Dozing polar bear, Indianapolis Zoo

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tags for this post: Travel, Dumbassery and Parenting; Or, my weekend in three words

Ever had a holiday weekend in which occurred disaster after disaster, and yet you still had a great time? Ours went something like this:

Wednesday night: Leave for Montana way too late, get into hotel room in Richland, WA at obscenely late hour.

Thursday morning: Leave hotel room way too late; get on road to Montana. At 1:30 pm, run out of gas in the middle of barren Eastern Washington (because you're towing a trailer and your light never went on), barely make it to an exit with no gas station. Wait with kid and two dogs while your husband walks across railroad tracks and, miraculously, returns with can of gas obtained from gentleman in undershirt with two-legged dog who refuses to accept any money. Return can, thank man profusely, give him gift of multi-tool and knife which Mr. T always has on hand on accounta he works in that industry.

Thursday night: Reach house in Montana, think for a moment that an unruly rock band moved in and trashed the place, find tiny turds that are too small to have emerged from average-sized musician, realize it's a pack rat, and start cleaning up.

Friday afternoon: Leave for Glacier National Park way too late, eat delicious meal in Kalispell. Get to Apgar Campground in Glacier just after dark and attempt to get tents set up before meeting sister's flight back in Kalispell at 11:12 p.m. Complete tent set-up approximately three seconds before downpour begins, complete with kid- and dog-scaring thunder and lightning. Look at watch, notice it's almost ten o'clock.

Warily observe the slide into hysteria on part of kid and younger dog, thank God that older dog is deaf and old and doesn't give a shit. Get kid calmed down, just before husband enters tent loudly forecasting certain doom if family stays in tent, which is leaking. Calm kid down again, run after dog who bolts out of tent in fear and won't come to anyone but me since I'm the idiot that trained him in the first place. Get sodden dog back in tent just in time to hear husband observe that, dammit, there were vacancies in the hotels in West Glacier and why didn't we just do that. Tell husband fine, take the friggin' tents down then, we'll snag a hotel room just before meeting sister's flight. Sit in car with kid and dogs; hope husband doesn't get struck by lightning while handling tent poles in thunderstorm. Imagine headline -- and inevitable Darwin Award -- and wince. Alleviate guilt by remembering that I offered to do it myself, even though it was his idea in the first place.

Drive to West Glacier to secure these supposed accomodations, which are now nonexistent, because we are apparently not the only complete fracking idiots who wimped out on camping in a storm. See vacancy sign 1/4 mile ahead, swerve to right only to have four other cars swerve the same direction in front of us and pull in, each competing for the same vacancy.

Lather, rinse, repeat for the next 45 minutes. Have clever idea that the hotels in Whitefish won't be as full as those nearer the park, and call ahead to the Holiday Inn Express. Get room reserved at 11:16 pm, after calling sister to instruct her to cool her heels at the airport for another fifteen minutes.

Get sister, who has a hearty laugh at our expense, but the joke's on her because she has to sleep with Trailhead Kid that night, who ends up horizontal on any bed he sleeps on.

Saturday: Leave Whitefish way too late, but get up to Logan Pass early enough to do five mile hike to Hidden Lake with sister while Mr. T and the kid set up tents in new campsite. Have an absolute blast hiking and blabbing with sister. Photograph more mountain goats. Realize it's all worth it. Go to sleep in Avalanche campground after consuming huge slab of buffalo meatloaf at Eddie's in Apgar.

Sunday: Leave Glacier way too late, drive scenic route back to house, see that pack rat shat on the counters again and did not succumb to the trap. Go fishing with Mr. T, sister and kid till dark. Eat bite of single rainbow trout caught by Mr. T, let the kid have the rest, which he proceeds to eat, skin and all. Listen to neighbors' Newfoundland bark at coyotes for two solid hours before finally falling asleep.

Monday morning: Leave house way too late. So late, in fact, that sister misses -- by ten minutes -- being allowed to board flight. Realize that if the dog hadn't had such relentless, horrid gas all the way to Spokane, the ten-minute stop in Sand Point to try and get him to poop wouldn't have cost sister her Monday flight. Get sister hotel and reservation for flight Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. Have one last lunch with sister; be secretly glad. Leave sister at hotel and go home. Get home way too late. Realize it was still a great weekend full of nature, hysterical laughter at the string of catastrophes and the easy interaction with family you truly love. Write boring blog post about it.

Anyone still with me? Or did I lose you back at the two-legged dog?


Kristy said...

That pack rat thing--it's gotta go! Brrrrr!

Tony said...

I love it! Wish I could have been there with you to help enjoy all that happiness.

Next time...

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

It sounds wonderful. It does!

My mom has a pack rat. It poops everywhere, too. No advice for you on that front.

I laughed at the trout bit. I don't remember my parents being so self-sacrificing but I do it all the time... Last week I stood in a blackberry bramble for half an hour, scratched myself to pieces, and gave all the berries but 2 to my kids. And let me tell you, finding blackberries in Bend is no easy feat.

May your next trip to MT be soon... !

Trailhead said...

Kristy: I'm beginning to fear that it may be a fact of life in the Montana woods. When I get out there full-time, I'm going to adopt a very, very large and vicious cat.

Tony: Thanksgiving week, bud.

Jennifer: It's true, isn't it? The trout was SO good, too. But considering the rest of his preferred diet, I'm surprised he'll eat fresh trout, so we try to go with it. Re the blackberries: you can't swing a cat without hitting a blackberry here right now, as I'm sure you know. We've pawed through several bushes already this summer. I laid out a bunch of them to freeze from our last trip, but the kid kept eating them. Yum.

Lewis said...

What? Every place you went you were late.....and you ended up in Holiday Inn Express in Montana? You should have just stayed home and went to our local HIE out at Mall 205. You wouldn't have run out of gas either.

Rose said...

Buffalo meatloaf? I seem to remember you being a vegetarian. Are you a born again meat eater?

kris said...

Lose us? Boring? Are you kidding? This was hysterical. It sounds like a wonderful weekend - glad you had such a great adventure. I would guess it will be fodder for many "remember when" stories to come!

Trailhead said...

Lewis: Damn if it isn't true -- Mr. T and I both noticed after I wrote that post that every day starts with "Left way too late..." and the lateness just kept cycling back on itself.

Rose: I have morphed from vegetarian to "Person Who Has a Complex Relationship With Meat." Basically I'll eat free range or hunted poultry, entirely free-range, grass-fed ruminants, whether hunted or not, and other hunted game such as elk, pheasant, duck, etc. I will not, however, eat pork of any kind, nor anything that's spent any time in a feedlot.
Mr. T is going on a buffalo hunt in December, and if all goes well, he'll be bringing back 350 lbs of meat that satisfies my ethical parameters. (He searched far and wide for a hunt that wasn't "canned" or, as I generally call it, a "Dick Cheney right-wing weenie hunt.")

Kris: I'm glad you enjoyed it. The weekend really was great, and so "us" in so many ways.