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4/4 Road Trip

Day 13:

HIKINGGGG. Okay but first the morning. I woke up before everyone and wandered down by the river. No coffee, sadly, because it was locked away in the vehicle. The morning air was

crisp because even though it was almost 8am the sun had yet to enter the sky. Our camping spot was tucked into the side of a mountain, hiding the sun for much of the morning. The lack of sun made it chilly but as it started peaking over the mountain it made a calm rolling fog over the river.. yet again. Always finding the silver linings.




Everyone slowly started getting up and we were off to our hike. Highline Trail to Grinnell Glacier Overlook , the hike was roughly 13 miles and the goal was to see the Glacier at the end of the trail. The drive to the trailhead was breathtaking. We were climbing on winding roads through Glacier National Park. We blasted the radio and I was on a complete high from the beauty of the nature around me. The sun was shining bright in the sky and I was filled with happiness and life. Trent and I sang song after song and I let my head hangout the window, waving and singing at every individual we passed along the way. They needed to have some of my energy as I was overflowing.


We finally found a parking spot which was a mile from the start of the trail. No problem, we are with a professional hitch hiker. So a quick thumb in the street and we found ourselves at the start. Let the hike begin. I had already tackled a long hike on this trip so it was less daunting. I was excited actually.

The beginning of the hike was along the edge of the mountain making it a little queasy if you were afraid of heights. But the more we hiked the prettier it became. I felt like this hike gave us the best of Glacier National Park and I quickly discovered why it is one of the most popular hikes in the park. There were part with wild flowers and others with trees. There were plenty of climbs but then of course we would enjoy the downhill. We kept a comfortable, yet fast pace the whole hike. We encountered rams and mountain goats. More wild life. The trail had people but wasn’t overcrowded. It was perfect.



The last mile to the glacier was a straight incline. This was no baby incline either, my legs turned into jelly but the glacier was surreal. When we got to the top the wind was blowing. I was afraid to let go of my hiking poles as they would have blown off the mountain in a moment. The glacier was a charming baby blue and surrounded by snow. I didn't exactly know what makes a glacier a glacier but apparently the definition was a piece of ice that never melts. Makes sense. Duh. We enjoyed the views and Lauren continued climbing. I was like a nervous mom watching her climb the less pronounced “trail” up to the very top. Seriously one wrong step and well ya. Not good. I didn't watch, I turned my back and hoped for the best. Crazy soul.


We made our way back and picked up speed. I was nervous to be caught hiking as the sun set. I knew I didn't want to be in the mountains as the sun is setting with no headlamp or sense of direction. No thank you, so we exited a bit faster than we entered the trail. I didn’t miss a thing. I was still mesmerized by the views. It’s almost like you get to enjoy a completely different hike on the way back. Every angle of the mountain was different as those views were to your back the whole way in. I smiled. Acknowledging the randomness of this trip and well just the last 48 hours. It gave spontaneous a new definition, even for me but yet somehow I knew I was exactly where I was suppose to be. The people that I had met this weekend were full of good spirits and so many memories.



The night was filled with laughs and another glamping style dinner. We were joined by a couple from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. HOW? The camping area had 6 sites TOTAL. It’s a crazy small world we live in but yet it's so big. Cheers to Wisconsinites bonding in the middle of nowhere Montana.


Day 14:

We packed up and stopped at a nice little breakfast place in what appeared to be another abandoned city. It was a great breakfast. The food per usual but the conversation. Dane acted as a business mentor. He was inspiring me and questioning what it is I want to do and if I want to do it, why haven’t I done it yet? It’s the exact conversation I need to keep having with myself but also others. He was telling me to just do it. To figure out my service and then just start. Dive in. There is no perfect set up, no perfect timing, no perfect product. But whatever and whenever I decide to do I just need to own it and go with it. The only way to start is to start.


We said our goodbyes to our new friends and then we made our way to the last camping sight. Nothing special but this camping location was in the middle of a city along the river. The campsite was free which then of course came with the clientele you would imagine. It didn't matter, we set up camp along the river and became completely hypnotized by the most beautiful sunset. We watched as the colors went from pink to purple to orange and everything in between. The river reflected all of the colors that the sky was blessing us with. It was the unbelievable sunset to end an unbelievable trip.



Day 15 & Day 16

These last few days were solely dedicated to driving home. We had roughly 18 hours left to drive. I guess thats what happens when you consistently drive west for 2 weeks. Either way, I didn't really dread the drives. I found them to be peaceful and a nice way to look back and reflect on the trip.



Summary:

This road trip was perfect. There is no other way to word it. It was a taste of adventure after being more reserved back home because of the pandemic. I was able to spend weeks out in nature and channel my free spirit hippiness all over parts of the beautiful West Coast. I was able to camp and hike in states that I have never been to. I learned so much about myself on this one trip. Travel always makes you grow because things hardly go as you plan and you have to learn to be flexible and go with the flow. (This makes me grow anyways because I don't function that way)


It took me four blogs to captivate this ONE trip. I didn't want to forget any part of this trip nor did I want to leave out any details of where we went and things we saw. Journaling has become a big piece of my life because I always want to be able to reflect back on memories, experiences and thoughts. I believe journaling is so powerful because it makes you be completely present. It forces you to stop and think about how you are feeling that exact moment. It could be simply the view from the top of a summit or a funny memory but I think journaling is something everyone should do, and not only on trips but in our day to day lives. It's reflection and it's a way to captivate moments in our lives, the good and the bad.


I want to always be able to look back on these two weeks when I traveled across the country with my best friend. I want to remember all the amazing people we met, all the new foods we tried and the times we pretended taking a swim in river would suffice for a shower. There were so many carefree, spontaneous moments and I always want to be able to remember moments like these because life isn't always so carefree and easy. I want to be able to look back and remember life can be simple if we let it. Be happy and follow your passions and while you're doing that. Write about it.


P.S. After months and months of uncertainty, I decided to return to my team in Germany. They say follow your gut and that's what I (finally) did and I've never been more happy with my decision. This year is one where nothing is definite but I know I'm definitely where I'm suppose to be.




- Laken

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