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 February, 2014

Song of the Cactus Wren

posted: February 28th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Here in Arizona at the Sonoran Desert Museum, the sound of spring is in the air.  All around the state bird is creating a familiar sound that some say resembles the churn of a battery that won’t start.  Others say the song contains a “clattering roll” and consists of “a series of quick beats without melody.” Whatever description fits the bill it is one now being heard virtually everywhere: from the tops of the mighty saguaro, from the thickets of the dense chain cholla, from the spiny top of the prickly pear…

CactusWren-30

Song of the cactus wren

 

The sound is associated with the cactus wren, a colorful species in which the male and female work together to build nests.  Nests are huge and built so that the top is closed.  When completed the nest will look like a football oriented vertically.  But unlike many species, access to the nest is from the side; and that’s for a very good reason. It’s an evolutionary thing that helps obscure the wren from predators flying overhead.  Those that were exposed, perished, and with time, only cactus wrens that created nest with holes in the sides survived.

Eventually, nests built by the pair may number several, perhaps even three or four.  But after our bird couple has completed the nest, which one calls the shots?  Who decides which nest will serve to raise their young?

CactusWren-24 CactusWren-31 CactusWren-22


L to R:  Nests, which may number as many as four, are constructed together by both males and female.  Nests could be prickly pear, in saguaro cactus, or deep in a thorn-filled cholla.  Nests are constructed from a variety of materials.

Apparently it’s like newlyweds shopping for their first home. Final selection of the “nest” devolves to the female; she calls the shots!

As I say, it’s spring down here but what does that mean? It means that the high today approached 80.  But tomorrow, if it rains (as is predicted), temperatures may not even reach into the 70s.  Nevertheless, I’ve been told that despite such frigid temperatures, nest building will continue, and we can still expect to hear the song of the cactus wren.

We’re grateful to be surrounded by nature.


———————-

 

AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*Fascinated by 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





Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Gilbert Ray and the Sonoran Desert Museum

posted: February 26th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: We’re Camped now at Gilbert Ray, a county park located just outside of Tucson, Arizona.  More significantly we’re now located just four miles from the Sonoran Desert Museum, and that creates a real plus.

Airstream-1

Gilbert Ray Campground, a Tucson County Park

 


We’re here to take advantage of the photographic opportunities the museum offers.  In years past park herpetologists have helped me with several stories, most significantly, one for National Wildlife about Gila monsters.

Evenings are a delight, and we typically punctuate evening with a glass of wine.  Observe, however, the huge cuts in the pads of the cacti.  That’s from packrat activity, who typically feed on the pads.  But they don’t stop there and will also munch on the wiring under the hood of your vehicle.


SonoranMuseum-6 SonoranMuseum-2 SonoranMuseum-16

 

Great Horned Owl, Harris’s Hawk, Gray Hawk.  All images made yesterday.


To avoid rodent damage simply prop open the hood of your car.  Starlight and moonlight are adequate to discourage the nocturnal peregrinations of packrats.

Baring these foot long rodents, Gilbert Ray is an outstanding campground, one of the best in the desert Southwest.  It’s a wonderful setting to sip that glass of wine, admire the surrounding beauty of a mountain desert, and plot out your photographic agenda for upcoming days at the Sonoran Desert Museum.

————-

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*San Diego World Famous Zoo

 

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 »

Jail Time For Bert Gildart

posted: February 23rd, 2014 | by:Bert

Bert&Janie - Copy

Janie has helped insure recidivism.

OXFORD, Miss. (February 22)- A fraternity chapter at the University of Mississippi was indefinitely suspended Friday by its national organization and three of its freshman members were kicked out because of their suspected involvement in hanging a noose on a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to enroll in the then all-white college.

GILDART ARRESTED

When Meredith tried to enter Ole Miss in fall 1962 (as he should have!), Mississippi’s governor tried to stop him. That led to violence on the Oxford campus.  Most notably, Bert Gildart was arrested, marched down the main street of Oxford, Mississippi and simultaneously prodded in the glutei with bayonets and detained in the local jail.

A national TV station filmed the proceedings and the recording was broadcast ‘round the world.  (Gildart’s proud parents saw him from an Army base in Germany, where his mother and his father — a  Colonel, then — were stationed.) Later, a humiliating body search found a young Mr. Gildart to be weapon free.  Four of Gildart’s academic associates were treated with equal distain.

