Richard lives in the southern portion of Montana with his wife and two kids. He often visits Yellowstone, bud had never been to Glacier. This year, he and his wife drove up to Glacier Park for the fist time ever.
If you're interested in telling your Glacier Park Story, please let me know. I'd like to find a few people who would like to make regular contributions to this blog.
Here's Richards take on Glacier National Park.
It was really a no-brainer. The plans were being made to return and the sign from St. Mary's was still taking up the full width of the rearview mirror. Rejuvenated, elated, full of wonder and awe, my wife and I could hardly contain ourselves. We had spent the last 4 days trekking hikes on various trails through the east side in the Crown of the Continent. "We are so bringing the kids back next year," my wife said enthusiastically, "we just have to, this has to be an annual trip with them from now on!" She exclaimed. Up until this point, even after living in and around southwestern Montana for 15 years, we had never been to Glacier National Park.
Lunch break amongst the wild flowers with a view of Grinnell Glacier
I remember the feeling as we settled in the campground just outside St. Mary's. We had maps spread out like kids on Christmas morning planning our 4 days to explore. We wanted to cover as much country as we could, even if it meant wearing ourselves out! Well, we succeeded in doing just that. Each day we completed 8-15 mile unbelievable round trip hikes - from the more difficult Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake hikes to the easier Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake loop. Socks worn thin, sore legs and backs, evidence of blisters and all, it was perfect! Since that first trip, we have been like mini marketing gurus for GNP, for those of you who have been there know, this area is like no other. We knew we had just barely scratched the surface of what this magnificent place had to offer and decided it was our goal from now on to explore as much of it as we possibly can.
Lake Josephine's mirror
My photography of Glacier is in its infancy. However, that's part of the wonder of it all. Planning, exploring and creating. It is such a vast and diverse place that wildlife excursions can also lead to panoramic landscapes, portraits of lakes and mountains, picturesque waterfalls, wild flowers, even historic buildings and bridges. Everywhere you gaze is literally a work of art. My camera pack is always full and it's easy to get your mind in a scramble. That's the fun part though - it is always an adventure! And while wildlife is invariably my primary focus, I am always looking to connect with my surroundings in nature. That is why I have often found myself overwhelmed with the power and mystique that blankets GNP.
High above "The Lick"
This year was our 3rd annual excursion to GNP and each time, not wanting to leave, I have managed to find a way to extend my stay longer and longer. On this trip, the first 4 days we spent as a family, choosing less strenuous adventures the kids could handle. But the next two days I spent there alone, on a mission to add more and more photographs to my ever growing collection. For me as a photographer the trick is starting early, as the evidence of first light barely tickles the tops of the trees. At this time of day you can have many places in GNP all to yourself for longer than you think.
Two Medicine area of East Glacier
Your mindset needs to be wide open though - with the only plan of the day to be back to the trailhead by dark. Even the "tourist hot spots" can be near vacant for a fraction of time if you plan it right. Go there early, or very late in the day even, and the wonder of it all can be yours exclusively, but if only for a few moments. Those moments can seem like hours.
There is something very spiritual and healing in Glacier National Park. For me, the "Mountains are my Medicine."
Maybe I'll see you there... and I press the shutter release...
A kid being a kid and cooling off in the summer sun
Thanks for listening and if you have a moment visit my images over on my website.
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