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

Exploring Anza Borrego With Life Long Friends

©Bert Gildart: About a week ago life-long friends Dave and V.V. Shea flew down from Montana and have been exploring parts of Anza Borrego Desert State Park with us. I think they are beginning to understand why we’ve become desert rats, and why we’ve been making winter visits each year to this part of the Sonoran.


Trail through Indian morteros and pictographs concludes at incredible overlook of Smugglers Canyon.


I met David in Glacier National Park (This link is about my new Glacier book, mentioned below. Lots of pictures.) back in 1966, where we both served as rangers.  We both were involved in the park’s first fatal grizzly bear maulings.  David was at Granite Park Chalet where I was at Trout Lake, and each of us shot the grizzly bears that were thought to have killed the two girls that one night in August of 1967.  David married V.V. 30 years ago and then he and his bride packed into Belly River Ranger Station.  The historic station is the park’s most remote station, which is according to David and me, another word for “the best.”

Dave&VV-4 Dave&VV Dave&VV-12


L to R:  Trail to Smugglers Canyon Overlook provides opportunities to study ancient Kumeyaay Indian pictographs and morteros.  Another outing took us through Split Mountain to a trailhead that lea to caves sculptured  by wind, called therefore, “Wind Cave.”

Both David and I say that it was in part because of our experiences in Glacier that our interest in natural history mushroomed, and appropriately, David eventually worked as a permanent botanist for the Forest Service.  He is also a first-class writer and editor and has published a book on Glacier’s Chief Mountain.  As well, he reviewed the manuscript on my new book Glacier Icons, so for a host of reasons we were delighted they wanted us to share Anza Borrego with us.

David and V.V. both enjoyed our camp at Pegleg in part because the nights are so clear and the stars so vivid.  One evening we saw five planets: Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn.  Seems as though David knew every single one of the 88 constellations, and he says his interest in astronomy began when he was in high school.

During the day the four of us made a number of hikes several to old Indian ruins, the others to see desert vegetation and the park’s incredible geology.  While here, the four of us hiked to an overlook that peered down onto Smuggler’s Cave, to several Indian morteros, to a panel of Indian rock art, and to an area known as Wind Caves.  We also made the drive to Sonny Bono to see owls, the subject of my last posting.

So far our only disappointment is that we have not found bighorn sheep, but that’s OK, for people should always leave a place wanting more.

AND NOW A NOTE: David, you should be here now as huge flocks of Swainson’s Hawks are flying north from Argentina. We saw them last night flying over our campsite.

AND YET ANOTHER NOTE TO OUR READERS: Finally our book Glacier Icons has hit the Amazon books shelves, and is described as follows:

From the mountain goats who linger by the visitor’s center on Logan Pass to the crystal-clear glacier-fed lakes, from the magnificent views from the Many Glacier Hotel to the old-growth forest landscapes, visitors will find much to ponder and enjoy within these pages. In 1903 writer, editor, and naturalist George Bird Grinnell expressed his thoughts in Century Magazine about this land he had come to love, calling the area the “Crown of the Continent.” His image of and descriptive story about the magnificent glacier-carved landscape in the far reaches of Montana brought about the creation of Glacier National Park in 1910. Grinnell’s description is apt, but it is just one of the collective descriptions that evokes iconic images of Glacier, also called the “Land of Shining Mountains” and known by many millions of visitors for their own personal stories and connections to its magnificent vistas and small wonders.

Glacier Icons contains fifty chapters filled with thousands of facts and hundreds of full-color photographs of iconic people, places, events, foods, animals, traditions, and more from all parts of this great national park.





*Exploring Glacier’s Highline





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