Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Outdoor Writer Award

posted: May 13th, 2018 | by:Bert

OUTDOOR WRITER AWARD: Two weeks ago Janie and I attended an Outdoor Writer’s gathering held each year somewhere in the Northwest. The conference lasted almost a week and this year the NOWA (Northwest Outdoor Writer’s Associaton) conference was held in Choteau, Montana.  “The Front,” as the region is also called is renowned for its beauty, its immense deposits of dinosaurs bones, for its Native American history and because the Old North Trail parallels the small town.

But of particular significance (at least to me):  Each year awards are given at the conference and I was flattered beyond words (literally) to receive recognition for contributions made over the years as both a writer and photographer. It’s called a LEGACY AWARD, and others also received the award and that placed me into a group I’ve always admired.

 

Wiseman-24


Because Choteau is such a unique area, I took lots of pictures and suffice it to say that the small town  is placed in country that can stun the senses. But not to make it too appealing, you must be willing to endure winds that can blow like a Banshee.  But some enjoy the area and for reasons the following images suggest. In the Choteau area — if you are willing to hike — you can find teepee rings and piles of rocks arranged so an Indian brave could conceal himself in such a way that he could snatch an eagle lured to his bait. If successful in grabbing the legs, he would kill the bird for the spiritual value the feathers could impart.


AlWiseman-17 AlWiseman-16 AlWiseman-11

 

L. to R.:  Eagle Snatch built of rock; pasque flower, one of many
now in bloom along the Rocky Mountain Front; Peter Schroeder, Al Wiseman; David Shae.

But for the explorer there’s more: If you are really willing to hike, you can follow portions of the Old North Trail. The trail is thought to be over 10,000 years old and was used when migrants crossed Beringia, the proper name for that area created when a land bridge formed that would sometimes connect Alaska with what is now Russia. Beringia was just the beginning of the route, which is thought to pass by my old GNP ranger station, located along Cut Bank Creek.

Al Wiseman (https://crownofthecontinent.natgeotourism.com/…/cotd38ef3df…), a Metis Indian and much respected local historian and guide, explained to our group that the trail spanned from the Yukon Territory in Canada to New Mexico. At first travel was on foot, but later dogs assisted pulling cargo-laden travoises.


AlWiseman-8 AlWiseman-9 AlWiseman-15

L to R:  Simulating the development of a dinosaur, the embryo is genuine,
but the shell is taken from a local bird; Al Wiseman explaining his Metis background;
David Shea explaining significance of 10,000 year-old trail known as the Old North Trail, which runs near
Choteau.  Furthermore, the old trail ran by my old range station at Cut Bank in Glacier Park.

David Shea, a former ranger and friend for over 50 years who joined me in a talk about bears the two of us provided at the writer’s conference, also joined the tour, and, later, the two of us hiked the hills where he added more to the story. David has lived in Choteau for over 10 years and he, too, has become a local historian. In fact, David serves as a board member on the local history organization. Once, David found a spear point while hiking along the Old North Trail. University archeologists linked it to the atlatl – the predecessor to the bow and arrow.

Finally, for those interesting in learning more about the Old North Trail, here is a link to  Walter McClintock’s book about that subject. https://www.amazon.com/Old-North-Trail-Walter-…/…/B002E9HLW0. It’s been on my bookshelf for years, and portions read and reread.

——

THIS TIME 10 YEARS AGO:

By Their Beaks Shall You Know Them

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Twenty Seventh Anniversary

posted: May 4th, 2018 | by:Bert

Twenty Seventh Anniversary:  Twenty-seven years ago – that’s May 4th, 1991 — Janie and I were married, and for the past few days we’re been recalling some of the highlights of our lives as a couple. At the time we were surrounded by family and friends and were married in New York by Methodist minister Tom Vancus, who had once hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

That afternoon we drove to New York City and spent the first night of marriage in the World Trade Center. We dined in a revolving restaurant that looked out over the city and then attended CATS, a Broadway musical. Tragically, we cannot repeat our stay at the World Trade Center.

We departed NY several days later, then drove to our permanent home in Montana, then on to Alaska. Back then I had a contract to teach in a summer school program at a remote Gwich’in Indian village known as Arctic Village. The superintendent, an old friend, was trying to bring in people with different backgrounds.


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My expertise was photojournalism, and for three more summers, Janie and I worked in several different Gwich’in Indian villages, to include Fort Yukon, Beaver, Rampart, Venetie and Arctic Village. At the end of our first summer we created a multimedia slide presentation, later made into a video and used by the Alaska Department of Education to acquaint prospective teachers with life in remote villages.

Originally, we’d planned to stay but one summer, but we became so enamored with their subsistence culture of caribou and fish, we continued to return, even doing so one winter. As well, we took up their cause to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, “birth place of the Porcupine Caribou herd,” writing stories for many major publications. We continue to support their various causes and remain friends with a number of the Gwich’in.

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Now, 27 years later, we’re still fulfilling assignments with various publications, most of which we cover from the comforts of our Airstream. The easiest way to summarize some of our experiences is simply to post pictures.

Accordingly I’ve included a small sampling of images from various spots in North America. Included are images of northern lights streaking over our cabin in the Arctic; an image of a four-month trip along the Yukon and Porcupine rivers; toasting one another near the Mojave National Preserve; and using a wheelbarrow to transport our camping gear to a site in the Dry Tortugas.  Finally, I’ve included images of the  Apostle Islands, and of an elk and our Airstream in Jasper, Alberta. You can see write-ups on some of the areas by following links to blogs which I’ve included below.

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It’s been a great life for Janie and me, and we hope to keep exploring North America for years to come, celebrating anniversaries where ever we might be.

—-


A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM ALMOST 1,000 BLOG POSTINGS


The Citadel, Preserving Quebec’s Peace

Return To The Everglades Anhinga Trail


Grand Pre, A Prime Contender For Designation as a World Heritage Park

Ghost Mountain

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Jail House Dinner

posted: April 8th, 2018 | by:Bert

BERT GILDART: Yesterday , I told Janie that before the day was over, she’d be in jail.  “And why might that be?” she inquired as we drove along Highwy 93 north to Ely, Nevada, enjoying the beautiful stands of Joshua Trees now starting to flower and the endless baths of cactus.

 

ElyNevada-7

Despite the Jail House atmosphere, the dinner was absolutely excellent.

“Well you missed one of our turns,” I said, and was immediately countered  that I’d turned off to see what Janie was calling “an Alien Landing Site.”  It sure looked like one and we stopped to take pictures. As well we got off from our route stopping to photograph the immense stand of Joshua trees, now starting to bloom.

 

JoshuaTreeBlooming ElyNevada-4 ElyNevada-8 copy

Travels yesterday took us to Ely, Nevada whee we dinned in the cell of
an old Jail House.  The bottle of Jack Daniels dangles from ceiling and is was tantalizing to us prisonsers


Nevertheless, I was right about one thing: we did wind up in a prison cell in an Ely Super Club which had partitioned a section of the cavernous room into 15 different dinning “cells”.  The section is used to add ambiance to a person’s dinner experience – and the metal bared doors even close.  A bottle of whiskey tangled just above the center of the table and the surrounding walls were lined with black and white image of some of the area’s historic figures.  With their dapper mustaches all look a little like Doc Holiday.

