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Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Three Glacier National Park campgrounds will have delayed openings because of lingering snows. The Many Glacier, Two Medicine and Cutbank campground openings will be delayed until at least June 17, park officials said last week.

Snow persists at those east side sites, but there are still plenty of places to camp. The Fish Creek and Rising Sun campgrounds are now open, as are Sprague Creek and Apgar, the Hungry Horse News, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, reported.

The weather has made it a tough go for crews plowing the Going-to-the-Sun Road. More than 2 1/2 feet of snow fell last week in the starting zones of avalanche paths along the Sun Road. In order to access their work site, crews replowed the slide paths, where they encountered debris piles up to 10 feet deep. Crews have completed initial plowing through Haystack Creek and are continuing towards the Alps, three and a half miles beyond the Loop.

On the east side, crews have completed initial plowing through Siyeh Bend and are continuing to No Stump Point, approximately one mile beyond Siyeh Bend.

Hikers and bikers should take caution when traveling across avalanche paths and not linger in them. The Sun Road is open to vehicles to Avalanche Campground on the west side and Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side. Hikers and bikers can go as far as Packer’s Roost on Saturday. There are no restrictions on Sunday.

All other Park roads are open except for the Inside North Fork Road between Polebridge and Fish Creek.

This week, more rain is expected and there could be some flooding, as a record snowpack is starting to melt, even at higher elevations.


Campers unknown recently re-opened Michigan’s West Branch State Forest Campground, mowing campsites, moving the boulders that blocked the entrance and breaking into the bathrooms. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources speculates on the guerrilla camper’s motivations, suggesting that s/he was either just eager to camp, or wanted to protest the planned closure of more Michigan campsites.

Grass at two of the campsites numbers 15 and 16 had been mowed, as well as along a short path toward the river. The campsites are nearest restrooms, which had their door handles and locks broken away. Tracks from a truck and a passenger car were still visible in the sand at one of the sites Saturday.

Each year around this time, John Richert and his wife, Sue, set up shop in their well-equipped RV for Charlotte Motor Speedway’s May race events.

For the last decade, they have toured and camped at big-name speedways – Atlanta, Bristol, Darlington, Daytona – and they always camp during the spring and fall race events in Concord. They travel with their five-year-old lab/beagle mixes, Holly and Misty.

They recently upgraded to a 2011, 42-foot American Coach Revolution. The posh, 500-square-foot motorhome is an added bonus for John, 60, who joined his wife in retirement in March 2010, after nearly three years of commuting to the Research Triangle Park area for work in the biotechnology field.

The two met in New Jersey while working for a pharmaceutical company. The couple moved to Durham in 1990, and three years ago, they built a house on Sue’s family’s land, where they and her relatives operate the third-generation farm.

Sue, 58, retired almost 20 years ago. The Mount Pleasant High School graduate earned a master’s from UNC-Chapel Hill and was a family nurse practitioner. She said being a race fan was part of growing up in Cabarrus County.

John, a New Jersey boy from Long Island, New York, became a NASCAR fan in the late 1980s but said he remembers watching the Indy 500 with his dad before that. The precision driving and the technical aspects of racing still intrigue him.

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