June 23, 2013
Day 6 - Mount Henry
Two Medicine CG to East Glacier
It felt great to sleep in until 6:15 this morning. With the short mileage day ahead there has been no need to rush so Sparrow and I hung around the CG and waited for the store to open so we could grab some hot coffee. Sparrow also wanted to attend the church service offered at the campground at 8:30, so I hung out in the store and looked out the window contemplating very complex ideas like the weather, what I will eat in East Glacier, and what other thru-hikers I might run into in town.
On a soapbox side note: While I respect other people's religious beliefs, I don't understand church. It seems to me that you can have as close of a relationship with God as you want without the institution of church. On a similar note you have religion and spirituality, which are closely related for some but don't necessarily have to be in my mind. Every day hiking in the mountains and observing the beauty of the natural world is my "church" and I think a more spiritual/transcendental experience than sitting in a manmade church. Nature recharges my soul more than a steeple could any day. But to each their own, and as they say in the trail community, "hike your own hike (HYOH)" and, "your mileage may vary (YMMV)."
That is partially why I appreciate the writings of John Muir so much. Muir was raised in a strict religious household in which his father made him memorize the bible, and yet later in found a more spiritual connection in the mountains rather than in church. I think that is the power of places like Glacier National Park because regardless of, and perhaps in spite of, any particular set of religious beliefs the mountains here inspire awe and it's hard not to let a 'wow' slip out as you gaze up to the towering snow capped peaks all around you.
Once arriving in East Glacier, Sparrow called the lovely Gail whom had given us a ride on Tuesday, and we walked on over to her place. Gail offered all the amenities a thru-hiker could desire including laundry, showers, and food! It just so happened that Gail was hosting a gathering of friends tonight as well so we got to mingle with a nice group of people while enjoying delicious food and drinks. Kismet, fate, karma, or whatever you want to call it, things are working out pretty well so far and my faith in the goodness of strangers has once again been renewed.