 

ElyNevada-1

Janie and I both thought this was a landing site in Nevada for space aliens. 
Other, however, say the immensity of blinding lights derives from a vast outlay of solar lights
Janie and I both believe that immensity is intended to serve as a alien landing station.


Janie splurged and had a T-bone stake while I stuck with fillet of salmon.  Both of us followed the servers recommendation and supper on their “stuffed potato.” I topped off the meal with a huge slice of carrot cake and a scope of ice cream. We conclude that jail food was really good.

————

 

THIS TIME THREE YEARS AGO: (Twenty Hours of Photo Ecstasy)

http://gildartphoto.com/weblog/2013/04/24/twenty-hours-of-photo-ecstasy

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Ulysses, As An Incentive to Travel

posted: April 3rd, 2018 | by:Bert


Ulysses:The words that follow here were penned by the famous poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and appeared in his classic poem Ulysses.  Academics viewed Ulysses as resolute and heroic, and they admired him in part for the thrill he derived from traveling.   Tennyson said that Ulysses… considered himself a symbol for everyone who wanders and roams the earth. His travels exposed him to many different types of people and ways of living. Ulysses declared that his travels and encounters have shaped who he is: “I am a part of all that I have met,” he asserts. And it is only when he is traveling that the “margin” of the globe that he has not yet traversed shrink and fade, and cease to goad him.

Much the same can be said for the modern day traveler and I have met several from the Airstream community who use the words that follow in Tennyson’s poem as an inspiration for their own travels, printing selections on the back of their cards.


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Traveling “Top of the World Highway” from Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon Territory


In an effort to embed these words in the minds of modern travelers I’m attempting to complement (actually an impossibility)  Tennyson’s words with a few of my images, hoping readers will find the combination relevant, for we’ve all had challenges to overcome, and if you are a steadfast traveler certainly you’ll remember days when the fates were unkind.   But memorize the poem and perhaps  some of your concerns will quickly fade.  That’s what several of my traveling friends believe and it’s certainly what my friend Burns Ellison believed, made clear one night as we were struggling to find our footing as we climbed over Alaska’s Brook’s Range, for that night as we sat around a campfire, Burns recited the words by heart.

But more pertinently, Ulysses is also a validation for the types of parks we’ve focused over the years, such as climbing  Mount Rainier or kayaking to the wreck of the Franciso Morazon.  We included these activities here as suggestions of what you may find following your own interests at a time when — just like Ulysses – you’ve gotten a little older and been “made weak by time and fate…” But like Ulysses — and mostly likely many of our friends — we hope we’ve all remained “strong in will.”  For that reason we are still doing that which we enjoy most  – and that is traveling — believing our adventures have “shaped” who we are, and have enabled us to “find a newer world.”

So “Come my friends, ‘Tis not too late…”


-—–

Come, my friends,

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds


AirstreamBison _DSC7004 SonoranMuseum-1


To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,


20089 N-lights2 31220


Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

30276 JanieLadder Bryce2

One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

 

OldRag-3 41351 Bruce10953


—————-

 

MOUNT RAINIER: By the Grace of God and a Damn Good Guide


Kayaking To the Wreck of the Francisco Morazan


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Jerry DeSanto, Glacier Park Ranger Extraordinaire

posted: April 1st, 2018 | by:Bert

April 2018, and I thought I had published this shortly after his memorial service held September 2017.  Sorry!  Apparently I published it only on Facebook.  Again, sorry.  I prefer this format to the much more difficult to access one on Facebook.


DEDICATION: “To men such as Jerry DeSanto, who offer the hope of preserving outdoor skills still needed by contemporary rangers.” From my book “Montana’s Early-Day Rangers” published in 1985 by Montana Magazine.

This past Sunday (September 17, 2017) a group that must have numbered over 150 gathered at the home of Karen Feather to celebrate the remarkable life of Jerry DeSanto, Karen’s “significant other.”

Jerry was one of the most remarkable outdoorsmen I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  I first met him at a Wilderness Association meeting in Great Falls, Montana, and I was flattered when he invited me to join him on a cross-country ski trip.  And so, several months later, I found myself   x-country skiing from the East Glacier Ranger Station across Lower Two Medicine Lake to the snow-shrouded ranger station now remembered as Two Medicine Ranger Station.  Gathering wood from the stack of firewood outside we kindled a fire in the station’s old wood stove, and I knew I had made a friend when he pulled a flask of wine from his backpack also intended to “warm” us.


Jerry2


As the years went by we made a number of hikes into several other historic ranger stations, with him narrating the structure’s history.  As a man who’d withdrawn from a doctor’s degree program in history, his interests were obvious.  Of course most of Jerry’s hikes were solitary, but there were yet other events which recall his fun-loving nature.  Most memorable of all was the time my daughter got married along the banks of the North Fork River not far from Polebridge where Jerry was stationed for much of his career.

It was November14, 1997, and the wedding evolved into a wild night.  I had provided Angie and Will with a “Shot-gun Wedding,” and here’s where Jerry came in.  Right after the wedding we proceeded the short distance to Karen’s Northern Lights Restaurant/ Saloon.  Karen had prepared meals for the entire wedding party, but first, of course, we needed a bartender.  Jerry was there and he served as one of the best ever, making sure our glasses remained full.



JerryDeSanto-7 JerryDeSanto-2 TwoMedR-Station


Sadly, several months following Angie and Will’s wedding Jerry was patrolling the backcountry when he fell ill, later to be diagnosed with herpes zoster. Tragically, the disease progressively reduced this vigorous man until he had to be placed in a nursing home, but during the entire time Karen remained by his side on an almost daily basis.  And so it continued for almost 15 years, until this past August, when he finally passed away at age 88.  Appropriately, Karen announced a memorial which attracted people from all over the country.

In attendance was former Glacier superintendent Bob Haraden (now in his 90s). Of course there were many other former Glacier employees, most of whom I know and now call good friends.  Included here are a representative of a few of those individuals whom I was able to photograph.  They include, Bob Haradan, Chris McEwan, Dan O’Brian, Jack Potter, Bill Hutchinson, and Rich Thompson playing guitar with David Stanley.  I wish I had been able to find Fritz Royer and Karen when I had my camera ready.  Also included in this rather lengthy post is an image of old Two Medicine Ranger Station (torn down), and an image provided by David Shae of Jerry with a pack horse.


JerryDeSanto-6 JerryDeSanto-3 JerryDeSanto-12



This group was a remarkable one and as we sat around we remembered many events from Jerry’s life, but the one that got the most attention was the one recalling a mauling Jerry suffered by a sow grizzly while on patrol between Kintla and Upper Kintla lakes.

