Thursday, July 14, 2005


I'm back, after having been away for almost two weeks.

I spent 4th of July weekend in Seattle, playing in Potlatch, and having a generally good time with my old teammates. I had high expectations, and they were exceeded by leaps and bounds. I even played OK, which didn't happen last time at Potlatch.

After Seattle, I met up with Kate at Glacier National Park in Montana for a week. I saw some pretty amazing stuff... mountain valleys, wildflowers, waterfalls, birds, and of course a glacier. The glaciers are scheduled to melt away by 2030, so get off your duff and go to Montana. As a vacation spot, I think it's about as good as I've seen in America so far... the idiot-tourist factor is extremely low, since Kate and I were doing things that idiots generally wouldn't bother doing, like hiking 1500 feet into the air. But I've got a few good stories to tell... well, stories anyway. I bet a few of these fall into "you had to be there" territory.

  • Montana happens to be Grizzly country, so throughout the trip I was worried that we'd see a bear at our campsite. Luckily for me, it didn't happen. However, my gain was Kate's loss... she would have gladly had a bear run-in. All trip long, whenever I saw something interesting on the side of the road, she would excitedly ask "Oooh, is it a bear???" only to be disappointed when it wasn't. (Personally, I think she just wanted to play with the $46 bear-grade pepper spray we bought on day 1. Though I suppose if she wanted to play with it, she could have just sprayed me.) Besides lack of bears, she also lamented the lack of bighorn sheep, especially after having passed so many "Please Don't Feed The Sheep" signs. There were no sheep to feed!

    So on our way out of Glacier, Kate reminded me that we hadn't seen a bear, and how disappointing it was. Shortly thereafter, I noticed the cars in front of us were slowing down to check out a park ranger who was guarding a black mass off in the distance. Kate, on cue, asked if it was a bear, and it turns out that it was. We couldn't really slow down and look, but I did see it move its head around in a bear-like manner. I don't think it was everything Kate had dreamed of, but at least we'd seen a bear. After a few miles, as we pulled up to the Logan Pass visitor center, Kate said, "I'm pretty happy now... we saw all the animals we could, but it'd be nice to see a bighorn sheep by the side of the road." After nodding my head obediently, I pulled around to look for parking. I turned into a parking spot that appeared empty, but upon further inspection was in fact occupied... by a bighorn sheep. It was a total sitcom moment... it had to have been written. Watching my girlfriend materialize a bighorn sheep with her mind was pretty impressive.

    (Epilogue: her reaction to discovering psychic powers was to say, "It'd be nice to see $300 by the side of the road." $300?!? That's it? Gee whiz, why don't you rein in those expectations??? But I guess this is to be expected from someone who has dreams about checking her email, and nightmares about asking me to fetch stuff from her file folders, except I keep bringing the wrong things because I don't know her filing system.)

  • I won an interspecies game of chicken with a mountain goat. I turned a blind corner on the Hidden Lake trail a little too quickly, and found myself charging a mountain goat who was likewise racing along the trail. Once we realized we were on a collision course, we both had the same reaction... GA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A... but the goat turned around and ran in the other direction. I... am ALL that is MAN. No, just kidding... in fact the biggest victory in our run-in was me not needing a change of underwear or a defibrillator. I screamed like a bitch. I'm just glad the old Bill Cosby line ("first you say it... then you do it!") didn't apply.

  • We saw a marmot fight! These two marmots were apparently fighting over this woman marmot, who was lounging on a nearby rock. Pretty neat. And yes, they were marmots, not ferrets.

  • In another intraspecies battle, Kate and I went to dinner on our last night in the park. The restaurant had these "IQ Tester" games at our table. It's a peg game where you have 15 holes in a triangle, but 14 pegs. You move a peg into an open spot by leaping over another peg, removing said peg in the process. The goal is to leave only one peg. According to the game, those who leave one peg are "very smart," while those who leave three pegs are merely "so-so." Kate only got down to three, but I managed to get one. You may draw your own conclusion, but it ought to have something to do with me being Very Smart. It's worth mentioning that Kate seems to have dedicated some brainspace to her psychic abilities, so that may have stunted her performance a little. That, and her Harvard diploma. Actually, given that she's from the Ivy League, I'm impressed that she completed the puzzle without drooling on the board or eating the pegs.

  • Couscous is ideal for camping, because it's instant by design: just add water. Kate and I made a good deal of couscous during our trip. I made the mistake of telling this to my Dad, who informed me that Kate and I were homosexuals. I won't make that mistake again. Maybe I'm not Very Smart after all.

  • Lots more happened, but not much of it translates into words. When Kate comes back from her adventure, we'll sort through the pictures and get them posted. In the meantime, you'll have to settle for vivid descriptions of the above irrelevant nonsense.

    1 comment:

    1. you hsould post more here and less about hockey