Glacier is a hiking park, it is a place that overwhelms and envelopes anyone willing to wander from the road and expend the energy required to place one foot in front of another. Your feet become an afterthought, your eyes move you forward. Your senses control your pace as you surrender to the sculptured landscape revealed when the last ice age began its retreat to high north-facing slopes where remnants still cling to warming peaks.
Thoughts of Glacier force my mind in a given direction, I think of distance, pace, available daylight and physical limits. I balance known ability against a desire to be everywhere. I think of friends who enjoy similar experiences; inspirational friends who enrich life by exploring the depth one finds in our public lands.
But, in a park dominated by panoramic horizons, I find myself drawn to the quiet solitude offered by the Trail of the Cedars. I must wander early, wander when others are still preparing for their morning. I must wander when quiet reaches its peak and surround myself with the naturally muffled silence found in the depth of a lush cedar forest. I must let my pace match the slow pace of the cedars, the pace of an old growth forest that has survived for centuries. I wander without words, wander with my thoughts, thoughts pulled forward as my eyes, aware of the green slipping through their periphery, silently, slowly shift through individual trees, while occasionally pausing on moist, mossy backdrops. Scattered by branches, blue sifts down from above adding a trace of brightness to the darkened, dampness of the forest floor.
Limited by lushness, my senses encompass more than my eyes can see—pushing beyond the cedars, pushing the silence, pushing all that I experience, into my soul.