I’m supposed to be out there right now, in the woods walking and catching fish, rather than sitting in fleece and pajamas drinking coffee (having slept late after staying up even later, watching Jurassic Park 2 and 3 with M). But driving home last night, listening to CBC blues on the radio and thinking about the trip report contest, got me thinking that I’ve not fulfilled my commitment to discuss bailing.
I left the house yesterday afternoon, having spent a long morning on various projects, with a premonition that I should stay home and knock off even more. But I didn’t, and things just seemed to drag out beyond all reason from the start: I had to detour to Whitefish to get the park pass from M at work, had to get gas and snack, had to deal with a loquacious ranger at the BC office, got stuck behind slow folks from Alberta on the road. It was far too late when I arrived at Rising Sun, with my permit to camp at Red Eagle Lake, and intention to packraft across the lake to start. I had checked the wind at Browning and East Glacier before leaving home, but St. Mary Lake was functioning as its normal wind venturi. Not bad by its standards, but enough to problematic in my little sail of a boat. I had to try, suited up, inflated, put in, and realized 100 meters off shore I wasn’t going to make headway, as I needed to travel perpendicular to the wind.
So I walked back to the truck, put my gear away, drove down the road, and got out the Guinness I had bought for a post-trip toast. I walked down to my favorite overlook near the golden stairs and sat, bundled in all my clothes, and toasted an exceedingly short trip while I watched to light show (above).
There were plenty of other options to salvage some sort of trip, but I decided to do what I hadn’t earlier, and listen to the fates at large. I went home, annoyed with all the driving, but otherwise content.