by Margie Goulden
August 16, 2013 - Our plan to leave early for Many Glacier and hike to Iceberg Lake did not go as expected. Jeff had extreme allergies this morning with lots of snorting and sneezing. It was like a bear joined us during the night. Even though we arrived at the land of many glaciers around 11AM, we decided to hike the Iceberg Lake trail anyway and at least get to Ptarmigan Falls. After a tail-gate snack of granola and banana, we were off. Jeff was not feeling his usual strong self, but I was ready for our last hike in the Park, 10.4 miles round trip but only 1200 feet of elevation gain .
In bear country again, we sighted many bear spray containers on other hikers. But I had my bear song that Jeff composed yesterday. Bears do not like noise, especially my off-tune melody. The meadows and mountains rising to the heavens were spectacular. So much of it untouched and there for the hiker to enjoy and renew one's spirits and dedication to make this world a better place. We ambled through more miles of God's garden in the high country. We arrived at Ptarmigan Falls, both of us hot and tired from hiking in the mid-day sun. We agreed that in spite of Jeff's headache, his back ache, and allergies, and my slower hiking speed, that we were too close to an experience that we have never encountered (icebergs in a glacial fed lake) to not take advantage. And so we moved on and up into more pristine forests and meadows.
Finally we reached Iceberg Lake. I'm so thrilled that I made it --- 5.2 miles one way. Sitting here on one of nature's chairs marveling at the icebergs floating in the lake and the emerald green water glistening in the sunshine. The mountains rise high above, forming a cozy little cirque for hikers to relax and ponder the beauty of creation. A breeze pushes the mini icebergs across the lake and cools my sunlit body. I found another "forever" place to rest my tired body when I leave this Earth. The the ice clinging to the rocks is not going to break off and crash into the lake during my short visit here. From what others have told me, there are more icebergs in the lake this year than in previous years. This has been a hot summer at Glacier National Park.
What I value so much about our experiences is that we are in an environment where war and human pain and suffering do not exist; where peace can be experienced as it should be, where we know and accept that we must return to that "other" world to share our gifts and talents in a place where peace and joy are hard to find or identify. I am forever grateful for these opportunities to enjoy God's many creations and so cognizant of the moral response they demand.
On the way back, Jeff went exploring off-trail for a bit and found a small unnamed lake surrounded by grasses and reflecting the surrounding mountains. He quickly radioed for me to join him. It was totally worth the extra time and distance to experience this perfect gem of a lake and take pictures in the evening light. After taking dozens of pictures we decided we better move on if we were to finish the hike before dark.
We returned to the car after the sun had set and felt good about accepting today's challenges. This called for pizza and beer at a nearby restaurant in the park.
To see more of my pictures from Glacier National Park, visit Glacier National Park Gallery. Signed fine art prints from many of my photographs are available for purchase on Fine Art America. For special offers and to follow my photographic journey please Join My Email List.
Jeff's Photo Blog
In this Photo Blog I have combined my 50 year passion for photography and my love of the natural world, creating a portfolio that reveals nature in its pure and simple beauty. I am pleased to share my passion with you through this blog.