“The time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening it, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal. Nevermore will time seem short or long, and cares will never again fall heavily on you, but gently and kindly as gifts from heaven.” –John Muir, on Glacier National Park
It’s always hard to tear yourself away from your day-to-day life, from the things you work hard at building, and remember that there’s a whole wide world — and a whole Universe — to experience and enjoy. Perhaps the best times in my life involve going off to explore some new and, at least for me, uncharted place, a feeling that Cat Power very much captures in her cover of the classic song,
This coming week, I’ll be taking my first vacation of the year, and will be spending some time at one of the natural wonders of the world: Glacier National Park.
Carved by glaciers over hundreds of thousands of years, the park is currently filled with the valleys and lakes that have resulted as the Earth has warmed.
The park is only completely open from June until mid-September each year, as the main road in the park closes due to snows and the difficulty of plowing the main road. But when it is open, it’s well worth the trip. Below is the view, at sunset, from the main visitor’s center at Logan’s Pass, atop the Continental Divide.
And although the changing climate and temperatures means that the last glacier in the park will be completely melted by the 2020s, I’m not missing my chance to see them while they’re still here.
For those of you wondering, the park’s name will not change, even when the last glacier is gone.
I know most of you will miss the astrophysics; I’ll miss sharing it with you, too. I hope to come back even a fraction as refreshed and renewed as John Muir did, and I’m sure we’ll have many things — exciting and new — to share and talk about when I return.
In the meantime, please explore some classic Starts With A Bang through the linked suggestions or the monthly archives (at right), and post your favorite finds below to share with each other. And don’t forget to check out the latest Carnival of Cosmology, here.
I’ll be back after a week-long hiatus, and we’ll have the entire Universe to talk about. See you then!