Glacier National Park straddles the Continental Divide. Popularly thought of as North America's Switzerland, famous for its snowy peaks, alpine meadows, rivers and lakes, the park attracts nearly 2 million visitors each year. On the east side of the park, the Grinnell Glacier Trail is one of the most popular day hikes.
Johan knew he couldn't stand here much longer. He took off his day pack and camcorder. His digital camera was gone, lost in the chaos. He pulled a jacket out of his pack and put the hood over his head. The night before, he'd read a book about bear attacks: how a woman in Alaska had stopped the bleeding of her scalp by covering her head. He also thought it might be easier on Jenna or anyone else who might happen to see him.
He wanted to climb to the ledge above. He didn't know how he'd carry his pack and camcorder. Then it came to him, what they say on airplanes. Leave your luggage and take care of yourself. It made sense. He clambered and crawled off the narrow shelf and up to the ledge. He felt dizzy, so he sat down.
Johan and Jenna alternated their calls. Jenna had decided to stay where she was. She too was dizzy and uncertain of her injuries. Perched on the side of the mountain, about 75 feet apart, they looked down into the valley. Their cries disappeared in the vast open space. It was windy and cold, and the quiet seemed unreal after the intensity of the attack.
Then Jenna called out. "Dad, the boat just got to the dock. I see people getting off." It was a water taxi that ran a regular service across Lake Josephine.
Johan knew that with the arrival of the boat, hikers would soon be streaming along the trail and their shouts would be heard. He was tired. He stopped yelling and tried not to think about how badly injured he was. Nothing a little surgery can't fix, he told himself. Besides, he was alive, and his daughter was fine.
Amid the isolation and the cold, he grew sore and stiff and numb. Lying down, sitting up, nothing helped. Forty-five minutes later, he heard Jenna talking with someone. She called to him. "Dad, there are people here now. They're getting help."
Still it seemed like forever. Then Johan saw a man cutting through the bushes and sliding down toward him. The man's eyes were wide open. The expression said everything.
"Are you OK?" the man asked.
"Do you see a camera?" Johan replied.
Jim Knapp was surprised by the question, but very little was making sense.
Knapp and his wife had started their hike that morning a little past 8, well ahead of the water taxi. After an hour on the trail, they heard what sounded like a coyote or a hawk or some animal being attacked. Then there was more, and it sounded human. They started running. Someone must have fallen or sprained an ankle.
Knapp told Johan he would look for the camera, but his attention was focused on the injured man before him. It was the most gruesome sight he had ever seen.
Blood covered Johan's face. His arms and legs oozed blood. His voice and sentences were jerky and repetitive. He reminded Knapp of Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman," and with his sweat shirt pulled up over his head, he looked like Beavis in an episode of "Beavis and Butthead."
"Jenna's OK," Knapp said, as he began to get a sense of Johan's injuries. He noticed the day pack — but no camera — on the shelf beneath them, and he climbed down to retrieve it. Inside were a sweat shirt and four water bottles. He covered Johan and tried to make him drink. He took off his T-shirt and wrapped it around a deep gash on Johan's leg. He laid out some nuts and a granola bar and took some water up to Jenna.