Wednesday, July 27th: From Spokane, WA, we drove to Glacier National Park in Montana where our camping adventure begins. We took all this camping gear in our roof rack, so we felt we HAD to go camping, at least once. We got into the campgrounds around 4 p.m. and they were mostly full! Who would have thought sleeping outside with bugs, bears, no bed, and in 40 degree weather was so popular?! There were only 2 campgrounds that had space left. We ended up checking out the Fish Creek Campground, and lucky for us, they still had space! We chose our campsite and began setting up for the night. The plan was to pitch a tent, take everything out of the car, put everything in the tent, and sleep in the back of our car on an air mattress. This is the only way I would agree to “camp.” No way was I getting attacked by a bear, wolverine, squirrel, etc., right?
So, Jon and I pitched the tent with little difficulty, set up our lawn chairs around the fire ring, and began to build a fire. This was where the tricky part came into play. First, we went to buy some wood and ended up not getting enough, so Jon had to make a 2nd trip back to Apgar Village, where they had a motel – Jon said “No, Lauren. Living in the woods will be an experience.” Anyways, it didn’t take long to get the fire started, but it took about 2 hours before we could actually put a large enough log onto it to keep it going. Now, it’s probably about 7 p.m. and we hadn’t eaten lunch. I didn’t want to, but I HAD to rip open the bag of BBQ chips because I was starving. I’m not eating anything but cheerios and lettuce when I get back home.
Before entering the park we stopped by a local grocery store to pick up our dinner for the night. We decided to buy a package of sausage, mozzarella cheese, an onion and pepper, corn on the cob (my idea), pizza sauce, a loaf of bread, marshmallows, graham crackers, a chocolate bar, and 4 S’mores sticks all for one night of camping. Never go shopping when you’re hungry! We picked up some salt, pepper, and mustard at a DQ and butter from our hotel breakfast that morning. Jon’s thinking was that we could have sausage sandwiches, sausage pizza mountain pies, and sausage in the morning for breakfast. All I could think was, “That’s a lot of tube meat, plus it was already so late. How were we going to eat sandwiches and mountain pies?” Jon explained the mountain pies were a late night snack…oh great, just what I wanted. But I was trying to go with the flow. Jon seemed to know what he was doing.
In the end, our dinner actually turned out to be pretty good. We actually cooked! We hadn’t done that since June 27th! After our sandwiches and corn, we roasted marshmallows and made S’mores. That would have been enough for me, but we brought the mountain pie makers, so they needed to be used. At this point, it’s about 10 p.m. and everyone else in the campground was going to bed or else fast asleep. We were the only ones up. Was this a bad sign? It didn’t stop us! We wanted to enjoy the fire that took us so long to make. Jon decided that the mountain pie makers should go into the hot fire coals in order to get them “ready” and “sanitize” them. When we pulled out one of the makers, it was glowing red and part of it melted. Sorry, Barry! The remnants made for a good fire poker and log adjuster. Luckily, we had another maker that remained intact. The mountain pies were just as we remembered them: cheesy! Just as I was about to bite into my cheesy mountain pie, we heard a growl. At first, I tried to ignore it, but then I thought maybe I should say something to Jon. He looked at me and knew exactly what I was thinking. We both fled to the car immediately. We weren’t taking any chances. The brochure said, “People have died from bear attacks in this park.” We later realized it was probably just a snoring neighbor. Fortunately, we lived to tell about it, or did we?
Stay Tuned for Part II: Overnight and Exiting Glacier Park, an All-Day Extravaganza!