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.
The plan was hatched before the East got pummeled with snow and the West had one of the lowest snow years on record. In a way, it worked out. Sweeney and Kelly flew out and Catherine, Dylan, Atlas and I met them in Montana for some hut living, hot tubing, warm weather, and spring skiing.