Though Gildart had a previous arrest record and did know jail time for smuggling moonshine from the nearby Tennessee State line to Alabama’s Florence State Teacher’s College, he was able to convince authorities that he had learned his lesson. Also, Gildart was guilty of nothing other than taking pictures.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” Gildart was quoted as saying.  “I’ll never again engage in nefarious activities.”

It should be noted that since those days back in the ‘60s, Bert Gildart has lead a model life, devoted as he has been to his then-found Christian principles.  His wife Janie has helped to perpetuate this upstanding life style.



—————-

 

AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*The Impossible Railroad (This could have been jail time.)

 

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 »

Drought Engenders Few Flowers But Attractions Remains

posted: February 22nd, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Borrego Springs – and much of the Southwest for that matter — is experiencing one of the driest and hottest seasons on record.  What that means for those of us Peg Leg is that the multitude of flowers normally carpeting the desert sands at this time of year is nonexistent.


PalmCanyon-3

Flowers usually dominate landscape in late February, but not this year. Still palms provide attraction

 

As a result we must search for other desert attractions, and thankfully, that’s not too hard to do.  Two days ago, for instance, Janie and I hiked up Palm Canyon.  Along the stream that courses through and past a grove of  palms, we found along the banks a few flowering specimens to include the brittle brush, chuparosa, and one species we believe is an aster.

PalmCanyon-5 PalmCanyon-2 PalmCanyon-1

L to R:  Chuparosa, possible an aster, brittle brush


But that was about it.  Of course we found the palms and they looked as healthy and as lovely as ever.

The hike is but 3 miles total, and includes the very real possibility of seeing sheep, which we have sighted many times on previous excursions.  The three-mile round-trip hike to Palm Canyon is one of Janie’s favorite hikes, and she takes a moment (above) to enjoy a view that is immensely panoramic.


——————

 

Airstream Travels This Time Last Year:

*Sonoran Desert Museum

 

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 | Post a Comment »

Campfire Magic and the Compulsion of B.S.

posted: February 20th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: And so we spend the evenings sitting around a pine wood fire, spinning stories about our days’ adventures.  Sometimes it’s just Janie and me, but other times it includes a few of our Peg Leg neighbors.  The other night it included (L to R) Rich Charpentier, Randy and his dog Jack; and Mike Gibbs. Janie, of course, is also in the mix.  We’re all knowledgeable about B.S (Borrego Springs, of course!) so our range of tales is spread thickly.  Randy’s story included one about his dog, Jack, and it seems that once when Randy was flying commercially an acquaintance who was bordering hollered out “Hi-Jack.”  Randy says the name “almost got Jack and me thrown off the plane.”


AnzaBorrego-3

Campfire settings

 

But last night it was just Janie and me, and on nights when we’re unaccompanied we use the app on our cell phone to identify stars, constellations and planets.  We’re familiar enough now with this southeastern California sky to instantly identify Jupiter; Taurus the bull; Orion the hunter; Cirrus, brightest star in the sky; and Cassiopeia, a  vain Queen from Egyptian history.

Of course we’re seeing other stars, which we can also I.D., but the above are some of the more familiar heavenly bodies.  We have seen four other planets, and when the skies are really clear we can see the Pleiades.  Borrego Springs prides itself on its dark skies.

And so concludes a brief summary of nights spent ‘round the fire and narrations about B.S.


——————–

 

Airstream Travels One Year Ago:

*Brave New World In A Desert Heartland

 

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 | Post a Comment »

Biking Anza Borrego

posted: February 17th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  For those who enjoy biking, Anza Borrego Desert Park provides a multitude of opportunities.  Small though the town may be there are at least three outlets that sell new and used equipment.  As well, “Biker Dan” provides repairs, and I’ve relied on him several times.


Biking-5

Biking the soft sands of Coyote Creek in Anza Borrego State Park. Rich Charpentier out in front.

 

Yesterday, I joined up with Rick Charpentier, a fellow Airstreamer and biker, who loves to mountain bike.  Because time was short for Rich, we picked Coyote Canyon, driving first to the trailhead for Alcoholic Pass.  From here, we continued along the dirt road, biking about four miles toward a stream famous for the historic explorations of de Anza, the Mexican explorer who first traveled through the region. He was bound for San Francisco, several hundred miles to the north, but Rich and I decided we would stop a little short.  We peddled through the soft sand but turned around after fording the tiny stream through which de Anza passed on Christmas day.  The stream also recalls the site near which the wife of one of the explorers in his group gave birth.

