By: Virak Vinich (Nikki)
Did You Know?
Water originating in Glacier National Park, much of it from snow-melt, can be considered the head-water of the continent. Water that runs down Triple Divide Peak flows in three directions, eventually winding up in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. I, myself, have just known this too!
Glacier National Park, Mother Nature’s Best Work
I have picked up this phrase from Montana’s Official State Travel Site where I have seen even before my departure here. At first, I have no idea what Glacier National Park is and how it looks like. Therefore, I started doing a research about the park and what is so special about this place.
In fact, Glacier National Park is the center of one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America which borders the United States and Canada. Together with surrounding wilderness areas and Canadian National Parks, Glacier represents an enormous swath of North America that has been largely undisturbed by human civilization, and its many hiking trails are the ideal way to experience this natural landscape. It amazed me on how this such a place existed on earth! Everyone could hardly imagine that the during the 90-°F-day, we could possibly walk on the snow, not to mention of getting in the snow-ball fight. To be honest, that was the first time I have ever seen snow with my naked eyes. On my first thought, I just wanted to jump out of the car, take off my shoes and run through anybody that block my way to the snow; however, I managed to stay clam for a while until the group was allowed to explore.
First Snow-Ball Fight!
When my mentors asked me ‘how was the snow?’ Without any hesitation, I replied ‘The snow was great but the snow-ball fight was more than great!’ The snow-ball fight has expanded the answer of what made the Glacier National Park so special. Personally, maybe because it was my first fight with friends or more than that, maybe because it was the first time I had my friends all covered by the snow with their smile and laugh. I bet everyone else did feel the same about this!
Wildness of Glacier National Park
I was so amazed by the natural stunning view of the Glacier National Park. That moment has recalled the lecture about protecting wildness which I have attended in this program. Now, if people ask me to describe how the Glacier National Park looks like, I would use any relevant superlative adjectives I could relate to the place like the tallest trees, the biggest mountain and the whitest snow.
Needless to say, I do hope that this amazing place would be last long forever so that my children or grandchildren could witness the same feeling as I did. Disappointingly, the glacier will be gone in the next few years as a consequence from the climate change that some people do not believe that it is happening.
Sleeping like a Native American!
Another first time being in the Tipi. It was absolutely cool and cold! If people ask me to compare between Glacier National Park and Tipi Village which one was the coldest, I would say ‘Both’; simply because I am Cambodian and I have rarely exposed myself to low temperature. Sleeping like a Native American over there meant that I spent a night in the conical tent called ‘Tipi’ which was used by the nomadic tribes of the Great Plains in Canada and the United States, but mostly associated with Native Americans in the U.S. Interestingly, there were always the story behind every Tipi’s painting. For example, a small circle represents the moon, and the blue thick line represents the ocean.
In addition, my favorite part of this camp was the bonfire gathering. The group and I were sitting around the bonfire, singing our favorite songs, and dancing for a while. No different from the others, I felt so great and of course, really warm! In the end of the day, I have learned not only about the culture of Native American but also the link between human and nature as well. Particularly, when I came out of the Tipi, touched the grass and saw every star on the sky I felt that I was really connected to every environment surrounded me.
Well, most people said that every first time experience is unforgettable and I doubted that. But after going through these great experience, I did buy the idea right now!