Even though I am done with the classwork for my PhD, it still takes a few weeks to adjust to a new school year. It’s partly just having a more structured schedule, but it’s also that the school year still manages to be busier than summer. I’m teaching 4 sections of a freshman lab this semester and for some reason I thought it would be fine to have 3 of them back-to-back-to-back. I mean, it is fine. But it was overly optimistic to assume I would have time to eat between sections.
“Research, teach, oh crap errands” more or less summarizes weekdays for the last 3 weeks. So this “weekly” review is actually a photo dump of the past few weekends. Trust me, it’s more interesting that way.
I finally got some new road running shoes…I’ve only needed them for a few months. Worn-out road shoes worked for the summer because that meant I “had” to run trails. But I inevitably need to put in more road miles during school months, so when REI had some Altras half off I finally bought new ones.
I planned to run my longest 30K training run Labor Day weekend, but since I accidentally ran the whole race distance the week before, I needed a new plan. A glaring omission on my Montana adventure list is summiting peaks…any peaks. I’ve somehow been here 3 years and have yet to make it to the top of anything. So Monday I headed to Blackmore Peak.
The roundtrip hike is ~11.5 miles and 3,700 feet of elevation gain. The last 2ish miles is a series of seemingly never-ending switchbacks. I found myself wishing the trail climbed straight up the side of the mountain instead…not sure what that says about me.
The next weekend, I headed to the east side of Glacier National Park with my mom. (Husband was supposed to come too, but work crap happened.) We got there late Friday afternoon and drove up to Logan Pass to hike the Hidden Lake trail. Actually, we originally planned to hike part of the Highline Trail, but it was temporarily closed for bear activity. Rather than waiting to see if it would open, we went for plan B.
Getting to this overlook was ~3 miles roundtrip – you can also hike down another mile to the lake. We saw both bighorn sheep and mountain goats on this hike, but since neither of us brought a “real” camera, I have no good photos of them to share.
Saturday, we headed to the Many Glacier area. Driving in, we saw a black bear grazing on a hillside just a few feet from the road, unperturbed by several people who had gotten out of their cars to take pictures. Don’t be those people.
We hiked to Red Rock Falls, which is the first 2ish miles (one way) of the Swiftcurrent Pass trail. The pass itself is another 5 miles past the falls. Just those first two miles have 2 lakes plus the falls, and there are a few more lakes further down the trail.
We had planned a short, but steep, hike to another falls after lunch, but decided we would rather explore the Many Glacier hotel area. The hotel is right on Swiftcurrent Lake, so you don’t have to hike for your views.
We did walk a little ways down the lakeshore trail though.
Sunday, we took a boat ride on Two Medicine Lake.
We took a short walk to Paradise Point, also on Two Medicine.
This most recent weekend I skipped my long run…or any run. Saturday I felt like I needed a nap more than a run – without disclosing how long I napped, let’s just say I was right. And Sunday we headed to Missoula for an Avett Brothers concert. Since my 30K is this Sunday…let’s just call it a really long taper.
Have you ever been to Glacier?
Switchbacks or straight up?