Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For The Love of Glacier

Glacier National Park in NW Montana is a sacred place to me. My first time visiting was on a great American Road trip my parents dreamed up.  Being from upstate New York I had never imagined that such wonders existed in the world. Mountains with snow on them in the middle of summer, mountain goats and their babies balancing on rocky ledges, grizzly bears bounding off through the huckleberry patches. Thanks mom and dad, It was life changing in ways I am still discovering.

Since those early days I have had the privilege of playing in this park countless times. Montana became my home in 1995 and Glacier was right out my back door for several summers.  I even managed to  summit a few mountains before leaving my left posterior cruciary ligament's full function on the descent of Mount Gould (that means I blew my knee out on this lovely rock pictured below).

Very special to my heart is East Glacier Lodge where Scott and I honeymooned. We took the train up through the mountains, it stops right in front of the lodge as it has done for the better part of the last century. It was a lovely week without cars, hiking through the mountains and drinking champagne in the 6 foot long claw foot bathtub that was part of our room.

This year my beloved park marks it centennial birthday. 100 years of belonging to every single one of us. 100 years of acting as a window into the magnificent for those who seek it.  This milestone has me looking around the Internet at some great Glacier Park finds. Below are some of my favorites, both aesthetic and cerebral.

Pendelton Wool Company has recreated national park trading blankets to commemorate the 100 year mark. They are all exceptionally beautiful but I especially love Glacier's.

From the Pendelton website:

Since the early 1900s, Pendleton Woolen Mills has honored America’s National Parks with a collection of distinctive park blankets. Glacier Park National Park Blanket was one of the first. Its historic markings and colors date back to the frontier trading posts. Traders would indicate the weight of the blanket offered in exchange for furs by holding up one finger for each pound. The original blankets incorporated three, four or five black stripes in the design, which indicated the value of the blanket. Colors and variations of the original striped theme have been adapted to reflect distinguishing characteristics of each park and blanket in the collection. National Park Blankets are still woven at the original Pendleton Woolen Mill in the foothills of Oregon’s Blue Mountains, just as they were more than 100 years ago.

Glacier was the first national park honored with a Pendleton blanket back in the early 1900s. To celebrate the park's 100th anniversary, we have created a special edition of that famous Glacier Park Blanket featuring the iconic stripes plus traditional park icons. A leather commemorative centennial label certifies authenticity. Like the original Glacier Park Blanket, this centennial edition is woven on our jacquard looms in Pendleton, Oregon.

I stumbled upon this Amazing hand Embroidered Pillow, I really, really love it, it melts my heart. This website has pillows for several travel destinations and each one is unique.

Ken Burn's National Parks, if you haven't watched this you do not know what you are missing. Head to the library and check it out or better yet, add it to your collection, you wont be sorry.

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.  This book is an absolutely fascinating detail of the creation of the Park Service and just how hard certain people had to fight to create and protect the parks we know and enjoy today. 

So there you have it, a tiny taste of Glacier. How many of you utilize our National Parks? They are treasures waiting to be explored, and as Ken Burn's puts it, America's Best Idea.

1 comment:

  1. I love those pillows.I have often thought about making one for all of the places my family and I go in Oregon.Maybe this will be the winter to do it.