“Shoot From The Hip”


Gearing Up For Glacier

Next week David and I are taking our sun-drenched selves out of town and heading north, north, north to Glacier National Park in Montana.  And with the trip looming, we finally got around to thinking about what we wanted and needed to bring.  I hadn’t really given too much thought to what we might need for this trip, but after lots of SNOW fell in the area just last week we started planning in earnest.  Really? SNOW? Well, yeah, GLACIER.  I think on some level I didn’t think that the photos of the snow-capped mountains would have anything to do with me.  After all, it is almost July!  Snow, at least any that I have to deal with underfoot, or, god forbid, in my car is completely unacceptable.  I spent my week in New Jersey with my teeth chattering wrapped in sweaters and muttering about my thin blood.  Yup, I’ve become that warm weather person.

We are driving up to Glacier by way of Salt Lake City where we will be visiting with some old friends of mine.  Once in Montana we are staying in a condo in a resort not far from the west entrance to the park. Our plan is to settle into our temporary (and very comfortable) home with all the conveniences and venture out each day in search of gorgeous hikes, great exercise and photo ops (for my blog of course!).  So in some ways our Montana adventure will mimic our life in Tucson (there is a Costco nearby, although, sadly, no Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)  but we had to acknowledge that our minimalist approach to hiking in the desert might not work so well up in Montana. So off we went to our local hiking store for supplies:


Lots of dollars later we had outfitted ourselves with some must-haves and here I am modeling my new clothes:


I know, it’s a lot of look 🙂   These uber-boots are fabulous, if not much of a fashion statement.  They are waterproof, flexible, lightweight and already dirty from our trial hike here this morning. The rain jacket (it rains a lot in Montana; that’s why it’s so green) folds up into a small pouch so I can be ready for anything.  And there’s room underneath for a fleece if it gets very cold or we are out at night (NOT!)  The bright color will help rescuers find me in case of…David’s jacket is red and we will look like a pair of M and M’s.

In addition to these articles of clothing we needed a few more supplies, also in case of…


In Tucson, I’m lucky if I remember a tweezers for when the jumping cholla get me, but this is Montana, so we need more things.  Think blisters and Cheryl Strayed on the Pacific Crest Trail  (From the book,” Wild”).  Her toenails fell off!  Well that won’t happen to me.  But if it does, I’ll be ready.

And of course we need these in case of…


You light one of these in Sabino canyon in June and the whole park will go up in flames!  But not in Montana and you never know…

And finally our trip to Montana would not be complete without this:


That’s BEAR SPRAY folks.  And it is most recommended that when hiking in Glacier you carry this.  Apparently it is rather common (decidedly different from not uncommon) to run into bears (Grizzly or Black) in Glacier.  OMG.  Leave that gun at home because it will do you no good.  David researched the bear thing a bit and there was actually one article that suggested that you “try to find out what the bear is up to” so you can decide how to respond.  WHAT?  David (who will be all about protecting me) will have this spray in his holster attached to his belt loop and at the ready.  I’m particularly glad that the one we selected has a glow in the dark safety wedge which should be in the “off position”.  This way, should you need to send that bear running, you are all ready to “shoot from the hip”.   You can’t make this stuff up.

All kidding aside (oh, was I kidding?) I am getting very excited about our trip, and I fully expect that we will see and do amazing things, relax, enjoy each other and take some stunning photos, which will be much more interesting to my readers than the contents of my suitcase.  Bears or no bears, I’m sure it will be a memorable two weeks.

And for a final note today,  I want to send a get-well shout out to my father-in-law, Ron, who is in the hospital in New Jersey and not feeling so great right now.  I hope that reading this and reminiscing about his many wonderful trips to Glacier will help lift his spirits. We are sending our love…


7 thoughts on ““Shoot From The Hip”

  1. That Cheryl Strayed book pretty much put me off serious hiking forever. (Or it would have, if I had ever actually been interested in serious hiking in the first place…)

    Also, love to Ron. 🙂


  2. Glad I provided some fun imagery. I don’t remember any bears back in our teen tour days, do you? I know I was not very interested in the wildlife (welcome or unwelcome) back then! Those TT memories are a big part of my wanting to visit and revisit the national parks.


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