The First Ascents
Mindy and I have an expression we like to use whenever we accomplish something. Whether that means finishing an essay before a 9:00 am deadline, ending the day with a meaningful conversation, or listening to all 26 minutes of Sufjan Stevens' "Impossible Soul" in a single sitting– we call that "climbing a mountain."
With everything in West Glacier still being relatively new to us, there are many mountains left to climb in terms of making this place our home for the summer. New jobs, friendships, routines; living in a new climate, running at a new altitude. It all feels like the ascending steps on uneven ground– each step is stressing and painful yet altogether mixed with the joy of going up and up.
And you wouldn't believe it, but here in Montana there are actual mountains to climb as well. Glacier National Park boasts 740 miles of trails, and from day one, we hit the ground running– or climbing, rather. We started in our own backyard: the Apgar Range.
A couple weeks ago, under a quilt of cumulus clouds typical of a Montana June sky, we climbed the steady 1800-foot gain to the old Apgar fire lookout. Its splintered deck offered a 360-degree view of the wild country around us. Lake McDonald, once magnanimous from its shore, now appeared comfortably nestled amid the snow-capped behemoths and forested valleys that blended to oblivion to the north and east. Behind us, to the south, lied the path we had tread for the past two hours and the humble village from where we had started.