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

Outdoor Writer Award

OUTDOOR WRITER AWARD: Two weeks ago Janie and I attended an Outdoor Writer’s gathering held each year somewhere in the Northwest. The conference lasted almost a week and this year the NOWA (Northwest Outdoor Writer’s Associaton) conference was held in Choteau, Montana.  “The Front,” as the region is also called is renowned for its beauty, its immense deposits of dinosaurs bones, for its Native American history and because the Old North Trail parallels the small town.

But of particular significance (at least to me):  Each year awards are given at the conference and I was flattered beyond words (literally) to receive recognition for contributions made over the years as both a writer and photographer. It’s called a LEGACY AWARD, and others also received the award and that placed me into a group I’ve always admired.



Because Choteau is such a unique area, I took lots of pictures and suffice it to say that the small town  is placed in country that can stun the senses. But not to make it too appealing, you must be willing to endure winds that can blow like a Banshee.  But some enjoy the area and for reasons the following images suggest. In the Choteau area — if you are willing to hike — you can find teepee rings and piles of rocks arranged so an Indian brave could conceal himself in such a way that he could snatch an eagle lured to his bait. If successful in grabbing the legs, he would kill the bird for the spiritual value the feathers could impart.

AlWiseman-17 AlWiseman-16 AlWiseman-11


L. to R.:  Eagle Snatch built of rock; pasque flower, one of many
now in bloom along the Rocky Mountain Front; Peter Schroeder, Al Wiseman; David Shae.

But for the explorer there’s more: If you are really willing to hike, you can follow portions of the Old North Trail. The trail is thought to be over 10,000 years old and was used when migrants crossed Beringia, the proper name for that area created when a land bridge formed that would sometimes connect Alaska with what is now Russia. Beringia was just the beginning of the route, which is thought to pass by my old GNP ranger station, located along Cut Bank Creek.

Al Wiseman (https://crownofthecontinent.natgeotourism.com/…/cotd38ef3df…), a Metis Indian and much respected local historian and guide, explained to our group that the trail spanned from the Yukon Territory in Canada to New Mexico. At first travel was on foot, but later dogs assisted pulling cargo-laden travoises.

AlWiseman-8 AlWiseman-9 AlWiseman-15

L to R:  Simulating the development of a dinosaur, the embryo is genuine,
but the shell is taken from a local bird; Al Wiseman explaining his Metis background;
David Shea explaining significance of 10,000 year-old trail known as the Old North Trail, which runs near
Choteau.  Furthermore, the old trail ran by my old range station at Cut Bank in Glacier Park.

David Shea, a former ranger and friend for over 50 years who joined me in a talk about bears the two of us provided at the writer’s conference, also joined the tour, and, later, the two of us hiked the hills where he added more to the story. David has lived in Choteau for over 10 years and he, too, has become a local historian. In fact, David serves as a board member on the local history organization. Once, David found a spear point while hiking along the Old North Trail. University archeologists linked it to the atlatl – the predecessor to the bow and arrow.

Finally, for those interesting in learning more about the Old North Trail, here is a link to  Walter McClintock’s book about that subject. https://www.amazon.com/Old-North-Trail-Walter-…/…/B002E9HLW0. It’s been on my bookshelf for years, and portions read and reread.



By Their Beaks Shall You Know Them


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

5 Responses to “Outdoor Writer Award”

  1. Bill D. Says:

    I can personally attest that Bert has helped us develop a deep love for outdoor recreation.

    Champion for the natural world, Bert Gildart has got it down to a science, and it comes out as iconic art, as seen in “Bert Gildart’s art.”


    Congratulations Bert!

  2. Heidy Bruner & Jake Goettle Says:

    Congratulations Bert! Jake and I so enjoyed visiting with you and Janie this weekend. You are true inspirations and are modeling the life w aspire to live. Thank you for making this world a better place!

  3. Heidy Bruner & Jake Goettle Says:

    Congratulations Bert! Jake and I so enjoyed visiting with you and Janie this weekend. You are true inspirations and are living the life we aspire to live! Thank you for making this world a better place!

  4. Bert Says:

    Many thanks, Jake and Heidy, for comment and the thoughts are reciprocal. We, too, enjoyed meeting you and enjoyed learning a bit about your lives, which seem pretty exciting. In an email I sent you a link to Chaco, and hope your schedule allows time to visit the park.

  5. tTom Palesch Says:

    Bert, you slipped one by me. I usually watch your blogpost religiously (well, almost!) but there have been so few new ones I got sloppy. And, I missed a big CONGRATULATIONS” opportunity on your OUTDOOR WRITER LEGACY AWARD. I always enjoyed reading your posts about the annual rendezvous of that group and here you are, now recognized as one of their pillars.

    Bert, it is well deserved. You have practiced your craft intensively for many decades. You deserve fireworks and brass bands for this achievement. Just one thing, I find it difficult to picture you at a loss fr words during the presentation. I’m sure it was only a temporary lull in the celebration.

    Keep on banging on the keyboard and sharing your adventures.