Adventures In Glacier – Part II (The Calm Before The Storm)

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Part II: The Calm Before the Storm

Glaciers, draining their purity into hundreds of streams and falls, hug the mountainsides. The peaks along massive ridges stand tall, but are reminiscent of fortress ruins rather than granite towers. One side of the valley stretching ever further toward the sky, the other crumbling away having served its term of glorifying our humble terra firma.

Alpine meadows with Beargrass, Indian Paintbrushes, Fireweeds, Asters and Lilly’s dancing in the breeze, glowing in the un-hazed sun. Huckleberry bushes as far as the eye can see, more than one could ever eat – though how we tried! Rose Hips, Blackberries, Salmon berries, currants, blueberries and thimbleberries – an amazing site, but I could not help but feel as though I too were on the menu when walking through endless acres of bear snacks.

Giant boulders, once part of towering facades, cleared chutes along the skirts and bases as they rolled like Juggernauts down the slopes killing hundreds of trees, and now lie peacefully with the offspring of the dead firs growing atop them, as if in defiance of their destruction.

At every turn of the path there lay a new wonder – another monument to patience and time; a delicate expression of color and perseverance; a sweeping view that makes it all but impossible to consider littering, strip-mining, or deforesting our precious home. But most do not come to see it, do not go beyond the safety and comfort of their dry walled nests; and so we waste and waste, and now our ears won’t hear the song of hundreds of songbirds known to our forefathers. I wondered how those within a few days drive could live out their lives never having seen the very best of what this world possesses.

That night we broke camp at 6500ft. above sea level on the shores of Cobalt lake.