I worked hard trying to create a picture that would convey our ride and to do so had to rely on a camera chest mount. Photographically, I knew what I wanted, but because I was guessing at framing had to repeat exposures several times before I got what I wanted.  I wanted an image that included my handle bars, “Rider Rich, soft sand and the distant mountains.  The picture here is just as I took it and has provided me with much satisfaction.


—————————-

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

*Antsy McClain (Humor and Pathos Unite Everyone)

 

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 »

Leonard Knight’s Passing Represents End of an Era

posted: February 13th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: If you have seen the movie or read the book Into the Wild, you may recall that Alexander Supertramp, legally known as Christopher McCandless, spent time in a remote part of California called “The Slabs.” It’s surrounded by such features as Bombay Beach, a half-submerged wasteland of derelict buses and vehicles, and the Salton Sea, known for several environmental catastrophes. Sandwiched in between are the Slabs, a WWII-era Marine facility where squatters and seasonal snowbirds live in RVs and vehicles among the concrete remnants.

And not far from here is Salvation Mountain, created by Leonard Knight, one of the people who befriended Alexander Supertramp.


Leonard Knight, appearing three years ago as the vibrant and well meaning man that so characterized him.



Sadly Leonard Knight passed away three days ago and his passing is significant for it represents the end of an era. But the area may endure, for several years ago Senator  Barbara Boxer declared Salvation Mountain a “National Treasure.”

Over the years Janie and I visited the area on a number of occasions, and most visits were accompanied by the posting of a blog.  Some may want to know more about  Salvation Mountain, the Slabs — and Leonard knight, and I hope the associated links peak your interest in a way of life that has worked — and continues to work — for some.

 

———————

 

AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR:

*Salton Sea

 

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 | Post a Comment »

Road Friends Have Become Great Friends

posted: February 8th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Janie and I have been wandering North America for almost a quarter of a century, and consider ourselves fortunate to have met so many interesting people.  In the last couple of days some of these friends have stopped by.  We value our times together with all good people, benefiting at times from our combined observations.  Here’s a quick rundown.


MarshallSouth2 Morteros-5 DaveMorteros


L to R:  One mile hike leads to the much deteriorated remains of the Marshall South homestead; Dave Veddar examines morteros in images two and three.

David and Pam Vedder have been camped in the desert Southwest for over a month and took time to swing by our camp here in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.   Dave and Pam are from the Seattle area and he is paid to fly round the world in search of the very best areas in which to fish.  Initially we met Dave and Pam through our affiliation with the Outdoor Writer’s Association of America, an organization that consists not only of writers and photographers but the editors who buy our work.

Dave only had one full day (two nights) so I took him to two of the most interesting areas in Anza Borrego –Marshall South’s deteriorating old homestead, and to the morteros.  Both are accessed from the same backcountry road then reached following short hikes. Morteros were created by the Kumeyaay Indians who used these rock hollows to grind a desert plant known as the agave.  Indeed, Dave and I were stepping back in time, benefiting as we regressed from our mutual thoughts on the daily challenges the Kumeyaay faced.


Steve&Linda3

Great good news is that Janie is interested in knowing more about tandem biking. No one can provide more info about the sport than Steve and Linda, who have now logged in 58,000 miles!

 

Dave and Pam left yesterday but shortly after they left Steve and Linda showed up on their tandem bike.  Now here’s an achievement that is almost unbelievable.  In the last 10 years or so Steve and Linda have logged in over 58,000 miles biking all over the country.  Several years ago they went coast to coast.

We met Steve and Linda about five years ago.  They were camped nearby and introductions were easy as we shared biking in common.  Steve and Linda have been more than happy to share their knowledge and we’ve learned much from them.

Steve&Linda2

Steve and Linda depart Peg Leg.

 


Because we don’t see some of our many friends but for short periods of time, we try and keep up with them in other ways, such as social media, and that of course, includes Facebook. By so doing, we know the general location of many and when opportunities arise, we try and and get together, as suggested by our activities of these past few days.

 

—————–

AIRSTREAM TRAVELS LAST YEAR:

*Organ Pipe’s Ajo Mountain Loop

Also

*Exploring Anza Borrego with Life Long Friends

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 »

Return to Pegleg

posted: February 5th, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  We left Anza Borrego Desert State Park last April, but are back now, exploring the hills but keeping our eyes open for snakes, scorpions and tarantulas.  This “snake” was here last year, but it appears to have gotten even larger.  We found it by simply stepping onto a desert trail that leads from the steps of our Airstream and then following it up for about a mile to a small cove of rocks.