As the old newspaper report posted next to Jerry’s hat recalled, Jerry was the only ranger ever attacked and injured by a grizzly bear.  At the time (August of 1986) Jerry was 55 year old when the small grizzly pulled him from a tree. While the bear was on top of him, DeSanto tried to fend her off with his left arm.  He then cussed her and hit the bear in the face with his pack.  The grizzly ran away.

Though injured Jerry was back one month later where he continued with his life’s work.  As a devoted outdoorsman he helped preserve hundreds of acres in the North Fork as wilderness.  For all these reasons I maintain that Jerry DeSanto embodied the passion – and those many, many outdoor skills  — still needed by contemporary rangers.


——

Ten Years Ago At This Time:

http://gildartphoto.com/weblog/2007/11/04/is-global-warming-real-look-at-the-photos

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy






Read Comments | Comments Off

Photographic Retrospective For This Year

posted: December 29th, 2017 | by:Bert

Photographic Retrospective of My Year: Here’s a selection of my favorite images taken this past year, some have been published.  Several come from events that were much celebrated and include the solar eclipse and the incredible flower bloom from spring of 2017 in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.


EclipseThree

We Planned One Year in Advance to See the Full Eclipse Near Casper Wyoming

Two of the other images were taken while engaged in one of my favorite activities: bike riding.

The image of cyclers ascending Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park is a challenging 35-mile round trip ride and was made to reinforce the notion that after a difficult winter I’m good for a few more years, yet.  But more than that it’s obviously a beautiful setting, and made even more so because for a few days each spring bikers have Going-to-the-Sun Road all to themselves.  That’s worth documenting.

The image of the giant reptilian sculpt was made with a GoPro camera placed on the ground.  I synched the camera to my cell phone and composed so I’d appear to be a species of prey.


GNP-Bike-13 PrimeRose - Copy monsters-2

L to R:  Biking to Logan Pass; 100 year Flower Bloom.
GoPro camera synched with cell phone for composition

Next image was made in an area called East Jesus, an area in California associated with an abandoned Marine Base known as The Slabs.  The area and the evolving “Museum” is sought by those who have no place else to go.  But the image…  note the extended legs.  I had to wonder if the idea for this concept was based on imagination or on a horror actually realized?

Legs&CollapsedBuilding - Copy

Museum known as “East of Jesus”

Images of the road runner were made these past few weeks and were all taken in the backyard of a house we’ve been renting these past two months.  That comes to an end, however, in a few more days when we move back into our Airstream and on to a nearby campground. Several weeks after that we intend to travel.


RoadRuner-1 RoadRuner-2 Poseing-2

Road Runner images


Finally, there is the image of the super moon from a spot in the Sonoran Desert.


SuperMoon-4

Super Moon

Now… I’d like to suggest that if you’ve had experiences that excited you this past year — that you  provide a link. Thank you!

In the meantime I wish all a Happy New Year!

=======

 

THIS TIME TEN YEARS AGO:

Bay Bayou RV Resort (In Florida)

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Thoughts And Images that Followed From the Solar Eclipse

posted: September 13th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Last year Janie and I learned from Adam and Susan Maffei, our good friends from Vermont, that on August 21, 2017, the moon will move across the sun to completely eclipse the sun during the course of its 3-1/2 hour journey.

“Make reservations now,” they had encouraged, “and if you do we’ll meet you in Glenrock, Wyoming.  But we’ve got to make plans now. Hotel and campgrounds are already beginning to fill!”

 

Progression of solar eclipse which lasted for about three hours.

 

They weren’t exaggerating, and the word was spreading fast.  Six months later, hotels were charging $1000 a night.  But we got by cheap.  For a mere $55 we purchased the right to park our Airstream on a tiny spot of grass at the Platte River Campground in Glenrock, Wyoming.  And all this simply because it was predicted that the moon was going to blot out the sun for several minutes, and that we would be in the perfect path to experience this happening.

Though our small grass site was reserved, nevertheless, we arrived several days before the big event, and of course, we were not alone.  An hour after we arrived, a couple pulled into a site immediately adjacent to us.  He introduced himself as “Chip,” but as the day progressed we learned that “Chip” had a doctor’s degree and that he had been part of the team that placed the Rover on planet Mars!

Like us “Chip” (also known as Philip Good) had also made reservations months ago and he, too, was rendezvousing with a friend, Frank Nadell.  Though Frank worked as a fireman he was so knowledgeable about astronomy that we concluded Nadell qualified for an honorary doctor’s degree.  From them we learned about sun spots, Bailey’s beads, the ring, and the fiery red circle that should inscribe the sun to become the corona.  And so, with newly acquired knowledge we gathered together with the masses of “eclipse chasers” anxious for the event to begin.

 

Images of eclipse immediately before totality and shortly after.

 

Finally the morning arrived and the crowd grew silent and remained so until 10:22 at which time the moon began its journey over the sun, taking a bite in the upper right arc of the sun.  Then, the bite grew bigger and then yet bigger.

The improbability of this happening stirred a primordial reaction from the crowd and in sync, everyone began howling like packs of wolves.  But then the crowd grew silent again, content to watch and whisper.  How could two spheres separated by 100 million miles find an alignment that affects Earth’s inhabitants?

 

 

Over 1,500 “eclipse chasers” set up camp in Glenrock, Wyoming, for one of the most dramatic solar events of the century. 
Attendees included our friend Adam (broad brim hat) visiting with astronomy enthusiast Frank Nadell;
Janie, back dropped by my 800mm lens; and Philip “Chip” Good
who had been a member of the team responsible for placing the Rover on Mars.

At 11:42 the moon moved to cover the entire face of the sun, turning day into night and did so for almost four minutes. As anticipated birds settled into trees, planets and stars appeared, and temperatures dropped to the point where people dug out their coats and sweaters. To restate the obvious, we were experiencing a total eclipse of the sun.  But the world didn’t end as some doomsayers had predicted.

Frank Nadell and Philip Good demonstrate proper technique for viewing the eclipse;
Frank waving in front of our Airstream; Frank and telescopes.

At 1:09 the moon completed it journey across the face of the sun, which then brighten our world just as it always does, but the event had an impact that I’m still attending to.  Randomness, it seems, punctuates both our world and our universe – and that can be either good or bad, of which I’m not yet sure.  But I do know this was a providential event and that Janie and I were fortunate to see it on a day when the skies were clear, winds had diminished, and that our fellow attendees were gregarious.  And all these happenings occurred at a time when so many unanswered questions remain concerning mankind’s future in the universe.

————

 

 

Eleven Years Ago At This Time:

Kayaking to the Wreck of the Francisco Morazon

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Park’s Immense Visitation Creating “Habituated” Bears

posted: August 16th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Fifty years ago from yesterday (August 15, 1967), Leonard Landa and I shot the grizzly bear that killed Michele Koons, the fatally mauled young lady at Trout Lake, whom we had found three days earlier.  This then marks the end of the events that have conspired to create so much publicity for those of us involved in the episode now known as “Night of the Grizzlies.”  Approximately 10 different publications have related the story and used images for illustrations. I was particularly flattered two Sunday’s ago when the Great Falls Tribune featured an image of mine that ran horizontally across the entire  front page of the Sunday edition.  The Tribune is one of the state’s largest papers, and the accompanying story filled almost two full pages so extending my 15 minutes of fame to 17.



