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

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

©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!


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.

12104 CannonSun13509 31165

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.


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!




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




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

One Response to “America the Beautiful — But You Cannot See It; It’s Shut Down”

  1. Siskins Mostly Gone But Grosbeaks Still Around | Bert Gildart: Writer and Photographer Says:

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