In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First real stop

Well, my plan on driving through Glacier National park didn't quite work out as planned. When I got to East Glacier (the "town" at the east entrance to the park) I found it pretty much deserted and when I got to the park entrance I found out why. Their was some road construction going on so 13 miles into the park the road was closed and you had to turn around. I was kinda bummed at first but it turned out to be pretty nice. As a result there was hardly anyone else on the road so their were no crowds and you could just take your time and soak up the sites. Even though the weather was pretty dreary it was still one of my favorite parts of my trip so far. The only picture I took of the park was the one posted above while I was on hwy. 2 on the southern edge of the park. That night I drove into the West entrance to Glacier park to spend the night planning on taking an early morning hike. When I awoke it was raining again and I decided to catch up on some writing and skip the hike. The drive out of the park was beautiful though (it was dark when I drove in). I think it's probably one of the nicest times to be in the park since the mountains still have snow on them and the melting has caused many waterfalls all over the park that probably aren't there in the summer time. I'll have to make a point to get back to Glacier and explore it some more later. There aren't many roads through the park but there are tons of hiking trails I'd love to check out.

After I left Glacier in the morning I wasn't too far from my first real destination of Hayden Idaho where I'd be stopping for a couple weeks or so to do some actual work. A little north of Hayden I took a slight detour to drive into the Coeur D Alene National forest for a little hike. I didn't really know where I was going but I found a crappy little dirt road through the woods that promised to take me to some national forest land and a trail head. I was a little unsure that my little Saturn would make it up the rutty road but it managed just fine and I found myself at the Twin Creek trail head.

Just as I got to the trail head I saw a bird on the road that I could only describe as the bastard child of a pheasant and a quail. I'm not quite sure what it was doing in the middle of a dense forest; but I guess if I was the bastard child of a pheasant and a quail I wouldn't show my face on the prairie either. Anyway, Sarah is hot on the case of getting me an ID on the bird.

The hike was very nice and probably the most I've enjoyed myself on the trip so far. It didn't have any grand vistas, mountains, or huge waterfalls like many of the other places I've seen. But it did have one thing going for it: no expectations. Although I've been to some beautiful places so far on my trip they've all come with expectations which can't help but let you down. Often on this trip I've been reminded of a one of Mark Warren's sayings; "no expectations, no disappointments", and it was very true in this case.

I had no idea where I was or where the trail would lead. It ended up just being a nice trail through some lush woods with a couple side trails leading to a clean, clear creek running down the side of a mountain. I was pleasantly surprised to find many wild flowers blooming in the forest and some really cool looking fungus. Everything about the setting was very calm and relaxing. The weather started out as overcast and allowed me to get some good pictures and then the sun came out to warm things up a little. Everything about the hike was pretty simple, but it was unexpected and that made it that much more special. Maybe I should just skip the big national parks for the rest of the trip and stick to smaller, more local areas. I know I won't be able to do that but I'm going to make a point to check out more of the smaller, out of the way areas.

I got to Hayden that evening and met up with Don and his wife Gayle. So far we've been getting a long just fine and I was treated to a fabulous meal of salad, steak, scallops, and wine tonight; which was much welcomed after week of living out of a cooler in my car. I felt like a king last night getting to take a shower and sleeping on a couch instead of the front seat of my car.


Debbieuu said...

Quiet and peaceful - that's more like it! I'd like to see a picture of that bird.

Anonymous said...

Alan, The flower looks like a trillum. They grow wild around here, quite a few along the edge of the yard this year. They are also "endangered".


Alan said...

Yes, the white one posted is definitely a trillium. It felt like traveling back in time since they were pretty much through blooming when I left Iowa, now I get a whole nother batch.

Danny said...


I come here everyday and I look forward to your posts. I wish I could have done what your doing right now. I'm living vicariously through you. Great pics. Don't forget to put up some of the unusual fixes that you do while you're working once in a while. Thanks for sharing.

Connie Loeschen said...

Alan - I look forward to reading blog every chance I get. It is really fun to live the adventure with you... keep up the good work.
High School Musical will be hitting the stage for LCT June 14th. It has been quite an experience working with all the students... a little humbling as some of them are a lot more talented and smarter than ME! Whew!

Alan said...

I'm glad you're enjoying it, Connie. I'm enjoying keeping the blog up myself and it's good otherwise I'd never be able to keep everyone up to date on what I'm doing.

I hope the show goes well and that tons of people attend. Then get yourself some rest for gods sake!!

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.