“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach...”
― Henry David Thoreau
Glacier National Park, is more than 1,000,000 acres of the most breathtaking country you will ever see.
Sometimes called "the Crown of the Continent", this land is almost completely untouched by man. Not plowed, cut or altered; Glacier is the awe-inspiring example of beauty untamed.
After the wedding in Whitefish; 7 Mitchells*, 4 Kanes, and 1 Berchiatti stepped into this wilderness.
*The Mitchells 2.0 (My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew) only made it briefly into the park ,before they went to find an adventure better suited for a 3 year-old, and a pregnant lady.
We traveled through the southern end of the park, and took the Going-To-The-Sun-Road which heads into the mountains. The ionic route has a very “all-in-it-together” feel, as you share the narrow two-lane road with fellow tourists and the iconic Glacier National Park Red Buses (sometimes called Red Jammers), that wind leisurely through the park.
It would be odd to visit the park and not come to see the very thing the park is named for. Over a hundred years ago more than 150 active glaciers could be counted in the park. Today there are only 25, and these will be gone by 2020. The glaciers are around 7,000 thousand year old, and were formed from the snow and ice that mammoths may have trod across. It is a broad, and humbling thought.
America's state parks are our some of
our greatest national treasures.† Next time you find yourself lamenting a lack of funds or the
time to travel to a remote island, remember what we have in our own backyard.
The last time I traveled to Montana, I was on the lookout for the most elusive and majestic animal Big Sky Country has to boast. The Grizzly bear.
Glacier is home to more than 300 Grizzly bears but once again I missed out on seeing one in the wild. So I will return.
There is nothing that compares to the beauty that our national parks and Glacier is no exception. Go see it for yourself. You will learn what cannot be felt through a photograph or understood through any words. It is an inheritance that must be lived.
†See also, National Treasure staring Nicolas Cage. I am not kidding. I love those movies.
1. Glaciers / Glacial Features. National Park Service. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2010-04-24.