There are three guides accompanying us.  Erik is the company tour guide.  Since we're in an international park we have two more guides representing their respective National Park Services: Stacey works for Glacier and Carey works for Waterton.  They share responsibility and  are interspersed among us.  I have to say, having been nervous about how I'd do on this trip, I'm impressed with their attention.  There's no singling people out, just support, encouragement,  and reminders of the beauty that surrounds us.

The trail continues along the Garden Wall at our side, but the angle of the wall grows less formidable as we progress. We're now climbing a switchback trail, ascending about 280 feet to Haystack Pass.  That doesn't sound like much, but we are roughly 7000 feet above sea level.  (Notice how I love to keep pointing that out?  It's because, even now, I cannot get over the beauty from that height.)
When we reach Haystack Pass, we stop for lunch that we'd packed in the morning.  I have to confess, I'm glad for the break.  My knee is not happy, I'm relying heavily on my hiking poles for support.  But as we pause to eat and just enjoy the view,  I forget that.  


Views from the HighLine Trail of Mt. Cannon, Oberline, and Heaven's Peak.  (I am going to apologize here... my notes are not as clear as I'd like.... I may have mountain names right, but which is which.....)






As we're ready to go on,  Erik lets us all know that the 'short version' of the hike would be to head back the way we came, get in the van with him as he drives around to the end point of the trail to rejoin the group and take us to our next hotel.  That would make this round trip a roughly seven mile hike.  
I know he expects me to go with him.  He's been behind me, watching me labor up the inclines.  But I know there's more to see ahead, and I have to try.  I have to.
'I didn't come all this way to turn around,' I tell him.
Erik gets it. He runs back to the van to go to the other end of the trail where he'll pick us up---eventually. Stacey says, with some awe in her voice,  'He's like a mountain goat.'.   Watching him run, I think he makes a mountain goat look pathetic. I pack up the remains of my lunch and continue to the Chalet.

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