Most likely the Tribute selected this grizzly bear image as it tells the story not only of the animal’s magnificence but also
of its lethal capabilities. 
I photographed it about three years ago, and it quickly scurried on, as did I.


But now, speaking for myself, I hope this publicity soon winds down, but not before remarking that some good came from the two tragic maulings.  Most specifically David Shea, one of the rangers assigned to shoot the garbage-conditioned bears at Granite Park Chalet, says that prior to 1967 the park had been lax about separating people and bears.  “But not afterward,” emphasizes Shea.  Shea says those events precipitated a new Bear Management policy, and believes that for the most part “the plan has been working.”


Bear&Leonard

Leonard Landa examines the bear that he and
I shot and that proved to be the bear responsible for the fatal mauling of Michele Koons


But Shea is now concerned because hordes of people are descending on Glacier subsequent to last year’s National Park Centennial, and the unprecedented advertisement associated with that event.  “The park,” says Shea, “was not set up to contend with a million visitors each of the park’s four summer months.”  Shea notes that back in 1967 the park averaged about 100,000 visitors throughout the entire year.

Proximity of bears and humans then is the immense problem with which the park must now contend, and if they don’t, the “conditioning” that results from the close proximity of bears and people could very well create two more “killer” bears.

Neither Leonard nor I want to hear that two young rangers have found a young mangled girl whom they must then roll into a body bag.  That’s an indelible memory Leonard and I share; but along with it we wonder that the parents have survived as well as reported.  We both think their grief has been pushed into the background.

 

———-


Night of the Grizzly, from a post I created about 10 years ago

 

 

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In Glacier Bikes Should Prevail

posted: June 27th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Saturday, June 26th, I rode my bike through what is some of the world’s most spectacular country, and I did it on a day when it is safe to do so. Each year, the Glacier National Park road crew must plow the Going to the Sun Road (GTSR) before vehicular traffic can pass through. At a certain point park managers allow bikers to use the road but prohibit vehicles, and it is this period that so many of us look forward to. In fact, many of us wish the park would follow the lead of Grand Canyon and Zion. In those parks summer traffic had gotten so dense that they implemented shuttle service while simultaneously permitting bikers. I like the idea because summers in Glacier have become an absolute madhouse. Finding parking at the many pull overs and, too, at Logan Pass is an impossibility for traffic to Logan Pass is always bumper to bumper.


GNP-Bike-12

One of the best years for Weeping Wall, a Glacier Icon


I arrived at the Avalanche Creek parking lot — the spot along the (GTSR) where drivers must now stop — about 8 Saturday morning, and already that lot was getting full. But I quickly left that scene behind and began my 15 mile ascent to Logan Pass. Yes, there were lots of others riders but the distance between us increased as we began ascending the road. Most everyone passed me, and I told several who joked that, yes, I was ashamed to be left behind — because I probably had 50 years more experience than most other riders. But not all, and there were a number of oldermen and older women who were pumping right along.


Biking-15 LoganPass1

Heavens Peak Overlook back dropped by its namesake,
a mountain I climbed many years ago; approaching Logan Pass


I stopped often to take photographs and sometimes, simply to marvel. Waterfalls were running hard and heavy and when I reach Weeping Wall I stopped and plopped down on the cement retaining wall and ate lunch, realizing that in several weeks such quiet pleasure would be impossible. Mounting my bike again I soon began encountering some of the huge snow banks created by this past winter’s heavy storms.


MapOfRideToLP

On Saturday, June 24, the most distant point a person can drive is Avalanche Lake parking lot,
shown in green arrow. From here one must ride, and what a pleasure it was to be free of
the mountain of summer traffic, which will follow in about a week.


I reached Logan Pass about four hours after departing Avalanche and was amazed by the amount of snow still remaining. Hard packed banks partially covered the Visitor Center, but even more impressive — except for two cars probably used by members of the road crew — the parking lot was completely empty.

I wandered about for well over an hour, then started the 15 mile return ride. I gripped the breaks hard to keep my speed down to about 30. Here, again, many zipped by me, and some were not using much sense. As I approached the Heaven’s Peak Overlook I saw an ambulance and several ranger cars surrounding a biker who was prostrate. I suspect his speed had gotten out of control and he had crashed.

BikeLP-7 BikeLP-8 BikeLP-6

All photos made at Logan Pass, laden with snow on June 24th, 2017


I continued riding and soon returned to Avalanche Campground dense now with people trying to find a space. Many were shouting and screaming and I thanked my lucky stars that there are still a few ways people can find sanity. All together I’d ridden about 31 miles, ascended over 3,000 feet and both my forearms and legs felt used. But it was joy to experience Glacier as I had once known it, and am absolutely convinced that if the Park Service wants to retain the spiritual quality of lands they administer they must find some way of controlling visitation. Biking would be a good fit.

—————————-

 

This Time Three Years Ago:

Logan Pass in June 2013

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Biking to Logan Pass

posted: June 12th, 2017 | by:Bert

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it opens to vehicular traffic is an excellent way to see Glacier National Park.  But better make the ride just as soon as you can after the plows reach the pass (check the Internet), and that will be soon. A week or so after clearing the snow, the road will then be open for vehicular traffic transforming the area from a place of serenity to one that is so congested that impatient people will be blaring their horns — and parking at Logan Pass will quickly become a virtual impossibility.

Grand Canyon and Zion national parks have each made closures on a few roads, stipulating that during peak season only bikers and shuttle buses can enter.  Something like that may one day be necessary in Glacier to protect the resource.

Tunnel-300x225 8057538860_9c224c6988 GNP-Bike-8

LtoR: Riding through a tunnel just before approaching the West Side Loop;
Access to Hermit’s Rest in the Grand Canyon is by shuttle and bike only; 
Logan Pass shortly after pass opened last year.


WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:

Make the ride and then write your representative asking that the middle portions of the Going-to-the-Sun Road be closed permanently to cars. Propose that Glacier follow the example of Zion and the Grand Canyon, which allow access to certain areas only by shuttle — and by bike. Last summer by 10 in the morning all parking had been taken at Logan Pass. Closure to vehicles might also eliminate visitors with shitty attitudes. The aged can still drive in these restricted areas, and so can the handicapped if they have a driver.

Here’s a repeat of a posting I made on Facebook serveral years ago that highlights the pleasure of BIKING TO LOGAN PASS. There could not have been a more perfect day for my daughter and son-in-law to make the 32-mile round-trip bike ride from the parking lot at Avalanche Campground to Logan Pass, an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet. At this time of year, the road is open for bicycle riders and emergency vehicles only.

GNP-Bike-13

In June waters cascade down the most
appropriately named “Weeping Wall.”

Though it was cool when we departed we quickly shed our windbreakers, then progressed along McDonald Creek. Almost immediately the Going-to-the-Sun Road began to climb, passing first through a tunnel, then to the West Side Loop where we took a few photos back dropped by majestic Heaven’s Peak, which I once climbed.

