posted: May 7th, 2013 | by:Bert
©Bert Gildart: Now back in the state I cherish above all others, but with some warnings for others.
Montana is the nation’s fourth largest state and it claims a population of about a million. I started to say “only” but 1 million is a heap, especially when so many are crammed into only a few places. It makes me think of the philosophy of a former Oregon governor, who said, “Visit then leave!”
The governor’s thoughts were made out of concern that his state might grow beyond its carrying capacity. My cautionary thoughts, however, are based on visitor safety, so I must warn readers that Montana winters are punctuated by terrifying temperatures (once -70) and that summers (once 117) are further harshened by hordes of mosquitoes. It is no exaggeration to say that the state has at least three different species, and that each is large enough to stand flat footed and make love to a turkey. You need to know these things!
All of our insects are huge, and can sometimes create plagues, something to always keep in mind, especially if you are thinking of taking up permanent residence. If you are, let me also remind readers that we have horse flies. Zillions!
Just remember that with grizzlies, horrifying weather and bugs, Montana can be a dangerous place. (Note, too, the extreme elevations –above. And note, too, the posting below on rattlesnakes.)
Another day and we’ll be home after a seven month absence. The adjustment from road to home may require counseling, or perhaps we’ll simply flout the harshness of some Montana summers and park our Airstream up the Yaak, outside the Dirty Shame Saloon. We’ll reread the great books listed below, which will help us recall all that we used to do.
THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
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.
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