In order to alleviate the dry spell, Matt and I washed our cars this morning (team effort makes it more fun and go faster). It is well known that I can conjure a rain cloud by doing one of two things: washing the car or not packing my raincoat. Doing both almost guarantees precipitation. Although the day started out incredibly smoky, with visibility no more than 4 miles, the wind shifted in the afternoon. This evening as the sun settles behind the mountains, dark clouds are gathering. My strategy appears to be working. I hope it rains for a week. That would be a pleasant change.
The change would, however, bring about a different obnoxious question to be asked 113235425 times a day: "When do you think this rain will stop?" to which I will bellow and regale them with tales of just how dry it's been. Although I've become immune to questions like "Where's the bathroom?" (not here, obviously. keep looking) the one that's gotten to me lately is "So, how many times a day do you do this trail?" No greeting, just how many times I do the trail. Yeah, like I have all day to hike laps on the same stretch of trail. I get it at least 10 times every time I am on the Hidden Lake trail.
It makes me wonder what people think rangers really do all day long. Do they think we lie in flower-filled meadows and eat berries? OK, yeah, we do, but we do stuff the other two hours a day.
The question also invariably comes up when I do the St. Mary Falls boat trip and hike, "How many times a day do you do this?" (Well, it takes 4 hours every time I do it, so you do the math and think about whether I would want to do this twice a day.) Then, there's the variant, "How many times a week do you do this trail," as if there were no other ranger capable of doing that activity.
It's not that I don't like people, or mind that they ask questions (I'd rather they did than be completely ignorant), I just wonder why they ask some of these questions. I also don't like it when they ask me where I'm from, or what I do in the winter. That's a little nosy, don't you think? I'm going to start asking the same questions back. "Where do you live? What do you do? Can I get your e-mail address? Can you help me with my car problem?"
And while all that sounds like I'm annoyed, I also get to have people tell me I have the best job in the world. I don't think most people get that at work.
Anyway, back to the goings-on. The flowers are having their last hurrah at Logan Pass, where the Lewis monkeyflower is at its peak. It is most abundant right next to the small trickles of water that still persist there from the melting snow at the base of Mt. Clements, and it's the last bastion of green plants anywhere to be found. Yesterday, I found some white-lined sphinxes feeding on the nectar in the deep flowers.
This week, no one showed up for my Siyeh Pass hike, thank goodness, and I spent the day at Logan Pass. I sat by the waterfall on the Oberlin climbing route, where I saw several pipits, a dipper, and a gray-crowned rosy finch. Two of the pipits were chasing each other around, and they flew in front of my face right at the edge of the brim of my hat, which was quite surprising. I guess they were a little preoccupied.