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(CANADA!!!!) MM 2968.3: I could not get out of my tent for the life of me today. Everything was wet from the overnight rain and sleet. My tent had flooded and I woke up in a puddle. My sleeping pad and sleeping bag were completely drenched.
I was still at the base of the mountain and had to motivate myself to get out into the cold wind and climb up a pass whilst there were snow clouds forming above me. There was nothing I could do but suck it up. It was after 8am when I started walking.
I thought about Marc-André Leclerc today, as I did most of the summer. After watching the trials he went though, it helped me snap out of any victimization I was feeling about my current situation and, instead, embrace what life had to offer me. So, I walked into the eye of a blizzard. There were cold gusts of wind and I could barely see the trail, yet I couldn’t take the smile off my face. I felt happy to be in the midst of a challenge… a beautiful, wild, adventurous challenge. In other words, class two fun.
As I got to lower elevation, the snow slowly turned to light sprinkles of white dust. The trees were powdered with fresh snow and the mountains were fused with winter wonderland.
When I got down to Waterton Campground, the rangers placed my stuff to hang dry in a heated room while I went to tag the border. I touched Canada, came back and made dinner with the ranger as we talked stories. He got me a campsite at Kootenai Lake since I didn’t make it to my designated campsite last night.
I got to walking and found a perfectly flat site by the lake and set up my tent. There were a few section hikers who offered to make me a fire, but once 7pm hit, I went to bed.
At around 9pm, I woke up to Knee Melter calling my name. I thought I was dreaming. I asked what he was doing at my site and he goes, “What am I doing here?? No… what are you doing here?? You were supposed to camp with us at Many Glacier, but I knew as soon you saw the road, you probably hitchhiked. You have a hitchhiking addiction!!!”
I pulled him into my tent and kissed him all over to shut him up. I told him it felt like lifetimes since I last saw him, even though it was only one day. He continued to playfully shame me, calling me a permit violator. I told him to put on a ranger suit and punish me.
I asked if he had any snacks and he said there was no way he would give me any in my tent because it would attract bears. Then, looking at my backpack, he asked, “Is your food bag inside it? Because I noticed at the last spot we camped together, there was one food bag that wasn’t hung on the pole and I wondered, ‘Hmmm, I wonder who that could be.’” I sleepily replied, “If I’m meant to get eaten by a bear, then that’s my fate.” I proceeded to beg him for a snack again. In disbelief of my negligence, he fed me a piece of a butterfinger and shook his finger in disapproval, “No crumbs!!!” Then, he set up his tent exactly an inch from mine and went to enjoy the fire while I drifted back to sleep.