Saturday, May 14, 2016

Quartz Loop in Glacier

 Up pops the loon, out of the depths, right near us.  So close the black and white pattern is sparkling like magic.  It’s amazing how far they swim underwater, and how long they hold their breath.  How can we be the only ones at this lake?  It feels like we are the only humans around for miles.
Just watching.
D. and I stay still, observing the loon swimming and diving.  We’ve already completed our hour-long survey for Glacier’s Citizen Science Program, where we’ve taken notes on its behavior in our data sheet.  We’ve stopped recording our notes, this is bonus time.  Time to be peaceful.
Through the binoculars.
Time looses all meaning.  That peace that comes only when the mind stills.  Moments like this don’t come often, with our busy lives. 
Watching the weather changing.
It starts to rain, so we retreat to our shelters for the evening.  The loons call back and forth between the two neighboring lakes.  What are they saying to one another?  To me, it is the sound of wilderness itself.  Unspoiled, precious, free.  I keep listening, the sweetness of rain pattering on the tarp.
Hiking out through the snow that the storm brought
I think about how backpacking used to be about trying to get somewhere.  Or to get in shape.  Or to burn through miles.  I like how doing these surveys allow me to concentrate on watching, being patient and curious.  In a place this spectacular, this wild, it's a good way to be. 
Crazy double trillium bonus
More information

Date hiked: May 8-9, 2016

Route: Quartz Lake loop, camping at Upper Quartz

Glacier National Park Citizen Science Program

1 comment:

  1. I'm still working on this,myself. With other people I can relax and just enjoy but for some reason solo I feel like I need to be moving. Unless there is a lake to swim in. I'm interested to see what my next pct experience will be since my hiking partner bowed out.