Ding Dong, Do One

Trip Start Jul 05, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Friday, August 9, 2013

Mission get back into America started with the now customary bag search and full interrogation, although at least this time there were compliments on how well I'd packed my bag. Would quite like to adopt the sarcastic approach, especially when someone takes a shoe out of a bag and asks 'Whats this?' Ermm... Well what does it look like?!

Also, was a little annoyed that I couldn't renew my original 90 day period after leaving the US, going back to Canada then trying to get back into the US but I'd still have a full 2 months left I try and do all the west coast.

Once through the border crossing kinda got dumped there and expected to make my own way (ie have a car), but hitched a ride pretty easy, changing my planned destination along that journey, then stopped off for a beer with the people that picked me up.

Discussed with those people about buying a vehicle over here but it seemed no one really knew bout the legalities and everything changed depending on state, so left that for another time to investigate.

So, the first main destination back in the US was Glacier National Park in northern Montana. The only places I'd visited before in the US had been cities so it was my first taste of the rural side - Montana itself is probably 3 times bigger than the UK but only populated by 800000 people - 700000 of those seemingly having massively and pointlessly oversized pick up trucks...

Got dropped off at the east side of the park and got a campspot sorted despite it being fully booked. Only $8 a night aswell - much better than the ridiculous Canadian prices :) Got told to camp a bit to one side as they were expecting a big group later, so did that but then some massively uptight ranger bitch got all arsey and made me shift it back.

She got a typical what's the beef, chill out out type response from me which only seemed to irate her more, but maybe I'd be just as moody if I had to wear tight super wedgie green pants every day!

So got that shifted and found beer. Wasn't supposed to be drinking as on antibiotics for super painful wisdom tooth but beer did a more than adequate job of killing the pain :P

In the morning, probably due to my altercation with Mrs Moody Green Pants, got told to relocate again. Didn't even bother packing the tent down properly just picked it up, carried in a mile then plonked it down into my new spot, really appreciating that extra bit of wasted time.

Met my new camp mates - the Kern's - a pretty hillbilly like family from the arse-end of nowhere in Montana. Originally thought the sister was the mum but thankfully kept my mouth shut before discovering! Also immediately noticed some linguistical changes - mainly the new favourite word of shoot, rather than sketchy, and increased use of 'Holy Cow' - quite fond of that one though :P

They were interested in hearing about me - not sure if it was the accent or actually me - but shared the shuttle over the famous Going to the Sun road which takes you through some amazing scenery and for me dropped me off at the trailhead for the Skyline Trail - casual 14 mile walk. Again the pictures kinda tell the story so ill just comment on people that wear bear bells.....

Idiots! All of them...You think a bear is going to be scared of a bell?! If I were a bear it'd just piss me off hearing about 500 tourists dangling about all day. I went with the trusty approach of slamming my iPod in - that way at least id be oblivious if one did attack... and of course I wouldn't have to listen to those goddamn holy cow bells!

That night, more beer and getting my accent ripped out of, but met some quite interesting older guy called Jim who was one of those travellers that had pretty much seen and done everything from watching someone die in a car crash whilst hitchhiking to being picked up by a catholic priest while he was 19 (and hitchhiking) who then tried to molest him.

Have one guess what I had planned on doing the following day.... Yep, and thankfully I didn't have to wait too long before I managed to pick a ride up with two thankfully normal and cool girls called Megan and Shelby. Did another trek round Many Glacier to some Iceberg Lake which was pretty cool despite the clouds, and fucking bear bells! Megan had suggested I should go out with them that night, but by the time everyone had got back was too late so another night camping with the Kern's - shoot!

I guess this was starting to prove for me the most difficult place to travel as a backpacker so far, as with visiting all the national parks, everyone was a family or an older american with an RV truck, meaning it was difficult to meet other people my age, and kinda have a few beers with on a night.

Also, the National Park was in, or part of - I'm not sure which, but don't care - an old Indian reserve, where they decided to have celebratory dry weeks where all alcohol is banned, (even in supermarkets....) What kind of bullshit celebration is this?!

Rather than sticking around to find out what the actual celebration was, I chose to pack my tent and move to a town WITH beer ;P Luckily Megan had drove by my camp in the morning and asked if I wanted to go out with a group of them, and camp out in the forest. It was in the direction I was heading so hell yes!

Did another short trek, then got picked up and taken to a tiny town called Polebridge which didn't have much except a pub and an awesome bakery - absolutely perfect! Already was quite drunk from car ride (oh and drink driving seems to be pretty common here) but was introduced to summer sausage (yes its a food and nothing else) stayed for drinks at the pub, rinsed the bakery, met up with the rest of the group, then found a wild camp spot, where set up, got through quite a few beer funnels, cooked campfire food, played catchphrase, which seemed to be getting more explicit as the night went on, and generally had a really good time - some of the best nights are always unplanned...

... And then produce the worst hangovers! I think I slept well but not sure how much I actually slept. Everyone seemed to be an early riser but then the funnels came back out for a few of us - I couldn't stomach it but i think more than enough beer was consumed in these few days :P Skimming back over this blog, it probably sounds like an alcoholic but please bare in mind there was almost 5 days of full sobriety in between...plus it was of course purely for medical purpose :P No really, that tooth did hurt!

So that was that...kinda wish I remember some more funny bits from the night but this is now 3 weeks ago so you'll have to make do with the remnants of my dishevelled memory! After the night in Polebridge, I got dropped off in Northern Montana for the start of a very interesting journey to Yellowstone...
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