New book tells the nighttime story of Glacier
Here’s a beautiful story about a photography who captures the best of Glacier National Park – at night:
Glacier Park’s nighttime stories come alive in new photo book
By Rob Chaney
To see Glacier National Park like John Ashley does, you don’t have to be a mountaineer or a tour bus driver.
You just have to stay awake. All night long.
Landscape photographers lecture one another about the “golden hours” around sunrise and sunset, when the sun skims the horizon and alpenglow gleams on the mountain peaks.
Ashley’s biological clock ticks to very different rhythms, like moon cycles and magnetic storm pulses. Any Glacier visitor treasures snapping a photo of a grizzly bear. Ashley holds out for comets.
“The image on the cover is one of Comet Lovejoy,” Ashley said from his home in Kila, where he’s launching the publication of “Glacier National Park After Dark – Sunset to Sunrise in a Beloved Montana Wilderness.” “That comet was only visible during the month of December 2013, and there were only three nights that were something less than 100 percent cloud cover. Those three nights, the temperature was 10 below, 11 below and 21 below zero. I was out all three nights, and I never saw another photographer on any of those nights.”
That could be because a photographer had to linger four hours on the subzero shore of Lake McDonald hoping that a night fog would clear. But then, Comet Lovejoy only passes by once ever 14,011 years.
Numbers and calculations hold considerable sway over Ashley’s art.
He schedules his photo forays by the appearance of meteor showers, the seasonal aspect of constellations, and when those features might line up with park landmarks such as lookout towers, lake valleys or significant mountains.
Read the rest of the story here
Where to get ‘After Dark’
Glacier National Park After Dark: Sunset to Sunrise in a Beloved Montana Wilderness is available directly from author John Ashley through his website,johnashleyfineart.com and wherever Montana natural history books are sold.
More fires spark in Glacier – much of park still open
As crews continue to contain the wildfire that shut down Going-to-the-Sun Road in late July, another set of fires sparked early this week.
Most notably, the Thompson Fire near Nyack and Cold Creek “exploded” to more than 11,000 acres on Tuesday. As you can see from the photos courtesy of Nicholas Parker, it’s a big one.
But, as park officials keep noting, much of the park is open and ready to explore.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Goat Haunt
- Rockwell Falls with the Over the Hill Gang
- Mountain Pine Motel and it’s wonderful neighbors
- Many Glacier Hotel
Meet the founders of Glacier’s longest-running hiking group
Planning a hike in Glacier National Park anytime soon? Here’s a story you’ll want to read.
Imagine hiking in park once a week for the past 39 years.
Introducing the Over the Hill Gang:
Story and photos by Becky Lomax
On a gray drippy day, a group of 16 Flathead Valley hikers, ages 60 to mid-80, eyeball the pouring rain.
Inside their restaurant meeting place on the west side of Glacier National Park, no one looks at a menu to order breakfast.
The waitress, greeting the regulars by name, asks, “You want the usual?”
One member quips, “With the rain, maybe we should stick around for lunch.”
But weather does not deter these weekly hikers. Not rain, snow or single-digit temperatures.
Every Thursday, nearly year round, the Over the Hill Gang meets at the Glacier Grill in Coram.
After breakfast, they depart to multiple trailheads – some to lung-busting, seldom-visited peaks, and others to worn paths where every red mudstone and gnarled sub-alpine fir is a familiar friend.
It was 1976 when five men in their 60s launched the Over the Hill Gang.
Read the rest of the story here
Wildfire closes Going-to-the-Sun
It’s wildfire season in Montana. And thanks to drought in many areas, it’s shaping up to be a bad one.
Most notably this week: A growing wildfire in Glacier National Park has closed most of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
That made a scary night for many visitors hoping to stay in the area. Mountain Pine Motel owner Terry Sherburne was booked up and wondering where all the misplaced travelers would stay.
“It’s pretty tough – there’s no place I know of in East Glacier that has rooms for tonight, and all those people at Rising Sun will need to go someplace.”
A friend of Sherburne’s who manages the Two Dog Flats Grill at Rising Sun “can’t get back to get her things,” he said, and will be spending the night on the only spare bed he has – a rollaway cot he’ll move into his living room.
“I’m sure if I had 30 more rooms I could rent them tonight,” Sherburne said.
Worse: Weather conditions for the rest of the week are worrisome.
You can find updates on the Reynolds Creek Fire at the Missoulian.com.
Until then, here’s more stories from our July/Aug issue.
Mountain Pine Motel and its lovely neighbors
The Mountain Pine Motel is a place where you can have huckleberry pie for breakfast and see the world’s largest purple spoon.
It’s a quintessential Montana spot, owned by the same family since it opened in 1947. Founding owner Doris Sherburne, 95, is still in charge. Writer Keila Szpaller and photographer Kurt Wilson introduced us to the motel in the our July/Aug issue.
Along with the story of Mountain Pine, Szpaller told us about the awesome neighbors the surround the motel, including the place that encourages patrons to have pie for breakfast and the see the world’s largest purple spoon.
