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

Archive for October, 2013

Is Glacier as Beautiful As It Was 4-years Ago? Who Knows

posted: October 14th, 2013 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Images posted here show the way Glacier National Park appeared four years ago to the week.   Presumably the glory is there this year, but we don’t know for sure as the park is still closed.  However, we do have memories, and because of our images Glacier certainly remains alive for us.

For Janie and me not only do our images recall a beautiful time in the park but they also recall a wonderful week of camping in Many Glacier and then hiking into the lovely mountain that surrounded us there.


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L to R:  Bohemian waxwing with snow berry, St. Mary Valley, rainbow in Many Glacier Valley.

 

In four short days Janie and I amassed a series of photographs that included bears, moose, several species of birds and absolutely stunning scenics that took in fall color and a rainbow.

The bear I photographed was huge and most of the girth was fat, which nature intends to be used during the long months of hibernation.  Images of the bear were used in our book entitled Glacier Icons.  The book not only contains first class images but essays that help bring the park alive.  Some of the essays are distillations of stories previously published in Smithsonian, Travel/Holiday and many RV magazines such as Airstream Life and Trailer Life.  There is also a story from Highlights for Children about the Ptarmigan, a Bird of the Snow.

Though snow is moving down the mountains here in western Montana we’re keeping our fingers crossed Glacier – and certainly all the other parts of the government currently closed – will reopen.  If that’s the case we may yet have the opportunity to enjoy autumn in Glacier National Park, something we’ve never before been denied!


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AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

 

Dramatizing Heat of the Desert Sun

 

BOOKS TO ENHANCE YOUR NATIONAL PARK TRAVELS:


 

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




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America the Beautiful — But You Cannot See It; It’s Shut Down

posted: October 6th, 2013 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  It’s been one week since the government  shutdown and I can’t recall an act of Congress creating such outrage.  I sympathize with everyone, but once I was a park ranger and now I’m a photo journalist specializing in wildlife and in issues regarding our national lands.   As a result, I am particularly tuned to the outrage expressed about the closure of the 401 areas administered by the National Park Service.

I’ve posted on Glacier and Yellowstone, but here are other examples of things we cannot see.  American The Beautiful is shut down!


CLICK TO ENLARGE ON ANY OF THE CANNOT PHOTOS


OldRag-3 13551 DryT1


Right now you cannot visit Shenandoah National Park, much less climb Old Rag. (Adam Maffei is the man climbing Old Rag shown above in silhouette.  But he’s clearly shown on the cover of our Shenandoah book, shown below.  Go ahead, you can buy it.)   You cannot visit the WWII Memorial unless you defy authorities and dare them to stop you from pushing your wheel chair to the memorial.  You cannot visit the Dry Tortugas, one of our most southern of parks, celebrated as the place where Dr. Mudd was incarcerated after setting the leg of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

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Yet some more cannots: Right now you cannot kayak to National Lakeshores such as Cumberland Island; you cannot visit sites protecting the antiquities, such as preserved at Dinosaur National Monument.  And you cannot Kayak (or visit) Sleeping Bear National Lake, which preserves the wreck of the Francisco Morazan.


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You cannot hike the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smokey Mountains; you cannot visit sites such as Gettysburg that tell the story of the Civil War; and you cannot hike the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park and enjoy the incredible displays of birdlife.


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I started to say “finally,” but that’s not the case as there is so much more.  But consider in closing that you can’t even drive or hike to Cadillac Mountain, the point in Acadia National Park where the sun first strikes North America at certain times of the year.

It’s time the government shutdown includes a shutdown on congressional salaries. If that doesn’t work we should shut down the most radical groups.  If that doesn’t work, it’s time we shut down and replace the whole damn bunch.

America the Beautiful should not be shut down!


—————–

 

AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR:

*Biking to Hermit’s Rest (Another Cannot!!)

 

OUR BOOKS THAT WILL COMPLEMENT YOUR TRAVELS:

 

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




Read Comments | 1 Comment »

No Access Now to Battling and Bugling Bull Elk — A Crime Against the American People!

posted: October 1st, 2013 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Because of the irresponsible closing of the Federal government last night, as of today (October 1), all national parks, to include our very first national park, are closed.  That means you cannot see one of the world’s most spectacular of all wildlife dramas, the story of the bull elk.  Other than to dictate that we no longer can believe in the sanctity of motherhood, apple pie, the American flag – or the beauty of Old Faithful – little could be worse.  Congress has just committed a crime against the American people!

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With murder in its eyes, a bull elk protects his territory

 


Images shown here were made about three years ago. We had parked our Airstream at Madison Campground and then ranged out from there, seeing bison, Old Faithful, eagles, wolves, ravens, paint pots — and elk.

The stage, of course, for these elk photos is Yellowstone National Park and an annual ritual intensifies the end of September/first of October. Each evening dozens of bull elk materialize from huge stands of pines, and then edge closer and closer until viewers have front-row seats.

But before you can see the elk, you can hear them and their famous “bugling.” Bull elk create the music and do so by tilting back their heads and emitting a sound that begins on a low note then progresses up the scale.  Finally, the bugling ends with a guttural “Ugh, ugh.”   Hearing them is one thing, but when dozens of bulls create the sound simultaneously, it blows your mind. Again, all this is taking place right now, (today!) in Yellowstone.  But you can’t see them, because our leaders have shut down the government.


ElkYNP1 41351 Elk7836

Yellowstone with all of various dramas is now closed — a crime against the American People
created by those who are supposed to protect and preserve us.


The purpose of the bugling – followed by aggressive gestures in which they use their antlers to plow up the dirt, “murder” small trees, or actually engage other bulls in battle – is intended to help each bull establish a territory.  In this space each bull protects his developing harem, and woe be to any interloper, particularly to “the welterweights,” or to one whose spread of antlers is inferior – that enters this space. Presumably the genetically superior bull emerges victorious and it is he that passes on his genes.

Sights and sounds associated with this drama are incredible, but again, to state the obvious, we can’t enjoy them because Congress has shut down the government.  The effects are devastating to so many in so many walks of life – but all I can dramatize are those aspects with which I have an intimate knowledge, and that is our national parks.

Parks are repositories of our national heritage, places people congregate to retain their sanity when pressures of everyday  life seem overwhelming.  Quite likely the calming influences of these preserves have prevented a number of deranged citizens from climbing the stairs of a Texas tower and becoming another Charles Whitman.  Everyone should have the opportunity to get absorbed in the drama of elk, on stage right now.

Yellowstone was our very first national parks, and Congress has just committed a crime against the American people!


———————–


AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR:

No One at Pegleg


BOOKS TO INSPIRE TRAVEL:


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




Read Comments | 2 Comments »