Pegleg-5

"Snake", discovered while hiking trail above Pegleg.



It’s good to be back in the Sonoran.

We got here several days ago, departing Mojave National Preserve.  It was an easy day drive from our campground at Kelso Sand Dunes, but we got a late start and when we saw a sign at Chiriaco Summit along Highway 10 offering “Free Dry Camping” near a display of old Patton Tanks, we decided to overnight.

PattonTanks-1 Pegleg-6 Pegleg-1


L to R: “Free Dry Camping” adjacent to old Patton Tanks at Chiriaco Summit along Interstate 10; Janie heading above Pegleg; Mexican workers loading vegetables onto pallets — working as though choreographed.

Next day we struck out for the remainder of our drive passing a group of Mexicans who seemed to be working hard with coordinated movements loading fresh fruit onto pallets for shipping.  Such labor is, of course, available to Americans of all ethnicity, but the workforce consisted of Latinos only.

An hour later we pulled into Pegleg (Pegleg’s Gold)and since that time have been settling in for what will surely be a stay of at least several weeks.  Our solar panels are up and once again we marvel that we can play music, run computers, watch TV at night, run the heater — charge telephones, Nooks, and camera batteries and never pull the charge in our four 12V batteries much below 12.8.  That means we remain near the “fully charged” indicator at all times.  The sun pops up about 7, and by 9, we are fully, fully charged again.

Pegleg-2 Pegleg-3


L to R: Pegleg campground below Janie, who later finds snake and “adds” to its growth. 

That means we have no worries and can explore to our heart’s content.  Look at the above photos and you’ll see that that is precisely what we have been doing.  Give us a few more days to settle in and our wanderings will take us further afield.  Upcoming trips will have us looking for sheep and Indian morteros, and, most likely, see us returning to old Marshall South Homestead.  South was a noted magazine and book author, who choose a life style that was absolutely isolated.

You’ll want to stay tuned for upcoming posts.

—————-

 

Airstream Travels Two Years Ago:

*Rock Art

 

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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More Desert Meanderings

posted: February 1st, 2014 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Panamint Jane and Ballarat Bert have moved on, though they’re still thinkin’ hard on their times in Death Valley, being as they walked (in our last post) with the ghosts of Shorty Harris and Aguereberry Pete. Our names are honorary names bestowed on us by heroes from our past lives.


DeathValley-3

Sunrise caressing the Panamints, Death Valley. Note Panamint Jane in bathrobe.


But thar’s still lots on our minds, most notably thoughts about the good folks we met at Texas Springs here in the year 2014.  There, we meet two extremely talented musicians.  Christiane had been a classical musician but Ron  grooved on country music, my favorite, and what was so incredible is that the man not only played country-western music like a master but knew the history of each song he played.  He appreciated (for starters) singer/songwriters Hank Williams, Earnest Tubb, Kris Christopherson, Ray Price, George Jones, and Waylon Jennings. Naturally we asked if music had been his career, and his response is what was so interesting.

“No,” he said, “I have a doctors degree in physics from Montana State University.”

Much irony here as Dr. Ron and I attended MSU at exactly the same time –  say 100 years ago.   The man (and his wife, too!)  was completely down to earth, and joked that the two of us might have drunk pitchers of beer together at the Molly Brown — being as how it was a hangout for us both.

And then we met hiker David, a capable young man who was taking a little time off from a career in editing for the military to redirect.  He and I established a wonderful rapport, and I enjoyed making several hikes with him.

Dave was versed in the making of videos, and I couldn’t think of a BETTER VIDEO to show than one of the young man hiking into the timeless badlands surrounding Zabriske Point in Death Valley.  (Note: Now, see, Adam, what you’re missing??)


DeathValley-5 DeathValley-6 DeathValley-1

L to R: Classic musician Christiane on her keyboard, Dr. Ron in background; Route 66; David
preparing to descend trail into timeless landscape.

Janie and I are now (and actually have been) in Anza Borrego Desert State Park for several days.  We reached this magnificent state park in part by driving an old segment of Route 66.  As well we stopped for a night in Mojave Preserve, and before telling about the good times we are starting to have here at Pegleg (link for Pegleg history), we may do a bit more reminiscing about our travels of this past week. It’s all still very much on our minds.


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AIRSTREAM TRAVELS THREE YEARS AGO:

*Brobdingnagian Landscape

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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