The pie: AT LUNA’S RESTAURANT, ABOUT A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE HOTEL, THE MENU OFFERS HUCKLEBERRY PIE, AND IT’S LISTED AS A BREAKFAST STAPLE. IN CASE YOU WONDERED, A SLICE COSTS $5.50, AND IT’S “A PERFECTLY RESPECTABLE BREAKFAST!”
The spoon: ALSO JUST ACROSS THE STREET? THE WORLD’S LARGEST PURPLE SPOON. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT. ACTUALLY, THE ENORMOUS UTENSIL WILL LEAD YOU TO THE SPIRAL SPOON, A SMALL SHOP WITH GREAT BEAUTY IN ITS HANDCRAFTED SPOONS.
Oh, and in case you’re still hungry, this: SURE, EAST GLACIER IS CLOSER TO CANADA THAN IT IS TO MEXICO, BUT FOR SOME DELICIOUS ENCHILADAS, BURRITOS, GUACAMOLE, AND OTHER MEXICAN FARE, HEAD TO SERRANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT, ACROSS THE RAILROAD TRACKS. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE? THE HOUSE MARGARITA, WITH SALT ON THE RIM.
Here’s hoping you can go explore East Glacier soon!
The Sherburne family creates home away from home for Glacier guests
By Keila Szpaller
Photos by Kurt Wilson
Since it opened in 1947, the Mountain Pine Motel has offered respite to royalty from Europe and a llama on a trek along the Continental Divide.
The llama remained outside, of course, but it’s probably one of the rarer creatures to stay overnight at the homey inn just down the road from the train depot in East Glacier Park.
“It’s kind of a place where you can tell somebody, I’ll see you in the morning, but I’ll leave the key in the door for you,” said Terry Sherburne, owner and operator.
Terry’s parents opened the motel – then with 10 units – tucked under several stands of tall pines at the edge of Glacier National Park.
Adventure fueled the decision by the couple, Doris and Fred Sherburne, to run the business that’s grown to 25 rooms, and an appreciation for the people who stayed at the motel kept their love for the work alive.
Mountain Pine Neighbors
Mountain Pine Hotel is no doubt surrounded by spectacular scenery, but its neighborhood also includes more than a handful of must-stop food and local shops that are full of Montana goodies.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
At Luna’s Restaurant, about a block away from the hotel, the menu offers huckleberry pie, and it’s listed as a breakfast staple. In case you wondered, a slice costs $5.50, and it’s “a perfectly respectable breakfast!”
Also just across the street? The world’s largest purple spoon. You won’t want to miss it. Actually, the enormous utensil will lead you to The Spiral Spoon, a small shop with great beauty in its handcrafted spoons.
Sure, East Glacier is closer to Canada than it is to Mexico, but for some delicious enchiladas, burritos, guacamole, and other Mexican fare, head to Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant, across the railroad tracks. Beverage of choice? The house margarita, with salt on the rim.
To read the entire feature on Mountain Pine, subscribe today!
Park-to-Park stop No. 4: A detour up Going-to-the-Sun
We’re interrupting our regularly scheduled program – AKA Stop No. 4 on our virtual Park-to-Park journey- for a special notice: Going-to-the-Sun Road has opened to vehicle traffic on the west side.
It’s a summer right of passage each year in Montana when the highway through Glacier opens. And this year it’s a touch earlier than most. Actually, it fits into our trip pretty nicely.
- Read our Park-to-Park story inside the May/June issue here
The announcement Wednesday means it’s the earliest opening in a decade, according to Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin.
It’s still a winter wonderland at Logan Pass, where (Park spokesperson Denise) Germann said visitors will encounter a snow-covered landscape, not to mention temperatures that are running 25 to 30 degrees cooler than ones found in Flathead Valley floors this week.
Any wind will make it feel even chillier.
While the entire 50 miles of Going-to-the-Sun is slated to open on June 19, drivers should still expect delays of up to 30 minutes on the east side of the park this summer as the road work continues. Sun Point, which is being used as a staging area for the road rehabilitation, will remain closed to all visitor uses this summer.
Just four years ago, Going-to-the-Sun had its latest opening since 1933, the year it was dedicated on July 15. In 2011, deep snows and bad weather delayed it until July 13.
So what are you waiting for? Get up to Glacier!
We’ll have more great Glacier stories in our upcoming July/August issue. Subscribe today and don’t miss a Montana moment.
More about our gorgeous May/June cover
It’s a stunner. And that’s why we chose it.
Our May/June 2015 issue cover comes to us from Glacier National Park and was made by Helena-based photographer Chris McGowan.
McGowan’s image is from an iconic vantage point, but with a very beautiful twist courtesy of the rising sun.
Sinopah Mountain lights up with the soft glow of an early sunrise over Two Medicine Lake inside Glacier National Park.
The cover introduces our Park-to-Park issue, which includes a host of content about Yellowstone and Glacier.
We’re lucky to have photographers like McGowan in Montana, who get outdoors and get these amazing shots we can share with you.
McGowan’s passion for photography stems from his deep love of nature and the outdoors. Primarily a wildlife and nature photographer, Chris travels far and near capturing Montana’s abundant population of wildlife and birds, as well as the state’s vast and ever changing landscapes. View more of his work at chrismcgowanphotography.com.
By the way, we took a journey from Park-to-Park inside the issue. Here’s the online version.
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