A Visit to Glacier National Park

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I had the chance to visit Glacier National Park. It is located in the state of Montana on the side of the US, and it borders Alberta and British Columbia provinces, on the side of Canada.

This national park is a wilderness with pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes.

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During our visit, we stayed in a beautiful historic lodge, the Glacier Park Lodge, which was built more than a century ago. Stepping inside this establishment is like stepping back in time.

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Rustic and yet classy, this retreat is located in such a beautiful place. Here it is in the early morning light (picture below).

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One of the high points of the trip is driving through the Going-to-the-Sun road. This a scenic mountain road, that is quite narrow and winding, with hairpin turns, and precipitous drop. Driving through this road can be both exhilarating as well as frightening.

Here we are going around the mountain….

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Through the mountain (via tunnel)……

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Driving besides the river…..

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And even driving under falls.

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Besides driving around, we also took boat rides (both motorized and a row-boat) in its lakes. Here’s the boat we rode in this clear lake.

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This park is named Glacier National Park due to its glaciers. A glacier is an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over the years and moving very slowly, either descending from high mountains, as in valley glaciers, or moving outward from centers of accumulation, as in continental glaciers.

Glacier National Park has 150 named glaciers in 1850, but was diminished to 26 in 2006 due to continued climate warming. Today, it only has 7 or 8 remaining, according to the experts. They may have to change the name of the park, when all the glaciers are gone.

Below is a view from the boat ride, with one of the remaining glaciers seen from a far.

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Here I am standing at the bough of the boat, and channelling my Leonardio DiCaprio moment like in the film Titanic. “I’m the king of the world!”

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We also did some no-sweat hikes. Here’s the view when we hiked down off the road into this mountain side.

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We also hiked up and down this ski slope in our t-shirts, shorts and rubber shoes. Even though the hike up the snow is probably a quarter to a third of a mile, it was comfortable. Not hot nor cold. I don’t think we even broke a sweat climbing up this snow-covered hill (photo below).

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When the snow melts, the water find its way to the rivers, falls, and lakes. Even though the lakes and the rivers seem inviting for a swim, they are icy cold.

Below is a photo after a climbed up a ledge near a raging river.

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We also hiked to a nearby falls. Again, not a serious hike as it was less than a quarter-mile from the dock where the boat dropped us off.

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Another highlight of the visit is seeing the sunset and sunrise with the play of light changing the colors of the mountains and the sky.

Here I am at the lake during sunrise. Of course I have to wear a colorful jacket too.

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When not busy roaming around outside, we just cooled our heels in our beautiful retreat. And what did I do in my downtime when we were there? Blog, of course!

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With a view like this, who would not be inspired to write? This is where I wrote my earlier post “Serendipity.”

I hope you can visit this place, before all the glaciers are gone.  I know the subject of global warming is such a hot and debated topic, and I would leave the politics and the science of that to the experts. But I do hope that we as a human race, will be responsible enough to keep this world of ours as beautiful as it can be.

from Glacier National Park,

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Pinoytransplant.

(*All photos in this post were taken with an iPhone. I am grateful to my “unofficial”photographers.)

Christmas 2015

We are experiencing a seasonably warm December right now. In fact we have more rain than snow this month, that we had flooding in downtown Des Moines these past couple of weeks. Yesterday it felt weird that we even had a thunderstorm, with lightnings and pouring rain this late in the year. Is this Iowa winter?

Come to think of it, if it has been cold enough, with all this moisture in our area, this could all be snow!

I know it’s not just here in the Midwest that we are experiencing the relatively warm weather, but also in other parts of the US. Some friends of ours in New York City even posted in Facebook that it was 70º F today there. I guess there will be no snow in Central Park this Christmas.

Experts said that it is El Niño, the periodic warming of the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean, accounting for this phenomenon. Or is this global warming?

It’s not that I am complaining, for I’ll rather have a warm day than freeze, but my children have been wishing for snow for Christmas, just like the song “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” And they may not be the only ones who are praying for snow.

Then today, on this Christmas eve, it came. Santa Claus? No. Snow!

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We will have white Christmas after all.

From our family to yours, may you have a Merry Christmas!

(*photo taken with an iPhone)

 

Frozen

The title is not about the latest Disney movie, but about our current predicament.

We are having an unusually cold February in our area. The mercury has not wandered above freezing point for quite a while now. On cold days like these, I wonder if the contention of global warming phenomenon even exist. But that’s a different topic on its own.

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Above is a photo of the water tower in our area. Apparently there’s a leak in the pipes in the tower somewhere, causing the water to gush down. But it is so cold that the cascading water is frozen like a plume of icicles.

I have to agree, that even a problem like a leaking pipe and a subfreezing temperature can still be viewed as beautiful.

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(*photo taken with iPhone)