From the Loop our ride passed dozens of water falls and the climb was demanding. We stopped at Bird Woman Overlook where we had lunch, then rested, we continued up to Weeping Falls, which at this time of year was absolutely gushing with snowmelt.

An hour later I rode into the snow-cleared parking lot at Logan Pass. Leaning my bike against a towering snow bank I spent an hour or more photographing the incredible fields of snow still remaining. The Logan Pass Visitor Center was literally covered with snow and was certainly not yet ready to greet the summer hordes.


GNP-Bike-2 Biking-GTS-8

Angie and Will Friedner pause en-route to Logan Pass, backdropped by
Bird Woman Falls;
Return form Logan Pass for a total of abut 32 miles,
which makes for a day of fun and health-filled activities

 

Though it took me several hours to ascend to Logan Pass, from there it was all downhill, which I enjoyed — coasting along at about 30 mph. That seemed like a sane speed, but apparently not everyone agreed. On the way up we’d almost collided with some downhill riders who must have been cruising at dangerous speeds, perhaps 45mph.

And that may account for the day’s sad experience.  As Will and Angie approached the West Side Loop they encountered a small group gathered around a lady who had either crashed or been hit by as an out-of-control rider. Blood covered the road where she was laying and she was immobile.  Park ranger responded quickly. An emergency helicopter soon flew in and took her to the hospital. We have no idea what the outcome might have been.

BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE PARK:

Certainly that was a very unfortunate incident, but other than that our day was glorious, and later, WE AGREED THAT BIKING IS THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE PARK. By July, hordes of visitors have massed, and when that happens, numbers are so OVERWHELMING that in recent years parking spaces at Logan Pass are completely taken.  That’s when competition for parking gets mighty nasty.


———————————–


OTHER BIKING EXPERIENCES ON NATIONAL AND STATE LANDS:

Anza Borrego

Learning from Biking

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy






Read Comments | Post a Comment »

WHAT I LEARN FROM BIKING

posted: May 14th, 2017 | by:Bert

BikeRiverside-26

NOT ALWAYS, BUT QUITE OFTEN, I ride my bike to assess the personality of the valley in which I live (near Bigfork, Montana). Sometimes I find that I am disturbed, but, generally, I find that I am cheered by valley beauty and the response of people who are also using my road. I wave at everyone, and most everyone waves back. Their waves, however, are probably more genuine then mine for I wave to remind them that we do share the road and that it would inconvenience them greatly were they to hit me. So far positive experiences out number negative experiences, allowing me to focus on riding techniques and, sometimes, on self-evaluations.

Map-RiddingData

Map created by Garmin mounted on my handle bars,
showing length of ride, time, temperature,
average moving speed and other interesting aspects of a route.


At times I like to compare the timing of my rides with those of top professionals finding that there is no way I could compete. That really surprises me as I have about 50 years more experience than do most riders I see along the way.

The most famous cycling race of course is the Tour de France, and the fastest time (forget drugs, most everyone was on them) was recorded by Lance Armstrong in 1999, whose average speed was 25 mph. That’s a speed I can barely hold for even a few minutes, though several days ago I did manage to reach 32mph during a 27-mile ride. However, I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t admit a stubborn wind was helping me along.


ArrowleafBalsamRoot RobQuist Stream

Several days ago my focus was on natural history and on the unsavory way
in which competing neighbors deal with one another.


Up until a year or so ago I was able to average 17 mph, but only for about an hour; then I’d slow down and try to maintain an average of 15 mph, which I can sometimes do for several hours. But that’s nothing. In 1986 Peter Penseyres rode 3107 miles and during the eight-plus-day ride, averaged 15.40 mph.

And how about the fastest biker ever? It scares me just to think about it but in 2009 Sam Whittingham of British Columbia reached a speed of 82.3-miles per hour. He was riding over a level road and his bike was top of the line, consisting of a carbon fiber frame wrapped with Kevlar bodywork.

That irks me as my bike features some of the same components. Guess I’ll just have to try harder, but the fact of the matter is that I’m generally riding to better understand the surroundings in which I live. In other words my times might improve if I didn’t stop so often to take pictures, which I did two days ago, May 5th. Spring flowers, such as the arrow leaf balsamroot, are now informing me that spring is neigh. And so are the many small creeks now roaring through age-old gullies.

Human habitation also interests me and throughout my ride political signs screamed out that despite our beautiful environment some neighbors must absolutely despise one another. Property owned by politician Rob Quist abuts a neighbor who must glorify Greg Gianforte, Quist’s Republican opponent for The House of Representatives.


BikeRiverside1-1

Spur road that links with my traditional route.

Several days ago I rode by these properties and noticed that Quist’s neighbor had mounted an overwhelming sign that glowered over Quist’s driveway. And then just the other day, when I rode by, I realized that Quist’s diminutive sign had been yanked out and probably trashed. Suddenly I peddled vigorously, determined now to vote for Quist, not because of the bullying, but more because he provides good evidence that he is for the preservation of public lands.

Biking helps me with many observations, often allowing me to feel things I might have missed: messages from signs – but more often the obscure expressions of the beauty provided by nature. I hope I can bike forever and that some of you can join me – and share your thoughts.


——

 

THIS TIME THREE YEARS AGO:

Glacier and the Absolute Joy of Early Season Biking


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Join Me

posted: April 5th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:   Consider this an invitation to some of my good friends (and their good friends) who are global warming holdouts. Join me this July on a hike from the Many Glacier campground in GNP to Grinnell Glacier; and though I promise I won’t suggest you are a retarded baboon (chuckle??) if you don’t believe global warming is real, I will point out that back in the early 1900s Grinnell Glacier extended from its current location in Grinnell Lake about six miles down and back almost to our trailhead.

GlobalWarming (1 of 4)


Trail to remnants of Upper Grinnell Glacier


Proof?  The B&W image shown here provides periodic comparison.  More proof?  If we’re lucky we’ll run into Dan Fagre (shown here in pointing toward his diagram).  He has a PhD in climatology, but, that doesn’t mean much to some.  Some will just say he’s educated beyond his intelligence.  Nevertheless, I must report that Mr. Fagre says that all park glaciers will be gone by 2030.


GlobalWarming (4 of 4) DanFagre11194 GlobalWarming (7 of 4)


Chart that chronicles demise of Grinnell Glacier; Dr. Dan Fagre points to Salamander Glacier, which once was part of Grinnell;
view from Grinnell Overlook of what was and what now is.


More proof?  This month’s (April issue) National Geographic magazine employees the following subheadings to support the meat of their article about “Climate Change.”:

1 THE WORLD IS WARMING.  2 IT’S BECAUSE OF US. 3. WE’RE SURE.

Yet More Proof?  Contact me mid-July and we’ll make the trek to Grinnell Glacier.  My objective will be to make a slight dent in the steel armor of any “Flat Earthers” who join me, and if I can’t do that I’ll admit that it is I, in fact, who is the ineffectual, dim-witted baboon.  But that said, we’ll have fun.


