My Trip to Glacier National Park or I Ain’t ‘Fraid of No Bear

Here’s my story from my trip to Glacier National Park (which by the way is absolutely stunning and you must see it if you haven’t because the glaciers will be gone in another 30 years or so).

I reluctantly took this trip by myself because my husband was unable to go at the last minute. Non-refundable plane tickets were purchased and everything was rented and reserved. Among the things that were reserved was a really cool cabin way back in the woods. It was supposed to be for the two of us. Things don’t always go as planned.

I flew to Billings, Montana and drove about 400 miles across the state of Montana. Montana is a drop dead gorgeous state, really. But I grew up in NJ and now I live in the desert Southwest. I saw more cows that day than I did in my whole life. It was like a huge slab of beef. I’m pretty sure my cholesterol when up at least 30 points on that drive.

By the time I arrived at my first destination and stop for the night, it was getting late and I was pretty tired. My husband was understandably nervous because I was driving all this distance by myself, relying on spotty cell phone service at best. I was really wishing I had Verizon back. When I was able to reach him (by begging a hotel clerk to use their land line), I told him I was going to take a few pictures then go look for the cabin we had reserved nearby. No biggie.

It was beautiful. The sun was setting. I lost track of time. My husband had no idea what happened to me. He couldn’t reach me. He called the cabin reservation dude. Dude said I never showed up. I found out later my husband had visions of me disappearing off of a cliff in search of the perfect photo and being the feature story on “Unsolved Mysteries”.

Ok so I finally get to the cabin and cabin dude is like, “Are you MJ?”

Me: “Yes, why.”

Dude: “You should call your husband, he’s really worried about you.”

This of course, makes me feel very guilty. But I have to use cabin dude’s phone because – you guessed it – no cell phone service. I call my husband and apologize and tell him I’m fine and how beautiful it is and I better get going because it’s starting to get dark.

Cabin dude gets me checked in and offers to show me where cabin #10 is. It’s dark out now. Yes, please.

He asks me: “Do you have bear spray?”

Me: “I have hair spray. Does that count? Why do I need bear spray?” 

I don’t even know what bear spray is. Remember earlier when I said I was from NJ? I’m from the city part of New Jersey, not the woodsy part.

Dude: “It’s just a precaution. Probably you won’t need it. Just hang it on the loop of your jeans in case.”

Me: “Sure why not, I’m all about making bold fashion statements.”

Dude: “Here’s the key to the cabin. It’s the last one on the left alllllll the way in the back. See it? There’s no cell phone service or wi-fi.  Let me know if you need anything. I’m leaving in about 1/2 hour.”

Wait. What? You’re leaving? As in no one here for the rest of the night? I don’t see too many cars by the other cabins. Maybe the other renters all just went out to dinner…at the same time?

Me (starting to get nervous): “Soooooo getting back to that bear thing. How often do you actually see bears around here?”

Dude: “No worries, you’ll be fine. I haven’t seen a bear in oh….about a week.”

Oh boy.

Leave a Reply