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

Life-Long Friends Recall 15 Minutes of Fame and Infamy

©Bert Gildart:  And so after celebrating David’s birthday in Marathon, Texas, Brian and Marie, David, Janie and I are now traveling in two Airstreams (David’s and mine) and are again in Big Bend National Park.

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At Santa Elena Canyon it is but two steps (literally) across the Rio Grande into Mexico. L to R: Marie, Janie, David, Brian.


I’ve known the two men here since the 1960s, where we met on a labor crew in Glacier National Park, and I am always amazed that this group (meaning David, Brian and I) survived, much less succeeded.


Back in the ‘60s each of was asked to leave the colleges we were attending essentially because we held standards and values that differed from those of our respective college deans.

Brain, who played football at the University of Montana, may have spent too many summers in Haight-Ashbury.  David, apparently, was not working up to capacity at his college of veterinarian medicine and decided to take a little time off.


As for me, I’m not sure why the dean at Florence State Teachers college recommended leave-time, for I was simply trying to create beer and wine in a place where it not previously existed.  That would be a liquor-free county in Alabama, notorious in the ‘60s as a place I wanted to reform. Perhaps I was too successful, having been invited on several occasions by the local sheriff to sleep in one of his very secure and special rooms.

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As we celebrated David’s birthday we rehashed the character flaws in our respective deans, believing our willingness to explore all aspects of life subsequently instilled a sense of compassion in us all – and eventually contributed to the 15 minutes of fame we’ve each enjoyed.


For instance, Professor Brian now teaches art at a college in Ohio and his work as a sculpture graces the home of Jimmy Carter.  Just recently, his heroic-size statues of Bart Starr, Robin Yount and Hank Aaron were unveiled at the entrances of several major baseball stadiums.

David completed his degree in veterinarian medicine and has been outstanding in his field.  Next month Dr. David will address employees of Big Bend on the humane techniques for euthanizing injured animals.

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Sunset from Sotol overlook with Mexico in background


Other than the fact the three of us married beautiful and talented women, what we continue to share in common is our love of adventure and travel.  Hopefully that will come across in my next few postings as we hike some of the trails in Big Bend and visit a few more of these fascinating west Texas settlements.





*Snowy Owls





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. Sometimes 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

2 Responses to “Life-Long Friends Recall 15 Minutes of Fame and Infamy”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    The story of you and your companieros is telling. I’m sure at the moment in your life when you all were told “Time Out” is was probably devastating to your parents if not necessarily to you. However, because you fellow were made from the “right stuff” you got your acts together and jumped back on the train of life and made a place for yourselves of which you all can be proud.

    This is a good lesson for us all, especially grandkids who are now at that point in life where they are trying to enter adulthood. You fellows prove once again that through the course of life we have continuing opportunities to “readjust” our life-direction and do good things for others and ultimately for ourselves.

    It was fun to read about your reunion. Have more good times together.

  2. Bert Says:

    This, Tom, was actually an unsettling time of my life, but as with many difficult experiences, an attempt at humor seems the best way to help put much into perspective. I was also lucky to have a wise old aunt, who pointed the way West, the place I very much needed to be in those days.