Been there, done that

River Access, between Sussex and Essex, Montana, just outside Glacier National Park
Montana gets ever-better looking as we make our way West. When I was a barely-teen, my grandparents took me out West. One of the amazing places I remember from that trip was Glacier National Park on the Montana/Canada border. We drive through a little piece of the park near the end of our day, find a payphone in a National Forest Rest Area, and call my grandparents to tell them how much I remember that trip, how wonderful it was (I suspect I was an unappreciative little shit at the time).

This trip is their fault. I wonder how they feel about that?

We bypass the NF campground (only ten bucks) because their water isn't working, and that's all we really need from them. We mosey on, gaping at the beauty of the gargantuan peaks. The sun burns our faces while the cool breeze goose-pimples our arms. Dervish chugs up the hills and sways around the curves in third and second gear. What a champ he is. This area is splendid. Gushing streams, trees galore. We cross a bridge, a rapid stream with more white-water than clear flow, a Brown Sign points the way to National Recreation Area boat-ramp/river access. We pass the fishermen and the cars with their empty canoe and kayak racks and slip into a small hole in the foliage. Remnants of many old campfires (leave no trace, dammit) make a blackened fire ring. We pop our top, close our curtains, make our gypsy den safe and warm and dark.

We walk the dogs to the river, holding hands, laughing. It feels so incredibly good to sit still and enjoy the beauty and splendor we have pretty much just driven through. This has been a Forced March, a lot of pretty things seen through the van windows. Not a lot of Participatin'.

The shore of the stream is nothing but stones. Smooth, round, flat, square, dimpled, pimpled, speckled. All sizes, all shapes. Skip teaches me to Skip rocks. The boy is positively, unnaturally, profanely good at rock trips. He can skip multiple times. He can make the rocks make funny noises by throwing them high, high into the air so that they plunk down vertically. He skips a rock across the entire river, makes it bounce up onto the other shore. My husband is a one-man show of rock-skipping, rock-trips. I giggle and laugh and enjoy the holy hell out of myself. We've been married almost thirteen years, and he is still amusing, entertaining; he shows me all new pieces of himself all the time, and I continue to wonder and marvel and fall even farther in love with him.


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