Backbone of the World
“No words can describe the grandeur and majesty of the mountains, and even photographs seem hopelessly to dwarf and belittle the impressive peaks.”
George Bird Grinnell, 1901
Yup – seems I have found myself in another one of those places of staggering beauty where, like the Grand Canyon and elsewhere, others have struggled – as I will – to capture the place in words and photographs.
Grandeur and Majesty…a land called the “backbone of the world” by native Americans
Very simply, Glacier has been one OMG moment after another – that’s right OMG moments – certainly Grinnell would have described it this way if he had Twitter in 1901 🙂
When the “Reluctant RV’er” and I first drove up to Lake McDonald we were amazed at the stunning beauty that was in front of us. And, as I noted in a previous post, the drive over the Going To The Sun Road and hike to Avalanche Lake and falls were one amazing experience after another.
While S had to leave, I would be here for another few days to explore other parts of the Park and hope for clearer skies – which , unfortunately, never really materialized.
In fact, the smoke situation actually got worse initially – new fires – even one in Avalanche where we had hiked – simply made visibility worse. I extended my stay anyway hoping the winds would shift a bit but was running out of time
Yup – the “Going to the Sun Road” was going to close for the season – Sunday the 16th would be the last day to make that drive. And, elsewhere around the Park, things were shutting down – they aren’t kidding when they say this place has a short season!
So I decided to make the best of it – take an entire day on Sunday to drive the Going to the Sun and stop at virtually every turn out – time to simply enjoy the spectacular beauty from every vantage point – take photographs, have lunch on a ledge overlooking a vast valley below Logan Pass, a short hike, time to watch the mountain goats – simply a leisure day – Glacier had been on my bucket list – I wanted to savor every vista 🙂
And then on Monday, with GTTS Road closed, I woke at 4am to drove the long, but scenic, way around to the East side of the Park – to photograph Wild Goose Island at dawn;
to Many Glacier – an area of the Park teeming with wildlife and rugged peaks – an area that some refer to as the heart of the Park – with glaciers that appear to be right in front of your face – with wildlife virtually on the road
And Grinnell is right – even photographs seem hopelessly to dwarf and belittle the impressive peaks
This place – like others on this journey – is one I will have to return to.
There are over 700 miles of hiking trails and frankly they are the only good way to experience the ruggedness of this amazing landscape of over one million acres– 10 days in the Glacier area are simply not enough….
“Give a month at least to this precious reserve. The time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal. Nevermore will time seem short or long, and cares will never again fall heavily on you, but gently and kindly as gifts from heaven.”
– John Muir, Our National Parks , 1901
But, time to move again – to point the Bunkhouse to the west again – time to head out through parts of Washington and then to head through Oregon to the Oregon Coast – another bucket list destination…
Take care…see you down the road….