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

After A Good Year of Travel — We Wish You a Merry Christmas


And — Dear Family and Friends



"How high's the water Momma?"

©Bert Gildart:  “How high’s the water momma?”

That was one of the questions I hummed out to Janie this year while camped last winter in California’s Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Though the park is indeed a desert,  rains fall nevertheless, and during the winter of 2010 that huge, sprawling park saw more than its fair share of precipitation.

We celebrated New Year here gathered around a campfire listening to music by Tony Feathers, whose songs, we joked, had the power to lure in the high-jumping Kangaroo Rats.

In case anyone is in doubt, Janie and I thoroughly enjoy our life on the road, and again we’ve managed to wander extensively.

Travel enables us to keep up with most of our friends (sadly not our good friends in Alaska such as Kenneth and Caroline), though we may try and remedy that next year.

As well, travel provides the materials I need to write the several dozen stories I still produce each year. My best story of the year was about the Eskimo/Indian Olympics, which included the “One Foot High Jump.”

In this event (see pictures below), each contestant leaps high into the air on say the right foot, kicks the ball with the same foot, and then lands – on the same foot. It is an amazing feat of athletic prowess, as are all the other events.

Campfire B-bear g-bear2009

L TO R: Campfire at Peg Leg in Anza Borrego; black bear heeding sow’s warning to climb tree; grizzly bear (2009)  in Glacier National Park about ready to hibernate. All Images copy righted


I also sell pictures each year to book companies and magazines and have included here a few examples. Sometimes companies make substantial selections and 30 were used for the May 2010 Public TV presentation “Night of the Grizzlies.” In 1967 two girls were fatally mauled in the course of a single night in two different areas, representing the first fatal maulings in the history of Glacier National Park.

Kenneth 91039 Clyde Brown

L TO R: Kenneth Frank at Old John Lake on a day that was 30 below, extracting fish from one of 12 holes we had augered out; Elijah Cabinboy demonstrating athletic prowess in World Eskimo Indian Olympics; dancer in opening of 2009 games as seen in my magazine story. Images copyrighted


Many were involved in the recovery and in the shooting of the bears, and the program producers did a wonderful job collecting interviews from all involved, which included me. The program can be purchased on-line from Montana Public TV.

About mid July we departed from our “other home” (permanently hitched to Montana), then traveled to the East Coast where we saw family and friends. We see them all too little and wish they were closer. Fortunately other children live in Montana, and obviously we see them more often. On both coasts, all are doing well, and we hope this spate of good luck continues.

AdamAscendingOldRag C-Island B-Gildart1967

L TO R: Adam Maffei ascending Old Rag, September 2010, in  Shenandoah; Janie and Bert kayaking to Cumberland Islands Nat. Seashore, October 2010; Bert Gildart with killer bear, 1967. Images copyrighted

Other significant portions of the year were spent in Shenandoah updating a book we wrote years ago about this premier national park. As well, we took in the history at Bull Run, hiked in Zion, kayaked to Cumberland Island National Seashore, and visited Andersonville, the infamous Civil War prison camp. We stopped briefly in Alabama to visit my old college roommate.



Northern Lights: All Photographs shown here are copyrighted and continue to appear (often with stories) in periodicals such as Christian Science Monitor, National Wildlife, Highlights for Children, Native Peoples Magazine, and dozens more.  This particular image depicts cabin Janie and I lived in one winter while gathering stories on the Gwich’in Indians, who continue to depend on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for subsistence.

THE DOWNSIDE to the year was the passing of my 97-year old godmother. She provided me with life-long moral support, and her memories included barge trips as little girl along the C&O Canal. She is the last of family from the generation that preceded me and her passing means that those of my generation are now the “elders.” Presumably with age one acquires a certain wisdom, but I’m not sure I’m yet prepared for such designation — or  the responsibilities — particularly in the wake of someone who did so well.

We remain in good health and hope the same holds true for all our friends, many of whom we see all too seldom.




PREVIOUS POST: (Night of the Grizzlies) This post of three years ago continues to attract those wishing to leave comments, as it just did two nights ago from an individual who was attacked by a grizzly bear, but obviously survived.




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