—————-

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

Botanical Adaptations to Desert

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Ghost Flower

posted: March 8th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Yesterday (3-8-17),  photographer friend/Airstream owner Bill D and I hiked Moonlight Canyon Trail searching in part for the elusive Ghost Flower, a species that derives its name from the ghostly translucency of its flowers. Certainly, that’s appropriate, but Bill and I concluded the plant could also be named because it is so ephemeral.  “Here today, gone tomorrow,” is the way Bill expressed the condition, adding, “like a ghost.”  And that seems apt, for over the years Janie and I have visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, we’ve only seen but one example of this beautiful white flower.

But Bill and I lucked out, and during our hike we found a number of small clumps, and then, later, as we researched the species, discovered it has some characteristics that make Mohavea confertiflora unique.


GhostFlower (1 of 4)

Bill and I return to Moonlight Canyon, near Aqua Caliente. 
An excellent area in which to see bighorn sheep and to find the elusive Ghost Flower.


NO NECTAR

Mohavea confertiflora flowers March to April, and what is unique to the species is that it does not produce nectar.  Instead, the internet tells us [the species] “has adapted a morphology resembling the flower Mentzelia involucrata, which often grows in the same habitat. Mentzelia involucrata produces nectar to attract female bees of the genus Xeralictus.”

The explanation further says that our ghost flower attracts the same pollinators to its flowers through floral mimicry (an evolved act in which a species derives a benefit by mimicking some feature found in another species):  In this case the Mohavea flowers contain marks that resemble female Xeralictus; these marks operate as a sign stimulus to the male bee, which enters the flower and in doing so pollinates the Mohavea.”

These facts piqued our interest and we worked hard to capture the blood-red marks (located deep in the “bowl”) of the plant.


GhostFlower (4 of 4) GhostFlower (5 of 1) GhostFlower (2 of 4)


Note the blood-red splotch in the bowl
of these ghost flowers, another feature that makes them unique.


FIGWORT FAMILY

Because the species has some unique features that it shares with snapdragons and penstemons, the ghost flower is placed with them in the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). But its appearance is decidedly different and can be recognized by the long, hairy, light-green leaves that are elliptical to lanceolate.  Plants we saw stood about 4 inches long.

We saw a number of plants on our hike through this beautiful canyon accessed from Agua Caliente, but had spent so much time photographing Ghost Flowers we figured we could dally no further, for Larry and my wife Janie were waiting for us so we could all to sit down beside Bill and Larry’s Airstream and enjoy the scrumptious mid-day dinner Larry had prepared.

 

———————

 

OTHER FLOWER POSTS:

Photographing Cacti — In Macro Mode

Strobes, Great for Photographing Flowers in Windy Weather


THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

Organ Pipe Water Issues


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy






 

Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Sunrise Heralds Spectacular Day in Anza Borrego

posted: March 6th, 2017 | by:Bert

Bert Gildart: The day started here in Borrego Springs with a beautiful sunrise, which Janie captured with her cell phone camera. For me the day continued with a bike ride accompanied by Paul and Gareth Pritchard, a man I’ve teamed up with several times over the past few years. Gareth and I met while mountain biking the Ajo Mountain Loop in Organ Pipe National Monument. Subsequently we have made many other rides to include a challenging trip from Montezuma Pass to Tamarisk Campground.


Sunrise

Saturday (3-6-17) morning sunrise

Because those rides pass through such stunning country I’ve provide links to several blogs as well as a link to the data my Garmin collects about the ride I made yesterday, Saturday the 4th. Click and allow a moment or two for the map to load. Then, if you are ever in this area you’ll have directions for a route that passes through some very magnificent terrain.


FLOWERS

BorregoFlowers (15 of 6) BorregoFlowers (10 of 6) BorregoFlowers (14 of 6)


Because of massive amounts of rain at the perfect time, flowers are beginning
to bloom in profusion to include primrose, desert lily and sand verbena.

 

GARMIN DATA: The Garmin data also records length and time required to complete yesterday’s 18-mile journey.  Information says it took almost three hours to complete our trip… and that’s because my companions were kind and allowed for my pace, which was slower.  But the slow pace also allowed us to appreciate a spring flower bloom that promises to be magnificent.  Clumps are rearing their variegated heads.


BikeBorrego3-4-17 (3 of 4)

Bike Ride takes us to Indian Head where flowers are blooming in profusion.

Garmin information also show temperature which pivoted around the 80º mark. Because snow storms are still raging in Montana Janie and I want to repeat that we are so happy we made 1400 mile trip from Montana to Borrego, where we acquired a rental using the VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) website, and we’re already thinking about next year. We have lots of good friends in Borrego and we like the opportunities provided in this the largest of state parks in America. Here we can hike and bike – and enjoy the vistas created when the sun sets – and when it rises.


———————


Ajo Mountain Loop

Adventure Biking in Borrego Springs:

Garmin Info:  (This takes about 30 seconds for all information — to include map to load. )


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 1 Comment »

Renewed Person?

posted: March 3rd, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Well, we made it, from Montana to Borrego Springs and to a house we’ve rented for a month. This is the first time in 20 years we’ve traveled without our Airstream, and it was a wise choice. Blizzards followed us from Bigfork and then on into Idaho. But we missed them all, and then had the good luck to run into a short stretch of Route 66, something for the future, when I’m ready to hoist hitches.


Route66 (1 of 1)


I didn’t realize how much strength I’d lost from over 35 days in the hospital where I was mostly bedridden. But I sure found out yesterday when I biked about 10 miles and had to push to complete the trip in less than two hours. Lots of stiff muscles this morning.

Rental (2 of 2)


But I accomplished goal number one and that was to climb back on my bike after a four month hiatus and though I was challenged, I did it — and today hopefully I will do better.

The warmth of the weather is an inducement to get out, and the coziness of our rental makes it a delightful place to recoup. From our rental we look out over Coyote Peak, and just three years ago I had the strength to make the day-long climb, up and down, with good friends Don and Nancy Dennis.


Rental (1 of 2)

We’re going to try and do a little socializing while here, but mostly we’re here so that when we leave, I’ll be a “renewed” person.


—————-

 

Adventures in Anza Borrego, before I had to be renewed:

Climbing Coyote Peak

Challenging Mountain Bike Trip in Borrego Springs


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 2 Comments »

TOM ULRICH 1948 TO FEBRUARY 10, 2017

posted: February 12th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Tragically, Tom Ulrich, a nationally renowned photographer, profoundly individualistic man, and genuinely good person, passed away early Friday morning. His demise has created a void for his many friends, and Janie and I know that includes us.

Tom and I have been buddies since the mid-70s when we shared the aspiration of becoming photographers, a difficult profession to break into.  Initially, Tom worked as a teacher, but he found the classroom too confining and decided to move to Montana where he lived out of his van until he built his own cabin several years down the road.  But in the 1970s he needed to balance his income, and to do so he tapped into unique situations.


