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 May, 2011

Holland Lake Interlude

posted: May 31st, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart:  Here are some images from the Memorial Day weekend, taken near our camping spot at Holland Lake, located about 50 miles south of Bigfork, Montana. Janie and I spent several nights there camped with family and friends in our Airstream.  I was lucky, as the children were interested in hiking and were helpful when it came to photography.  They were my strobe holders and sometimes my models.


Approaching Holland Falls

Holland Lake is one of the gateways to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and all that surrounds the lake is gorgeous.  Waterfalls cascaded down endless slopes and spring flowers seemd particularly colorful, especially following – or even during—some of the season’s showers.  Overcast skies provided particularly pleasing light as it diminished the shadows and made for a quality of light that tends to enhance color saturation.

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L to R: Indian Paint Brush, Clematis, kinnikinnick.

Holland Falls was the hiking destination of the weekend, not just because of the gushing falls, but because of the lake we hiked along and because of the multitude of spring flowers. Along the way we found Indian paint brush, clematis, Oregon grape and kinnikinnick.  Some of the plants are edible and are interesting from that perspective. In the fall Oregon grape produces a berry that combines with others to make a delicious jam.

We covered the two-mile hike to the falls in about an hour and were surprised to see the abundance of water pounding down the rock face.  Three hours later we returned and dinned on scrumptious food everyone had prepared prior to leaving.

Flowers-13 Angie&Hallie-1 Flowers-15

Holland Lake with Holland Falls in background, Holland Lake, Halle and Holland Falls.


I want to thank Molly, Raney, Halle and Zane (all about 10) for helping me with my photography and for not running too far ahead and leaving me in the mud.  I apologize for several of the photos of you guys that did not turn out because of rain on my lens.  Next time! OK?




*Snake In The Grass




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“Perfection” in Glacier National Park May Also Presage Disaster

posted: May 12th, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Considering all the years I have spent in and around Glacier, I’m sure there have been other days I’ve enjoyed  in this magnificent northwestern Montana national park just as much as the one I enjoyed yesterday,  but I honestly can’t remember when.

Many Glacier-5

Angel Wing reflects in Swiftcurrent Lake


Yesterday I teamed up with Jim Andler, an old friend, and we departed Bigfork about 5 am, then made the two and a half hour drive to Babb, Montana. From there we drove along the Many Glacier Road to a barricade,  meaning we had seven miles to cycle into the Many Glacier Hotel.  Though the road has been plowed motorist are excluded while further spring maintenance continues. When weather is like it was yesterday that makes it one of the very best times to visit the park, particularly for the cyclist.


The day was perfectly clear and there was absolutely no wind.  We began cycling about 7:30 and as the day warmed we could feel the coolness from the four- and five-foot-high snow banks that still lingered.  The air was so pure that we could smell sap from trees that had been recently sawed and then removed by spring clean up crews. As we rode, we saw three moose and lots of elk and sheep tracks.  Skies were dark blue and helped dramatize the snow-capped mountains.

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CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.  L TO R: Grinnell Point reflecting in Swift Current Lake; Many Glacier Hotel.

Because  we stopped often to take pictures, it took Jim and me about two hours to reach the hotel. For much of the way, Sherburne Lake flanked our left and it was still iced over. Soon we passed Grinnell Falls and then we arrived at Swift Current Lake, and though it was mostly frozen portions had opened near the shore. Because there was absolutely no wind, the reflections were near perfect and my bank account was happy that I was shooting digital rather than film.


The historic hotel flanks the  Grinnell shore and much snow still remained piled along its sides. Newspaper tells us that current snow depth is 59 inches or –  put in other words — Many Glacier is 500 percent above the 30 year average. That means melt waters could well flood the first floor of this historic hotel. As is, about one third of the hotel will be closed this summer for restoration. Flood waters may necessitate yet  further closure.

Yesterday temperatures around Glacier approached the 70° and if the unusually warm weather continues,  flooding in and around the park could be intense. The next few weeks will be crucial.

Moose-1 Many Glacier-15 Many Glacier-4

CLICK TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.  L TO R: Moose along road into Many Glacier Hotel; Jim Andler cycling beneath mountains still shrouded with winter  and spring snows; Grinnell Falls.

But yesterday, disaster was something that was difficult to envision. Jim and I ate lunch in the shadow of mountains with names such as Apikuni, Grinnell, and Angle Wing.  As we sat, periodically we could hear booming sounds, and we watched as the melting snow released it heavy loads and then cascaded along the slopes of Grinnell Point.  We departed about 2 pm and an hour later were back at the truck, assisted a bit by mountain breezes – making the day about as perfect as it can ever be.




*Arrow Leaf Balsam Root — Another of the Flathead’s Spring Spectacles




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World Trade Center — Where we Honeymooned

posted: May 4th, 2011 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Twenty years ago today, Janie and I were married at my sister’s in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Somehow Forrest, my brother-in-law, managed to obtain  reservations for us at the World Trade Center where we stayed the night of May 4th, 1991.  Janie and I both enjoy Broadway hits, so that night we took in CATS. As well, we dined in the restaurant once located at the top of one of the  Twin Towers.

Obviously we’re saddened that we can no longer return to the World Trade Center. But our sadness is obscured by the immense tragedy of lives lost subsequent to the bombing on 9/11 and the way in which the lives of so many others were forever altered.

We’re reminded of the World Trade Center for obvious reasons, and last year on a blog posting that was similar to this one I wrote: Now, if we could only bring Osama Bin Laden to justice, alive  — or dead!

Because we use these blogs as logs of our travels, I want to note that on Monday, May 2nd, 2011, we were on our way to Dulles Airport and that Washington DC was alive with the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden.  About eight hours later we were landing at the airport in Kalispell, Montana.

And now I want to say that I am proud to have a friend who is a member (retired) of the Navy SEALS and a family member (also retired) who once served in the Army as a Ranger.


Since leaving the World Trade Center 20 years ago, our travels have been many, as links below suggest.


On a less newsworthy — but equally as memorable note for us –  since departing New York and returning to Montana, our lives have been made incredibly rich with many travels, and for those interested in a sampling, simply click on links provided below.

A few highlights might include experiences in the Arctic (boating Adventure) and the travels throughout Canada (Kayaking Bay of Fundy) and the U.S. (Dry Tortugas) in our Airstream.



*Word Trade Center


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