During their epic 2013 sojourn cross-country, Ziehl and Catherine had the pleasure of rolling through Glacier National Park. Looks like a hell of a place…wouldn’t it be nice to visit some day? Flash forward to Thanksgiving 2014. Kelly and I are sitting around the remains of a holiday feast surrounded by family. My cousin Chris, himself an avid White Mountains hiker, asks whether or not we have any big plans for the upcoming winter. ‘Not really, but we’re thinking about going someplace cool – nothing’s congealed just yet…’, we explain. ‘You should go see Pete in Glacier!’ he quickly suggests. ‘Pete? Who is Pete?’ I wonder, and ‘Where is Glacier, again? I think Ziehl’s been there, maybe…’ My Uncle Terry and cousin Chris fill us in. Pete was a regular dude, commuting in and out of Boston, just the same as everyone else ’round these parts until he’d had enough. He and his wife Lisa pulled up stakes and moved out to the sticks: northwestern Montana. In fact, they found land more or less surrounded by the National Forest. The ‘homestead’ as they like to call it, is basically off-the-grid: well water, solar and gas power, a wood stove for heating. They’re lucky to have a road that goes most of the way to the house; they snowmobile the last leg in winter and 4-wheel it during mud season.
For everyone who has ever asked, “Didn’t you just go [hiking|skiing|biking|rafting|kayaking|insert outdoors sport of choice here]?” Well here is my response. And you may (in fact I encourage you to) quote me on this.
Summer 2014 came and went with nary a rugged mile hiked the entire season! Not really sure what happened, but Kelly and I managed to get roped into everything aside from hiking. No regrets really – just no mountain climbing in 2014.
In May of 2105 we uncorked our bottled up zeal for arduous mountain adventure by doing what we do best: biting off way more than we can chew and getting ourselves good and committed. Of course we invited everyone we could think of (the final roster included Deb, Ruthie, Ben, myself and Kelly) and sallied forth into the Pemigewasset Wilderness armed with a smorgasbord of untested backpacks, unbroken boots, and ill-conditions legs.