Going to the Sun Road Panorama–Click on image for more detail!
Here is yet another panorama from our recent journeys. Perhaps you already recognize it? It’s one of the many wondrous views found along the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. It’s less than fifty miles long from end to end, and yet it took us an entire day (probably 14 hours) to drive from one end to the other and back to our campsite. Of course, we stopped for a picnic and even got some pizza during that time, in addition to hiking a few trails and stopping at the many way points to take photos like this. There is a lot to see and do along that relatively short stretch of road! (And lots of construction to avoid as well.)
Glacier National Park is phenomenal, but it wasn’t my favorite park that we visited. I think that honor has to go to the Grand Tetons. (I love my jagged, pointy mountain peaks!) We also visited Zion on a previous trip, and I still think that of all the parks I’ve been to, Zion ranks as the single park you have to visit if you can only visit one. It is a fantastic combination of unique and breathtaking. The spectral coloring and the unusual geological formations, along with the steep canyons and amazing aerial views, make it nearly impossible to beat.
That being said, this panorama takes my own breath away more than any photo I’ve edited so far. The rugged peaks, the endless waterfalls, the glacier-carved cirques, and the snow still lingering into July despite the lush grasses combine to give this panorama a sense of the fantastic. It looks surreal to me, and I probably wouldn’t believe it’s a real place if I hadn’t been there myself. I don’t even have a particular memory of stopping at this point. I’m sure I recognized it as yet another spot of beauty along a stretch of land which, after a while, makes you feel like you’ve become a glutton of beauty. With some photography fatigue, I probably reluctantly set up my tripod and leveled it out and did all the tedious preparations needed for a great panorama. There is just too much to see, too many photo opportunities, to appreciate each stop along the way. But now that I have returned and can finally examine the photos and start to reconstruct a sample of that gluttonous meal of beauty I consumed on this trip, I recognize this as being among some of the best I’ve reconstructed so far.
I still have thousands more photos to get through, so I may yet find another one that surpasses this one. But for right now, I’m skeptical that this won’t be the best of the bunch. I think this is one you have to savor to really appreciate, zoom in and examine all the details–the dozens of cascades and waterfalls, the individual carvings in the rock faces of the mountains, the texture of the grasses, and even the other vehicles stopped along the road, their occupants standing in awe of this amazing scenery. So I hope you’ll wander through this landscape for just a little while. If you click on the image to open it in its own page, you’ll be able to step inside for just a little longer.