Vacation 2011 – Glacier National Park


I awoke on Sunday morning, to this amazing view from my parent’s porch, and decided that I had to get a picture of it. I knew that I wasn’t going to get another chance, since one of the big reasons we were there was to help my parents move back from Montana to Missouri.

Missouri itself has some fairly beautiful places, but I’ve seen them most of my life. The view from my parent’s house, at the top of a large hill in the Helena Valley, was pretty much breath taking. At the time, I thought to myself, this is the mountains, it’s amazing. I didn’t really think about how a few hours later, I’d learn that my parent’s house was on a hill, really.

A little while later, we were piled into my mom’s van and headed for another long drive. You see, vacationing like an adult involves a lot of driving, too much driving, really. My parents knew that I probably wouldn’t be back to Montana again for a very long time, if ever, and they wanted to show off the best of what the state had to offer, and that meant they wanted to take me up to the glaciers.

Glacier National Park

P8280071I don’t know if Glacier is the tallest place in Montana or anything like that, but I can tell you that is at the end of August, after a horribly hot and dry summer, there are still pockets of snow in the danged mountain. That’s the claim to fame, that’s why they call it Glacier Park, after all. It is also a very crowded, narrow, windy road on the side of a cliff. Neither my mother, nor my brother, were too terribly happy about that. They aren’t big on heights or windy roads. Me, I thought it was about the most beautiful place that I’ve ever driven through. Other than that I wasn’t much impressed.


I got some fairly decent pictures, though, mostly of the awfully deep green lakes that popped up all through out the area. As far as scenic drives go, I highly recommend it, but really, there isn’t anything here other than just a scenic drive. Maybe I’m not quite old enough to share in the enthusiasm of paying $25 per car to look at the same amazing countryside that we had been looking at for the entire drive to the park. That’s just me.

It was pretty, and there were a couple of cool places, but I saw some much cooler places outside of the park, and those places didn’t have a billion and a half people crawling all over P8280080them and trying to steal rocks because the sign says it’s a felony to do so. I found myself spending a lot of time just absorbing the scenery and waiting for the jack ass that got out of his car so he could touch the actual glacier to have a large section of it fall on him, fatally burying him in snow.

I didn’t get that lucky.

At the end of the day, though, I started to understand why my dad really wanted me to see a place like that. It wasn’t about what was actually happening there, or what hadP8280074 happened there. As far as historical markers and things go, Montana is fairly lacking in information, which is what I like about these types of places, but, letting the mind wander a bit, with a few hours of sleep, what could happen in a place like this starts to take hold.

What if there were zombies, or what if I was fighting orcs on that cliff.

For the last five years, my father has told me things like, “You know, in Montana, you could get inspiration to write all the time,” and “Blah Blah writer comes from Montana.” It was his way of trying to get me to come and visit him, but I can see it now. The countryside is amazing, it fills you with images and ideas. All of a sudden, it makes it worth the crowds of people swarming on everything like a pack of rabid hyenas worth wading through. I recommend you make the trip.