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

Departing Sonora Desert Museum With Regrets

©Bert Gildart:  Just want to share a few of the last images I took before leaving Gilbert Ray Campground, which we used as a base for yet more visits to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

As one fascinated with natural history, the museum provided some of the best opportunities for photographs I’ve recently enjoyed.  Live demonstrations provided by the docents were informative and in some cases, were intended to squelch misconceptions about certain forms of wildlife, such as the tarantula. According to Barbara Witthaus, who has been working as a docent there for several years, Tarantulas are basically harmless and if handled gently are absolutely non aggressive. She says it’s actually quite  “sweet” and wished more people realized that there is nothing evil about them.  Helping visitors understand nature is her job and is the underlying philosophy of this world renowned museum.


"Tarantulas are not aggressive if they are not abused."


Those whom have followed my blog know I’m fascinated by the species and devoted a considerable amount of time in Grand Canyon and Borrego Springs trying to locate a specimen to photograph.  All I had to do, I guess, is visit the Sonora Museum.

Tarantula-5 Sonoran-11 Sonoran-16

Barbara Witthaus and Barbara Bickel describe their fascination with some of North America’s most interesting life forms, hoping their
enthusiasm about tarantulas and owls will be absorbed by visitors.

Helping people understand nature is also the challenge that confronts Barbara Bickel who provides talks on owls.  Talks at the museum are many and help acquaint visitors with the role of raptors, the area’s geology, and with all other forms of life that inhabit the Sonoran.  The Sonoran is the museum’s theme and it has succeeded to such an extent that the New York Times has called it the “the most distinctive zoo in the United States.” It features over 900 species of plants that inhabit the  Sonoran and exhibits and interprets 200 species of live animals.  The museum can brag of a 24,000 members and if the tally doesn’t include us, then membership is now 24,002.  We departed the Tucson area with much regret.

Yesterday, we moved on from Gilbert Ray and are now back in Organ Pipe.  It’s another of my favorite areas and I expect to catch up on a bit of bicycle riding that I have not been able to do while in Tucson.




*The Ocotillo







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

2 Responses to “Departing Sonora Desert Museum With Regrets”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Organ Pipe National Monument and the Mountain Drive, what a beautiful place in the world and you did that rugged ride by bike! I bet you did discover a whole new world from the viewpoint of silence. You describe it well and the photos are outstanding as usual.

  2. webdoc Says:

    Spider!!! Kill it! Kill it with FIRE!!