No matter how I try, when I photograph Glacier I know that no photo from the ground can really capture it. Glacier is too big, too wild, to vast and too much. It has to be seen from the air. That is one of the reasons I love to fly. I love having the opportunity to defy gravity. To soar above it and gain a new perspective.
On Monday I had the chance to go up with a wonderful pilot. Even though he and his wife were packing and planning for a trip of their own he graciously offered to take me and friend up on a flight over Glacier. I met our pilot on Saturday and mentioned that I had a friend in town for whom I was trying to arrange as many truly “Montana-esque” experiences as I can gather. And a flight over Glacier is simple incredible. So much more than I could have really hoped for. The generosity of people never fails to impress me.
Flying over Glacier is always spectacular. I have never quite managed to talk any of the pilots I know into going up at sunrise, but someday I hope to do so. Still, even in the bright light the majesty of the mountains is undeniable.
I have more photos to share, but I am failing to come up with the words to describe the experience. It’s late here, and I’m a bit tired. I think my brain is shutting down for the night. So rather than struggle to find words for the indescribable I am going to cheat. I’m going to steal from one of my favorite poems.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbd and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds —
and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of —
wheeled and soard and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.