The Deer at Granite Park

The Highline Trail
“Uhh... you piece of shit. I’m tired of chasing deer!” Sorry for the language again, but it is what I yelled at the second deer that stole my trekking pole. Although, to be honest, I loved chasing it through the woods. And this one gave a better chase.

Sprinting behind the deer, seeing that white tail bound up and down as it zigged and zagged through the woods, made me feel like a Paleolithic hunter. It was kind of exciting. Granted, I had no idea what I would do if I caught up to it. I just wanted my pole back.

Fifty Mountain
I hiked to this Granite Park campsite on the Highline Trail, the most popular route in the park. Since I came here without a plan or reservation, I was unable to book one of the campsites along this trail. Then after long conversations with two hikers at Stoney Indian Lake, they invited me to camp with them on Fifty Mountain, so I wouldn't have to leave Glacier without hiking on Highline.

And now they were watching me chase a deer into the woods with a trekking pole hanging out of its mouth.

Sue Lake
As it ran, the trekking pole routinely jabbed it in the mouth when the tip would stick in the ground like a pole vault. In the end, that’s why I still have both trekking poles. The tip of the pole jammed in the ground and was jerked out of its mouth. That’s when it turned and saw me running at it like Braveheart and decided to give up the loot.

Highline Near Fifty Mountain
I wish I could say I leaped onto its back, wrapped my arms around its neck, and tackled it to the ground in order to take back my property. Actually, this is my blog, I can say what I want. Let’s just say I did that.

Marmot on Highline
I clipped my poles onto a clothesline, to dry out the saliva and so this wouldn’t happen again. After retreating to my mosquito-free tent to read, someone ran past yelling, “Hey! No! Put that down!” "That" being a sweaty t-shirt one of those two hikers hung out to dry.

"Ryan, where were you?" he joked. "Aren't you watching for these things now?"

Ahern Pass
“Hmm, yeah sorry about that," I said. "Want to follow it into the woods, see if there's a secret stash of stolen gear out there?”

I actually wish I could have recovered the t-shirt. It's the least I could have done. Inviting me to their campsite at Fifty Mountain meant I could hike one of the most sought after routes in Glacier, even without prior reservations. Thanks guys!

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A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.