Babb, Montana, May 21, 2010--I'm standing here on a blustery day in Babb at the intersection of Hgy 89 and Glacier Road Three watching company trucks and employee cars making their way up Swiftcurrent Valley to get Many Glacier Hotel ready for its June 4th opening for the summer season. My ancient CJ5 complained about the trip all the way from Junction City, and both the Jeep and I are wondering if the 4-wheel-drive will work in tomorrow's expected snowfall.
I'm here--mostly on my own nickel because newspapers don't have a lot of money anymore--to visit the setting on a mythic adventure novel named The Sun Singer. (Hey, there goes one of those 1930s "jammer buses" up to the hotel with a batch of new employees.)
Let me clarify several important CYA points right now:
- Except when I'm desperate for cash, I don't do windows, Karaoke bars or book reviews.
- I know diddly about Quantum physics, and that means that I don't buy into the theory that everything that can happen does happen or that there are multiple universes connected to each other by time portals.
- Magic is just smoke and mirrors and too many glasses of Scotch.
So, let me dismiss out of hand, the rather rash claims by author Malcolm R. Campbell that there's a real time portal hidden at the base of Mt. Allen at the head end of Lake Josephine that leads to another universe. If such a thing existed, everyone having "issues" with loan sharks, ex-wives and bad whiskey would be here in the park doing whatever voodoo chants or meditations were required to open that door so they could escape.
Frankly, I think the whole time portal in the park occurred to Campbell years ago after he hell off the top of Mt. Allen and hit his head.
If there were a time portal--and I'm not saying there is one--all those running through it might find themselves smack dab in an industrial-strength spot of bother. That's what happens to young Robert Adams in the book. His family brings him to this beautiful park, and what does he do? He leaves the celestial world of hiking, boating, riding jammer buses and mountain climbing and steps through a doorway into a place filled with evil. Once he gets there, he forgets who he is.
I know a lot of people in the psych ward over at county general who act like they've been there and done that, but the big difference is, they're real people. Robert Adams is a fictional character who has to figure out how a magical wizard's-type staff works just to get back to the hotel with his physical self all in one piece.
Even though I had a few drinks while reading "The Sun Singer," I didn't totally believe in magic when I got to the last page. But I have to say, the novel tells a darned good yarn and when I sobered up, I considered getting a job in the quantum mechanics or avatar business so could learn more about all the realities that yours truly appears to have been ignorant of up to now.
Look, if you go to Glacier this summer, take a copy of the novel along and read it at night while spending your daylight hours celebrating the park's 100th birthday. Just remember, Robert Adams goes looking for a time portal because he promised his mystical grandfather he'd do it and try to fix whatever was broken. What was broken included himself.
So unless your life is too broke to fix, leave that portal alone. Or at least, read the book first and then decide where you stand on such things as magic and time portals and becoming a Sun Singer.
As for myself, I need to find a warmer place to sleep tonight than a 40-year-old Jeep with a canvas top.