TomU Buddy (2 of 2)

Tom Ulrich was a highly creative photographer.  His dog “Buddy” knew how to pose, at least for Tom.

 

At the time, thousands upon thousands of salmon would migrate each fall from Flathead Lake to the upper reaches of rivers and streams near Glacier National Park.  Their numbers would attract anglers interested in snagging the spawning fish, but in the course of doing so they would lose thousands of relatively expensive triple hooks. Here’s where Tom came in.

OLYMPIC TRY OUT: Once Tom had been an Olympic swimming tryout, and he took those skills to the river. Donning scuba diving tanks and appropriate garb, he would swim along river bottoms retrieving lost hooks. He’d then bundle them up and resell them at various outlets he had established. Pricing the lures at eight for a dollar, returns were significant, because of the high volume.

Before long Tom’s photo business began to boom but he never got so busy he couldn’t help friends, and often that included Janie and me.  To supplement our income Janie and I had rentals, and once, when we returned from a trip we found one in a complete mess.  Shortly thereafter Tom called and invited us for dinner but we declined because we felt we had to get the mess cleaned up.  Tom didn’t say a thing, but about an hour later he showed up and spent the rest of the day helping us clean the mess, and that included painting a wall. That night we dined.


From Mountain MonarchsBook (1 of 1)


MOST PHOTOGRAPHED  DOG?

As the years went by Tom was becoming well known, but I didn’t realize the extent until one day in Denali National Park.  Initially, other Alaska photographers informed us they’d seen Tom that winter in some far off place.  But here’s what blew my mind.  To visit Wonder Lake in Denali, visitors have to take the bus, and it was crowded, forcing Janie and me to sit apart. My seatmate was congenial and wanted to know where we were from.  When I said Montana, he said he had just been at a photographer’s log cabin near West Glacier.  “You can’t mean Tom Ulrich,” I almost shouted.  “Yes, he said, and he was taking care of a dog called Sinopah.”

Well that was our dog and then we started visiting about his dog Buddy, whom we’d care for when Tom was on the road.  It was a reciprocal thing but this anecdote is really about Buddy and Tom, and recalling all the prizes Tom won dressing Buddy (his beautiful golden retriever) up in so many various ways.  Sometimes Buddy was a skier adorned with goggles, other times an old man or woman, dressed with the proper hat… even a snorkeler. Janie and I also remember the birthday parties Tom had for Buddy.

To reduce the cost of travel Tom and I sometimes teamed up, and whether it was the competitive edge or simply the fact that Tom’s enthusiasm set the standard I don’t know.  But it is hard to beat the image Tom made of three bighorns in Jasper, which Northword Press used for the centerpiece of my book on Mountain Monarchs.  Why hadn’t I seen that drama unfolding? But at Bosque Del Apache, we pushed each other, and at the crack of dawn we both clicked as thousands of snow geese rose from the waters.  I’ll always associate my image with Tom, remembering his penchant for hard work, which drove him relentlessly.

 

Snow Geese

Tom’s enthusiasm for trying to capture the very best
image was contagious and had us both up at the crack of dawn at Bosque Del Apache.


And that may have been the key to his success, for he certainly achieved the objectives he and I had talked about so long ago.  He published in hundreds of different periodicals; created books; lectured widely; led photo tours around the world, but often focused on Africa and South America; and has made friends everywhere, as Linda Martin (Tom’s significant other) and her Facebook page so testifies. In the past few days, hundreds have posted comments about this highly motivated individual.

But more significantly, his photographs leave the world a better place.  You know the man loved nature, and because of the way he reveals it you are inspired to do so as well.



—————


A Few Blogs Which Included Tom:

Arctic Grayling

Tom Ulrich & Photography


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Donald Trump’s Wall

posted: January 28th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: For the past few days Donald Trump has been discussing “The Wall,” and he’s finding it may not be as easy to separate the U.S. from Mexico with a huge, huge barrier as he had promised.  Yes, some places may need a means of excluding Mexicans from entering the U.S. and that was certainly true in Arizona’s Organ Pipe National Monument. Here, parts of the terrain are ideally suited to stealth, and monitoring revealed that at the height close to 1,000 illegals were stealing across the 30-mile long border on a NIGHTLY basis.  Many were drug runners, and some threatened visitors, and sometimes tragedies occurred.  In 2002 Ranger Kris Eggle was killed by a drug runner.

Dozens of “People trails” were being established and the trampling from thousands of footfalls quickly eroded the critical habitat required for the endangered desert antelope.


Dos Lomitas-6 Dos Lomitas-4 DosLomatis (1 of 7)


Here’s the way a five-mile section of road in Organ Pipe appears.  Some of the fencing is obviously
cheap but one section, perhaps a mile long, was expensive and is used in other sections of the park.
As best I can determine, cost per mile is $2-3M. 
When used in conjunction with other forms of detection, it has worked.


You can’t have this type of impact on a park designated as an International Heritage Park so here, in this specific part of the U.S., a wall was needed.  Americans paid for it and the cost as best as I can determine for the high metal barrier section was $2-$3M PER MILE.


BullPasture-3 OrganPipe1 Dos Lomitas-5 - Copy


It is now safe again to hike remote sections of Organ Pipe, thanks in part to fencing.
It’s also made it safer for law enforcement rangers.

But the border fence didn’t completely solve the problem and to accomplish the goal of eliminating drug runners and, yes, sometimes undocumented aliens simply looking for work, officials had to do lots more, and here are a few of the extra measures that were required: They increased the border patrol from 50 to 500, installed huge monitors and night cameras, and periodically they make helicopter patrols. The combination has worked, and the park, which closed subsequent to the murder of Ranger Eggle, reopened two years ago.  Now there are fences separating the border but some are more effective than others.  The fences shown here separate a five mile segment of the U.S. from Mexico.


43849

Building a wall worked in Organ Pipe and now the beauty of this incredible desert park
can be safely explored, here along the Ajo Mountain Loop Road.



Do we need a wall in other parts of the USA?  Do Americans need the kind of protection Organ Pipe required?

Those are questions I can’t answer, but if we do, I doubt seriously if DT will be able to live up to his campaign promise. What I can say and want to emphasize is that if we do need a wall, it’s not because I agree with “OUR PRESIDENT’S” hyperbole that [Mexicans are] “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”

But to give the devil his due he concluded by saying “…some are good people.”


—————–

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

Mountain Biking in Anza Borrego

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




 

Read Comments | 3 Comments »

EXCELLENT ACTRESS

posted: January 16th, 2017 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  I just received an email notice (with attachment) that an image I made several years ago of Actress/narrator Tammy Denease Richardson performing at the much renowned Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, was used in a brochure to attract patrons to yet another of her grand performances.  The event is scheduled for February 12, but unfortunately it will be  staged in Virginia. We’re in Montana and distance precludes our attendance. If we were in the same region we would make the trip.

Ms. Richardson can literally step into the shoes of whomever she is portraying, and you can believe, for example, that she is Sarah Margru, the slave who had been brought from Africa via Cuba to America on the slave ship Amistad.


