Above Infinity

Now that the heat has returned to Chattanooga, it seems like the perfect time to re-live part of our trip to Glacier National Park a couple years ago, where it was cool enough that it even snowed.

We started in Portland, visiting my dad, jumped on a train to Seattle where we met some friends.  Then, we went on across the continent (or so it seemed) overnight until we arrived at the tiny West Glacier train station.

Deposited at the depot so early in the morning that it wasn’t open yet, we stood on the asphalt area that served as a platform. surrounded by our rolling luggage.  We looked around in wonder.

By the time we discovered our rental car hadn’t been dropped off for us, got picked up by the rental company, and were outfitted with a four-wheel drive vehicle that was twice as big as anything I’d ever driven, we’d seen enough to be reminded why we love the Rockies.

But these Rockies seemed . . . rockier.  More rugged, bigger, bolder somehow than the Rockies of Colorado or Alberta.  But then again, I think I feel that way every time I return to the Rockies, no matter which part.

Our friends were only staying a couple of nights and then they were heading back without us.  Since they weren’t hikers, we took advantage of having a couple of non-hiking days to adjust to the altitude by doing things like driving to overlooks and walking on gentle paths around lakes.  There was an amazing amount of beauty to take in without pulling any muscles.

When we drove past a helicopter tour place, we girls were determined to get the guys on the copter.  I have often skipped helicopter tours opting to spend my money on a nice dinner with a decent bottle of wine instead.   But I always regretted skipping the helicopter tour in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  This time, I wasn’t about to miss it.

I laugh as I remember how hesitant the guys were to join us.  I really think they wanted to save the money.  I don’t think either one regretted having spent it by the time we landed.

There is something so spectacular about mountains.  To see them from above, with clouds nestling below their peaks . . . I imagine scenes from Greek mythology of the gods having a meeting or perhaps playing chess.  If I were immortal, this is definitely where I would hang out.

I cannot logically explain the effect mountains have on me, but I think it’s a common experience.  That sense of awe, grandeur, amazement.  The sudden stillness that follows the feeling of inspiration.  Feeling part of something bigger than my imagination. Perhaps a sense of being part of something infinite–the world seems so endless from a mountain top.

I wish these few photos contained that feeling.  Unfortunately, these are very low resolution versions of the originals (which, I hope, are stored away in an archive somewhere).