"Why in the world do we have to pay $25 just to drive through some mountains?" I exclaimed hoping the poor attendant would hear as my husband shelled out the entrance fee to Glacier National Park in Montana.
"In Alaska, the mountains are free!" It seems like I always go back to my formative years in the Last Frontier whenever I need to win an argument, make a point, or just impress someone.
For example . . .
"Those mosquitoes don't bother me. I'm from Alaska."
"Keep your extra coat. I'm from Alaska."
"Yeah, that view is nice, but I'm from Alaska."
"Sure your mountains are beautiful but are you seriously charging me to follow a line of cars up a hill to look where glaciers used to be? After all, I am from Alaska!"
The Ranger at the entrance didn't seem to hear me as she took our money and opened the gate.
It was hard to be overly excited as we followed a line of cars to an overcrowded parking lot, walked down a mobbed trail, and could hardly take a picture without getting a by-stander staring blankly right into my lens.
Lunch time. We waded in a braided stream as the boys, yes, my husband and brother-in-law prepared the meal. It was only Cup o'Noodles but still! If you knew our boys, you'd be impress. Actually, I think they just wanted my sister and I to take the 6 kids, ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,and 6, to get a little respite from rustling toddlers!
After lunch we hit the road again and soon began the climb up "Road to the Sun," which took us along a rock face on the side of a mountain over looking a green valley with sheer rock cliffs shooting up the opposite side. The cliff gave way to mountains where the snow still glistened in patches and waterfalls fell below.
These jagged cliffs are nothing like the massive, triangular mountains I grew up with in Alaska. The cliffs, rock faces, sharp serrated peaks, and sun (which hardly ever shows it's face in the great white north despite it being called the land of the midnight sun) were breath taking.
We hiked again, got caught in a thunder storm (hilarious, I'll tell you more about that sometime), got soaked, got caught in traffic, and on and on. The best $25 we ever spent.
So, since it's Try it Tuesday and I'm not about to give you my Cup o'Noodle lunch recipe (just add water), here's an oldie but goodie updated.
Southwestern Spicy Popcorn
1/4 cup Popcorn Kernels (air popped or popped in a covered kettle with a tbsp oil over medium heat, shaking constantly)
2 tbsp butter, melted and poured over popped corn
2 oz or 1/2 palm sized chunk of Cotija cheese (crumbled over top of fresh hot popped corn)
1/2 to 1 tsp Chili powder, depending on how spicy you want your corn (sprinkle over top of popped corn)
Salt to taste
Makes a large bowl of popcorn - 4 large servings or enough to 2 on a movie night.
Sorry no pics - still on vacation! We just came back from the woods to do some laundry at my sister's house then it's back out to the dirt! When I get back home I'll go through my photos and throw some up.