Denease3

Tammy Denease


 

You can believe that she is Elizabeth “Mum Brett” Freeman, trying to win her freedom after suffering 30 years in bondage.  You can hear the words echoing through the ages as sadness fills the face of  Denease/Freeman.

“Anytime, anytime while I was a slave, if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it — just to stand one minute on God’s airth a free woman — I would.”

Ms Richardson acquired some of her outstanding interpretive skills from her ancestors.  Born in Mississippi she spent countless hours with her 100-year old grandmother and great-grandmother, the latter of whom was a former slave who lived to be 125 years old.  Both were well-known storytellers who passed this treasured gift on to Ms. Richardson, their granddaughter.

We hope she’ll return to Old Strubridge Village.  Because of family, we visit there often, and hope our timing will be such that we can see her again.

Today, of course, is Martin Luther King Day, so the arrival of the brochure was well timed.


————————-

 

THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:

Ghost Mountain, An Experiment in Living: http://gildartphoto.com/weblog/2015/01/19/ghost-mountain-an-experiment-in-living

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Open those Stored Boxes. They Could Surprise!

posted: January 9th, 2017 | by:Bert

PearlHarbor©Bert Gildart:  It’s been many months since I’ve posted but there’ a reason.  During those months I’ve endured three surgeries to remove a precancerous polyp that was located between my stomach and the small intestine. The last surgery kept me in the hospital bed for 23 days.

That can all make a person a bit blue, so I’m trying to look at the positive side of things, and I really don’t have to look very hard.

First, is the uplift friends and family have created for me with their thoughts and prayers, expressed online as well as in cards and by telephone.

Though their support tops the list, there is yet another thought expressed by the photo to the right.  The time at home has enabled me to rummage through the dozens and dozens of boxes my parents left with me 15 years ago.  I was shocked by what I found, but most specifically by this ancient newspaper clip. It’s historic and could even be worth some cash, but I’ll never sell it.

It’s from the front page of the Honolulu Star published the afternoon of December 7, 1941.  It’s significant to me because I was there as a one-year-old toddler.  Obviously my parents were there and whenever army folks stationed on Oahu gather, well you know what they talked about.   I’ve posted on this event before but didn’t realize boxes in the attic contained such historic newspapers.  My dad was a history buff and I’ve got many more boxes to go.

Though I believe we’ll do a bit of traveling in March to see friends in Borrego Spring, by that time, if I can maintain my resolve, should you visit us you’ll see a very orderly house. That’s a bit of the good that will definitely come from this period of convalescence.

 

———————-

 

As an afterthought, and because I need to fill in more of this space, here are two images of birds struggling
YESTERDAY to find food.  Turkeys are drawn to an area immediately below our porch and bird feeders because the grain is often scattered
by the smaller birds.  But with all the cold and snow, they two are having a rough time exemplified by this dove.

 

Birds&Food (2 of 2) Birds&Food (3 of 2)

 

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR

MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDE (Country was spectacular) :  http://gildartphoto.com/weblog/2016/01/16/challenging-mountain-biking-in-anza-borrego-desert-park

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | 2 Comments »

Fire — The New Norm?

posted: August 24th, 2016 | by:Bert

JewelBasinSmoke-15

Jewel Basin hiking area August 22, 2016, about 9 A.M.

©Bert Gildart: On Monday morning about 9 a.m.,  August 22, 2016, this is the way the Jewel Basin Hiking area appeared from the porch of our house.

Smoke from a substantial fire in the Hamilton, Montana, area (about 100 miles to the south) had crept into the Flathead, muting the sun and obscuring Jewel Basin. At times like this conditions afford unusual photographic opportunities that can create stunning images.

On the flip side, my eyes are watering and my sinuses are partially blocked.

Scientists tell us global warning has increased the frequency of fires and the conditions you see here may become the new norm.  Oh my aching sinuses.

Of course the Jewel Basin Hiking Area doesn’t always look this way, though smoke muting the sun does presage future conditions.  But frequency could be reduced, offering a future more like what we saw last week while on a family hike to Mount Aeneas, one of the highest mountains in the Swan Range.

From our house the distance is  only about 10 miles to the Forest Service parking lot, known as Camp Misery, but that required about a 45 minutes because the last stretch of the drive is over a bumpy logging road. However, views along the way are spectacular.

HIKER’S PARADISE

The “Jewel” straddles the Swan Range within sight of Flathead Lake to the south, Hungry Horse Reservoir to the east and Glacier to the north.  It’s a hiker’s and backpacker’s dream and has more than fulfilled the promise which the Forest Service envisioned. The challenge, of course, is to maintain conditions so the area’s beauty and history prevail.

The area is characterized by glacier-carved peaks and cirques, which surround valleys dotted with 37 alpine lakes.  Fifty miles of hiking trails connect most of the lakes, and aside from getting from the valley floor to the basin rim, most of the hiking is not too strenuous. Several years ago Janie and I produced a guide to the Flathead and Glacier and we devoted a section to exploring hiking trails in this area.

From our guide book about Glacier and the Flathead Valley, the highest peak, Mount Aeneas, was named for an Iroquois Indian.  His name was Big Knife and he arrived in the Flathead valley sometime in the 1870’s and was adopted by the Kootenai people.  Somewhere along the way, his name was changed to Aeneas, a name borrowed from the Greek and Romans, meaning “Man Without a Country.”


FamilyPolga-9 FamilyPolga-8 FamilyPolga-10

 

L to R:  Family members Alun Polga and his son Griff test a flank that leads to Mount Aeneas;
Polga family pause at saddle en route to Aeneas; pausing at saddle where we recalled
famous John Muir quote:  Climb The Mountains and Get Their Good Tidings.


NATIVE USAGE: Also included in our book are quotes from one of the area’s noted hikers, who is a good friend.   Elaine Synder is a volunteer hike leader with the Montana Wilderness Association and she says that from the top of Aeneas you can see in all directions.  She says that your sweep includes vistas of early Indian settlements, some of which are thousands of years old.  “There are places,” says Synder, “that were used in the last century by Native Americans who camped, hunted, and gathered in the valley.” She says  there is evidence that the peak itself was an important perspective point for early day hunters, just as it often has been for us.


JewelBasin

Jewel Basin Hiking area, back dropped by the tan colored massive mountain, known as Great Northern positioned in this photo along horizon, far left. Many years ago, when my son David was 15, we climbed the peak.

 

On the day family members and I climbed and explored the Jewel Basin Hiking area the skies were perfectly clear.  In fact, though we were  surrounded by areas where fires were raging, the Flathead remained smoke free until two days ago.  Lighting, however, has torched off the vast forests in the Flathead Valley, now parched from weeks of hot temperatures and a lack of rain.  Not surprisingly, such conditions have produced forest fires — and now, of course,  smoke.

For those of us who believe the predictions of world scientists, I guess we’re getting a hint of what the future might bode.  Sad, because some of the deleterious aspects of our compromised environment  could have been forestalled.


——–

THIS TIME IN OCTOBER OF 2006

Graveyard Stroll in Nova Scotia


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




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