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Margaret’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 21 Jun 2006

Location: Whitefish, MT, USA

MapHi All!

*get comfy, it's a long one*

This offically starts my first work week, if you can call it work :) The group arrived on Sunday, and on Tuesday we headed to the park to get out there and stretch our legs. The groups consists of some of the most interesting people that I've ever met. Just to name a few, we have : A Japanese laborer from one of the World Wars, her husband the retired nuclear physicist, lots of retired teachers, a woman we served in the Navy WAVES when she was my age, two couples that are on thier honeymoons and of course, Frank, who is 91 years old. 91 and he is more active than most people that I know. He says his secret is an active mind, and he doesn't have any plans to slow down yet. Pretty inspirational to hear him talk about everything. He's been around for nearly a century! I was standing in the park yesterday and I just stopped and really had to pinch myself to think that this is what I am getting paid for. Amazing job and even more amazing people! And this is only weeks one.

A small side note, and small geography lesson. Glacier National Park (or the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park--the first international National park in the world (followed by many more)) has two entrances on the States side, West Glacier and East Glacier. There is a road (the Going-to-the-Sun- Highway) that goes from one entrance to another, through the middle of the park. From about October to June the road has nealy 80 feet of snow on it in some parts. They start plowing in April and are lucky to be finished by June. June 22 was the latest that the road ever opened in park history. Well June 22 is approaching fast and the snow is plowed, but becasue of wicked rain, there has been nearly 10 reported avalanches, pouring rock and mud on the road from thousands of feet above, so the road is still closed. So, unfortunantly, the road is going to be closed this year until Saturday (they report Saturday, but thats a guess, can't plan things based on Mother Nature). You ask what is so special about this Going to the Sun Highway? I'll let you check it out yourself:

The abridged version: The Going-to-the-Sun Highway is one of the most scenic roads in the world. Only 52 miles long, the road transverses the Park and crosses the Continental Divide meaning : if you stand on the West side of the divide and pour some water out it will go into the Pacific Ocean, and if you pour water out on the East side of the divide, the water will go into the Atlantic Ocean. HOWEVER, there is one mountain in the park, called Triple Divide, that will take it a step further. Same as above (west= Pacific, east= atlantic) but if you stand on the top of this mountain and pour water to the North, it will run into the Arctic Ocean.

Just something to chew on. Pretty fasicinating.

There is so much more to come. Enjoy the photos!! I know I am.

Happy Travels!