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

Fall Foliage in Glacier National Park

Mountain Ash, symbolic of early fall in GNP

Mountain ash, a sign of early fall in GNP

┬ęBert Gildart: Several days ago I visited with a very perceptive media representative who works in Glacier National park. In the course of our conversation, I said that with Logan Pass now closed for much needed repair work, essentially that meant the park was closed.

“No,” she said, it’s not closed. Virtually all the campgrounds are open, and you can still hike most of the trails.” And then she went on to say that it was fall-and after that there was no reason to say anymore.

She’s right, of course, it is fall, and that got me to thinking about all the times Janie and I have ventured into the park in late September clear on into mid and even late October. In fact, right now is the time to tour the park. Along the slopes paralleling the trail to Iceberg Lake, mountain ash berries are now a deep crimson.

Over near Two Dog Flats, elk are bugling, and all around colors are changing, and certain colors are intensifying. Granted, the Northwest doesn’t have the hardwoods so common in Eastern forests, but I defy anyone to show me a more beautiful setting than the one that results when cottonwood and quaking aspen are transformed from green to yellow and when they’re all back-dropped by mountains covered with a dusting of snow.

Though these photographs were taken over a period of several years, they suggest what you may expect to see in the next two to four weeks, for all were taken starting mid September.

Because I so thoroughly enjoy photography in Glacier in the fall, invariably I pack along a 4×5 with my 35mm equipment, just as I did several weeks ago on our trip to Two Medicine . Though 35mm works extraordinarily well for fast moving subject or for situations that require an instant response such as an elk bugling on a misty morning, for times when the winds die down and the peaks of Glacier are touched with snow, I love the 4×5. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll put aside my 35mm camera.

Red Eagle, Mahtotopa and Little Chief mountains

Red Eagle, Mahtotopa and Little Chief mountains

Last fall we were in New Jersey, and I needed photographs for publication. Winds however were kicking up, and that’s where my 35mm came in handy. The photographs satisfied my publisher and also enabled me to publish a blog (Leaves Fall and Birds Fly And I Wonder Why ) about the biological conditions that cause leaves to change.

Nevertheless, I like the 4×5 even though it’s cumbersome, and under the proper circumstances, I image myself joining Ansel Adam’s f-64 club and attempt to duplicate his technique, which called for tiny apertures and long exposures. (That also works for 35mm but isn’t so critical.) So doing, everything from the closest of objects to those most distant are in focus.

Chief Mountain

Chief Mountain

Because everything must be still, the technique requires patience, but if you look at these photographs and evaluate the depth of field, hopefully you’ll understand why I appreciate the 4×5-particularly for landscape images in Glacier National Park.

So, now, even though Logan Pass is closed, there’s still much to look forward to, just as managers are now suggesting. In other words, now is the time for Fall Foliage in Glacier National Park.

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