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Domestic Travel

Montana

Glacier National Park

1 - 4 July 1989

The steep East Face...
Mt Gould (9553 ft)
Glacier Nat'l Park
At the Swiftcurrent campground, Day 2
Snackies for Jenny
2 July 1989
Grinnell Point is 7600 feet above sea level
Grinnell Point over
Swiftcurrent Lake

The first time I remember going to Montana was in 1989, for a quick climbing trip.
I'd wanted to go there for years, especially to Glacier National Park, where I had
formulated an ambitious "to do" list of mountain climbs. I went up there with Tom Jones
and his little family. This was a boon for me, because in those days, I barely had enough
spare cash for cigarettes, let alone gasoline for such a long drive. When we weren't
staying in a tent, I was invited by the Jones' to couch-surf in their local, rustic lodging!

It was Fourth of July weekend, and and we had to drive like maniacs to get there. This was
an eventful car journey: Vivian threw up twice during the drive, sickened by the twisting, turning roads
of Northern Montana. Close to the eastern border of the park, a banking B-1 bomber suddenly revealed
itself, as it flew low in the near distance. We were slightly delayed by a highway-crossing cattle drive.
I was amazed by this, gawking at the rugged men on horseback who were herding the hamburger
across the road. Twelve hours after leaving Casper, we arrived at Swift Current Lodge, rain pouring down,
twilight on the way. The little cabin Tom & Vivian rented for the night sure beat sleeping in a damp tent!

You go your way, and I'll go mine
Ben, Tom & Jenny
Swiftcurrent Lake
2 July 1989
A little family hike...
Viv and Jenny at
Swiftcurrent Lake
2 July 1989
Ridin' with Daddy
Jones & Jenny
Swiftcurrent Lake
2 July 1989
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Mount Henkel attempt
web page
3 July 1989
The next day, we moved out of the cabin and set up a tent at Swiftcurrent campground. The Joneses took
a family hike around Swiftcurrent Lake while I speed-hiked around Lake Josephine, directly under Grinnell Point.
I met a German biologist who begged me to stop my hand-clapping while I was hiking around the lake, as
he was looking for bears. I answered that I wished to not run into any bears. He told me one need only
to treat them with respect, and I couldn't help but laugh out loud about that. I told him about my encounters
with two bears in the Tetons earlier this summer. He related that there were only an estimated 200 bears
remaining in the European Alps, and that he would like to see one while he was visiting the United States.
I wished him good luck, and continued on my way, clapping my hands all the same.

On the Third of July, Tom and I attempted to climb Mount Henkel, turning back after reaching Point 7770,
a thousand feet lower than Henkel's summit. We reunited with Vivian & Jenny, and made a drive on the
Going-to-the-Sun highway in the afternoon. That night, I couch-surfed in their room at the lodge, and
we made the long drive home to Casper on Independence Day.

All images 2010 EBBoykin, Jr
unless otherwise specified.

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