September was welcomed in our part of the world, as it should be, by a high dusting of snow overnight and scudding and variable clouds in the mountains. M and I ignored our messier than usual house and other urgent things (packing for a packraft down the Middle Fork this weekend, with out of town guests arriving this evening) and ran up to the Continental Divide to investigate.
The park is emptying from the tourist high of just a few weeks ago, and while this is not to say there’s a dearth of drivers from Indiana to irk me with their slow and erratic ways, the lower human census combined with the bitter wind above 6000′ and gave me the sense that Glacier is reclaiming itself.
Glacier is flowers, backs to the cold winds of September, sucking sunlight ahead of the certainty of snow. Glacier is hiking miles and a quarter of a circumambulation of a mountain and never seeing it naked, base to summit all in one glance, through the clouds. Glacier is knowing that in several short weekends, Going to the Sun will be closed, and in several more, winter’s snowpack will being to build. And then human visitation to the divide will for months on end can be counted without toes.