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The Awesome Dawson Vacation

Glacier National Park

Tue, Aug  14, 2007 - By Ken Dawson

[Ken is a long time Michigan Cup skier, a member of Team NordicSkiRacer - along with Karen and Natalie, and the official points keeper for the Michigan Cup Cross Country Ski Racing Series]

While most people enjoy the relaxation and ambiance of a Mediterranean cruise or the summer shopping mania at Mackinaw City, the Dawson vacation is always an adventure where fun is defined as fulfilling and rewarding. My son’s quote sums it up the best "football players call it hell week, I call it the Dawson vacation".

Our 9th annual vacation took us back to where our adventures originated, Glacier National Park in Montana. This year we completed a six day backpacking trip that took us over 3 mountain passes covering 60 miles with over 10,000 feet of vertical elevation gain. Beautiful mountain blue skies greeted us every day, where glaciated lakes, mountain alpine views, abundant wildlife, fresh berries and a kaleidoscope of various wildflowers, dotted the landscape.

The group included, Lance, Natalie, Karen and Lance’s girlfriend Jodie. I am always nervous when someone outside our immediate family joins us because I am worried about how our over zealous adventures might effect them. Jodie was a real trooper, her unquenchable taste for adventure and physical stamina added the perfect mix to the group’s chemistry and personality. Natalie added another dimension to our group by utilizing her experience as a wildlife biologist to explain all the flowers, trees, and especially the berries. We found huckleberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, and a variety of onion plants and chives that we used for cooking. It was like having our own personal guide.

Like Rod Stewart said in his song “every picture tells a story”, so I wanted to include some photos that captured the essence of our trip.


The route is called the Northern Loop; we had to alter our original plan due to the ptarmigan tunnel trail being closed to bear activity.

Our group, taken at Fifty Mountain Camp.

Swift Current Pass

Stoney Indian Pass

Red Gap Pass – Glacier view

A relaxing dip in the lake

A Mountain Lake Sunset

Hiking the Continental Divide

The winner – Karen held out the best of anyone, with no aches and pains and her feet were in perfect condition.