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Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald & Goat Horns


It was the last in a series of unforgettable late summer Glacier Park hikes. I figured I had to leave the peak by 6PM to get down the six mile trail by dark and begin the drive to Spokane, where I would be picking up my then girlfriend the next morning.  It was five now, and the last of them had finally and thankfully departed the tiny summit, an area so small one had no choice but to be sociable. This, I figured, left me about an hour to inhale the mind blowing view of Lake McDonald snaking toward the Western horizon, while listening to the icy falls cascading from the glacier behind me. I moved over to the edge, letting my feet dangle over the 4500 foot drop and soon heard footsteps coming from the direction of the trail behind me. Dreading the thought of having to share all this

with another friendly homo sapiens, I turned and couldn’t help but notice a mature mountain goat, back hunched, entering upon the crest. In an attempt to improve the worst case scenario odds of being gored silly as opposed to getting butted off the peak, I slid back and wedged my body between two rocks. My newly arrived summit-mate ignored me and walked over to the cliff edge about fifteen feet to my left.  He turned and looked in my direction. I, of course, looked away. After a few minutes passed, I turned back in his direction to find him looking at me. And he turned away. We did this dance back and forth for I couldn’t say how long, when he suddenly strolled toward me and stopped about five feet from my ear, both of us partaking of the jaw dropping scene spread before us while still pretending to be unaware of each other.

After another ten minutes or so, he sauntered over and plunked himself down beside me. An eagle flew over ahead. We hung out thusly in Valhalla for some indeterminate period of earth time. Suddenly the unthinkable occurred to me: I needed to start down or risk completing miles of trail in darkness. In anguish, I stood up. My amigo looked at me quizzically. I actually told him I had to go and headed across the small rocky mountaintop. A few yards down the trail I turned to see him, goat horns silhouetted against the clouds, looking down at me online casino as if to say, “Dude, we were hangin’! “

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