The Rare & Beautiful Hopping Red Barrel Cactus Of Potawango Island

…try to stay out of their way

CatCon 8

Day 5: In which we recreate a hair raising ride, experience nature & Stupid Tourist Tricks and then just eat the hell out of ice cream

Glacier National Park, so far: To start with, I need to point out that on our first trip here (DogCon 3, in 2010), our Magic Bus was 32 feet long. This meant that it could’t traverse the Going To The Sun Road, the only road that bisects the park. This is because, due to the narrowness of the road and the steep dropoffs and the lack of guardrails along much of it (due to winter avalanches), no vehicle over 21 feet may go all the way through the park. To solve that problem, we simply made the bus into a shorter, 19 foot bus.

Now, the Going To The Sun road is cut right into the sides of the mountains, with steep hills on one side and steep drops on the other. Many of our party back then were a bit put off by this.

(Sasha: Having heard Mom, Auntie Sharon, Lucy & Flash recount the ride, I’d say “terrified” is the proper word.)

So as to prep everyone for this year’s drive, I ran us all through a cool virtual reality version. The results were less than great.

Grace hid in our bedroom. Silky joined her.

(Silky: NOT a fan of long drops!)

Leon disappeared for the whole trip.

(Leon: I was hiding in a cupboard. Flash was right, Uncle Doc is insane.)

Avis read a book and only looked out the window twice.

(Daisy: Auntie Avy is not insane.)

Spike seemed unfazed.

(Sasha: He even brought us drinks.)


Daisy buried her head under a pillow next to Avis

(Daisy: When my death comes, I don’t want to see it.)

Mary & Sasha sat right up front next to me and made ghoulish jokes about crashing off the mountainside.

(Sasha: And we sang a couple of songs, like “She’ll Be Crashing Off The Mountain When She Comes” and “Sixteen Pieces” (to the tune of Sixteen Candles).)

(Sasha: I’ll also not that in a rare showing of common sense, Daddy barely broke the speed limit throughout the entire trip.)

Things are indeed scenic and wonderful and natural and fucking near glacier free here. Thanks a bunch, global warming. We saw a fair amount of wildlife on the way up (we are now at about 8,200 feet altitude). When we got to the scenic viewing area at the top of the road, everyone left the bus (some faster than others) and we took in Nature’s Splendor. We also took in, as with last time…

Stupid Tourist Tricks!

Trick #1 was some dipstick trying to take a selfie with a couple of bighorn sheep in the background. The sheep did not find that amusing. Seconds later, they were chasing the doofus down the mountain. He escaped them by rolling and bouncing about a mile.

(Silky: Several of us who have either given birth or are just old laughed so hard we peed ourselves a bit.)


Trick #2 involved yet another dummy, this time a hipster guy, feeding marmots. Allow me to recount how this went in 2010.

There was the woman who was feeding peanuts to the marmots. After a few minutes, there were about 50 peanut jonesing marmots around her. Then she ran out of peanuts. You’d be surprised how fast a chubby middle aged woman can run when pursued by a seething horde of high altitude rodents.

When the hipster ran out of nuts, the marmots were on him like zombies on a slow runner. Luckily for him, he panicked and ran right off the side of the mountain. He rolled almost as far as the bighorn sheep annoyer, shedding marmots the entire way.

(Leon: I will still laugh about that when I’m old and dying. What a maroon!)

(Sasha: Talk about saying “Fuck you, hipster!”)

Trick #3 was the big finale as a teenaged girl, pissed off because there was no cellular coverage way up there, threw her iPhone way out into the open air off the mountainside. I’m guessing it went 2-3 miles before hitting a big rock. She realized what she’d done almost immediately and started to cry. Her parents & two younger brothers were no help, doubled over with laughter as they were. Then, to really ice the cake, a ranger told her she’s be fined $1,000.00 for littering unless she walked down and picked up all the pieces. As we were leaving, she was just passing Marmot Boy and Sheep Guy as they were staggering uphill.

(Daisy: I think her parents might have laughed themselves sick.)

(Leon: Bet your tail that her brothers will never let her live that down.)

After all that fun, everyone went back into hiding/whatever on the bus for the ride down to St. Mary’s, which was pretty much all on fire, necessitating us to make a jump to western North Dakota, where we decided to have a Pig Out On Ice Cream And Play Boardgames night. I think we must have eaten 40 kinds of ice cream.

(Leon: Tuna flavored ice cream? Hell yes!)

(Daisy: I like how Auntie Avy kept saying “well, maybe I’ll just have a bit more of this non-dairy ice cream”. That Fresh Peach had her hooked.)

(Sasha: Some day, I shall do a monograph on how much ice cream Daddy can eat. I think it defies laws of physics and biology.)

Now, it is time for bed. More thrilling trip reportage tomorrow!

Destination Sign when we started: The Sea Of Green

Destination Sign when we ended: The Motara Nebula

Radio Station of the Day: MERB, Martian Rock & Roll Radio, circa 2109

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