Toward the top of the mountains, amid tourists and purple flowers and green valleys and encompassing sunshine, Ty says, "We joke about 'all the colors,' but this is no place to joke about."

I nod in agreement, looking at rocks, hills, trees, squirrels, people, companions, clouds, cars, twisting roads and I'm overwhelmed and mystified with vertigo.

"It's hard to care about things up here," Zoë says. "It's all so insignificant."

And I ... I have no words. And no film, no iPhone, no camera nor recorder can see what I feel, feel what I touch, see what I sense. "I don't even know where to start."

Warmed by the sun and stricken by the scenery, we pack ourselves into the car, gather our shoes and our cameras and our hearts so we can descend from heaven.

"Is anyone else full of feelings?" I ask.

"So many feelings."

For the most part, the ride is quiet. No music. No words. Just breathing and thinking.

Glacier was this year's Gettysburg; humbling, quiet, overwhelming. It left you feeling insignificant; or, rather, you remember the vapid problems of everyday life and realize they are insignificant. While there, I thought about Hans, about our relationship, about what I was going to do. And I thought about my friends. My two best friends who were with me--in the car, in the woods, in a Montana roadside cafe, in the hotel room--all hours of the day, many days in a row.

And if I didn't have to survive, if I didn't have to hold a job and pay loans and keep in touch, I would run away with them. We wouldn't stop long enough to grow attached to places--we would increase our loyalties to each other only. Yes, these are my friends. The people who buy cherries from a small vendor and encourage the others to eat them in the car. The people who curse and cuss and swear and threaten each other with empty hilarity. People with whom you can scream, "What's New, Pussycat?" People you can laugh with, cry with, and laugh until you cry with--especially when mocking Tom Jones. There's an irrevocable bond between the Lumineers, three friends, a harmonica, and 1,000, no, 2,000, no, 3,300 miles and counting. Coloring books. Retro-inspired calendars. Pretentiousness. Judgments. Inside jokes. "The Birdcage." All the colors. Everything. From Zoë's milky skin and shy smile to Ty's familiar blend of cologne and cigarettes.

... I love them more than I will ever be brave enough to say. But I would rather spend a lifetime of transit with them--lost, driving, no roots, no rules, than a life grounded, typical, expected.

Catch up with the rest of the trip:
Part 1: Henry Doorly Zoo
Part 2: The Badlands, Feat. Kitschy South Dakota
Part 3: On the Way to Billings
Part 4: The Tetons
Part 5: Yellowstone 


  1. Once again your photos are stunning, and the writing itself if beautiful too. And your friend is right about the colors! So many colors! It almost reminds me of an impressionist painting-- when you look more closely you realize the number of colors it takes just to create such an amazing image.

  2. This is amazing so so so amazing. I loved all your roadtrip photos, but this set, just stands out. If I were to live anywhere it would be there.

  3. beautiful words and beautiful photos. its been years since i've been to glacier. i need to make that roadtrip again.


« »

Candidly Clyde All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger