad driving off with a cooler on top of the car, Dad driving on the wrong side of the road, Dad driving off the road, Dad getting us lost even though we were on a road. The narratives were endless, and ammo for them came rapidly. It had been far too long since I've been able to chronicle his awesomeness in the outback, and I was looking forward to dusting off the old journal and sharing my stories via blog.

Here was our game plan: day hikes, boat rides, and 1 overnight hike in a mountain chalet. Bam! Booked! So many opportunities for my dad to make me (and my audience) laugh! One really important detail I forgot in all my planning was this: no matter how hard we try, we inevitably become more like our parents with each passing year. Turns out the joke was on me because Everett - as well as my dad and step-mom - witnessed some pretty journal-worthy deeds on this trip, with me being the one providing the ammo.

Day 1 began with me saying, "Excuse me, Sir," to someone who was blocking the entrance to a restroom. When "he" spun around to acknowledge me, I discovered it was a woman. I struck out and gave up for the day. 

Day 2 found us driving 6 hours to and from an urgent care clinic, only to find out Everett caught hand, foot, and mouth disease, thus cancelling our overnight hike into the mountains with my dad. Somewhere along that day's route, someone managed to steal our debit card number. I always love going to pay for something, smiling politely to the worker as they attempt to discreetly tell me, "It's been declined."

Even though that day's activities were cancelled due to baby sickness, it's hard to mind the detour when you are surrounded by such beautiful scenery. We made the most of it and drove over the Going to the Sun Road for the second time in 24 hours. This time we allowed ourselves a few moments to stop and enjoy the scenery.

I think we chose the wrong footwear that day.

On Day 3, a park ranger watched us with a smirk on her face as we attempted to push the BOB stroller up a hiking trail. In our defense, my dad said the trail was stroller friendly. We ended up turning around after 100 feet or so to grab the backpack.

Later that day, we went on a boat ride, which might have been the highlight of Everett's life.

After docking, Everett plunged himself into a few lakes, leaving Jeff and I running desperately behind him, unsuccessfully trying to catch him before he dove into the glacial water (we've got a runner!). Other judging parents were watching while their perfectly behaved children played on iPads.

Everett threw a tantrum when I wouldn't let him throw himself into the cool, calm waters of Grinnell Lake.

This day ended with Everett bolting from the table in a restaurant, causing a waitress to trip, and almost capsizing her giant tray of hamburgers. Apparently, we need to stop taking this kid out in public. At least he slept well that night.

By Day 4 I had given up. My kid was a pig pen. He smelled like maple syrup, not because he had been eating syrup, but because he had been running around in the wild for so long. However, he was having a BLAST. I'm pretty sure this was the best week of his life - probably because he could only eat milkshakes with the virus that was attacking his throat...

Look at that face! This child is obsessed with Trader Joe's dried blueberries.

We all showered that night and got packed up to return home. Although our vacation was not what we had originally planned, it felt good to be in the mountains, away from distractions, and with my family. 

I will say this: Dad, being true to his calling for getting people lost, turned our 5-hour journey home into 9 hours by dictating the "shortcut" to us. Note to self: never take Dad's shortcuts. At least the view was good.

So there you have it! Our journal-worthy trip of 2014!

Our home for four nights: The Swiftcurrent Motor Inn Cabins.

He hiked a fair distance like this.

Check out this overexposed picture I took of a mama and baby moose!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...