The rain arrived overnight. Luke did a great job of seam sealing the leaky spots we discovered the hard way during a particularly violent downpour last year. Camping in cold and wet conditions is pretty miserable inside of a three (but really two) person tent, so we decided to break camp and get a hotel room back in Whitefish.
The drive across the park was spooky – dense fog made it difficult to see much beyond the front of our car. The higher we climbed, the thicker it got and eventually turned into sleet. Luke, a die-hard ski bum, was giddy at the sight of snow in early September. I groaned at the injustice of seeing it again a mere four months after winter officially ended in Minnesota. I still have a bag of sweaters that needs to go to the dry cleaner sitting on my closet floor!
A few hours later, we checked back into the Grouse Mountain Lodge and spent the cold, rainy day taking long, hot showers, lounging on a king size bed, and laundering the smell of campfire smoke out of our clothes. Eventually, the rain did let up and we were free to wander around downtown Whitefish. It’s a quintessential mountain ski town with breweries, trendy restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. We drank locally made craft beer, ate wood-fired pizzas and bought a few souvenirs to take back home with us.
Later that evening, we sat in the outdoor hot tub, drinking the rest of the overpriced Fireball Whiskey we bought in the park, reflecting on how nice it felt to be properly fed, warm and sheltered. Nature is an escape from our troubles as well as our comforts. It teaches us to find peace with our surroundings and prioritize what truly matters. It also shows us how good we have it and that we can’t control every aspect of our existence.
It’s important to be reminded of these things once in a while.