The Swift Current Pass Trail, Glacier NP

Photos from my September 2021 trip to Glacier NP

Hiking the Swift Current Pass trail to the Continental Divide is an exhilarating, challenging adventure. It’s 6.5 miles. I won’t make it that far today. We start here and pass over Swift Current Creek. Bullhead Lake is today’s destination. Let’s go.

Swift Current Creek

Continental Divide ahead….well, 6 miles. First 5 are a walk in the park, though.

The point of Grinnell Mountain 8858 ft. high is in the distance. As you see, the path is well-trodden and easy to follow, winding gently through a mix of pine and aspen trees. Got your bear spray? <grin>

There are several spots where the trees open up to reveal stunning vistas of the lake and the towering mountains beyond. Like at Redrock Lake. The views of Mount Grinnell, Mount Wilbur, are postcard-worthy, changing in appearance and color as the day progresses.

This place invites you to slow down, enjoy the sounds and sights, and appreciate the quieter side of nature.

Redrock Falls isn’t a single, dramatic drop but rather a series of cascades over red argillite rock, which gives the falls their distinctive color. The sound of the water tumbling over the rocks is both soothing and invigorating, creating a peaceful soundtrack to your visit.

Here is the main drop at Redrock Falls. Whether you’re a hiker, a photographer, or someone looking to simply relax by the water, (I stayed for an hour right here) this area is a delightful stop in your Glacier National Park adventure.

The area around the lake and falls is a fantastic spot for picnics, wildlife viewing, and photography. It’s common to see deer, moose, and even bears in the vicinity, so always be bear-aware. I saw a bear from a distance. He crossed the trail and headed for berries.

Swift Current Creek with a distant view of Mount Wilbur. I’m heading that way.

I’m taking in Mount Wilbur, a silent sentinel overlooking the Many Glacier area. What a great hike.

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The Painted Valley – Blue Ridge Parkway

Time to photo-blog and bring a little color to these dreary days of winter.

Photo 1

October 12. The ‘painted’ valley below Linn Cove Viaduct. And Grandfather’s crest shrouded in mystery.

Photo 2

The beauty of Fall on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Stack Rock Creek Bridge, MM305.

Photo 3

“And autumn’s finest hues of gold and brown
On these steep banks are shed; these whispering trees
Do now forsake the bird that in their leaves
Had found a home, and mournful wait the frost.”


But they do bow down in a blaze of glory.

Photo 4

The crisp October air was filled with the scent of pine and the subtle whisper of falling leaves. As you will see in this video, it was the kind of morning where the mist clung to the valleys like a delicate veil, waiting for the sun’s gentle nudge to lift it.

If you want to see my latest Autumn Drone Video, click the link above and get a ‘birds eye view’ of Beacon Heights, Grandmother Mountain, & from a distance, Linville Gorge. And a delicate veil of morning mist…. ‘

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.’

Photo 5

It’s like stepping into a painting. Near Stack Rock Creek Bridge, MM305.

Photo 6

Celebrate A Good Father’s Good Creation. Drone Video from 3 weeks ago of Grandfather Mountain at link. See what you think.

Screen capture of video.


Congaree National Park – Boardwalk

Last month I visited Congaree National Park in South Carolina. November is a good month for a visit. Because during the summer in this swamp the mosquitoes hold annual conventions with a fervor that would put any political rally to shame.

But not today.

So let’s take a boardwalk!

Congaree NP – Boardwalk Entrance

Much of the park is a floodplain, which means it’s often as soggy as a sponge in a rainstorm. To help you explore without turning into a mud sculpture, there are elevated boardwalks winding through the forest.

Congaree NP – Boardwalk

These boardwalks are fantastic, offering you the chance to stroll above the swampy fray while looking down at the world of frogs, waterfowl, and the occasional serpentine reptile.


The park is home to some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States. These are not your average backyard oaks or maples; these are towering hardwoods and pines that have been around since, well, probably since the squirrels started keeping diaries.

Congaree NP – Boardwalk

It’s like walking through a natural cathedral, with a canopy so high it might as well have its own weather system.

Aside from the aforementioned mosquitoes, which in the summer secretly hone their skills for the Insect Olympics, there’s a whole array of creatures. For example, the park is a haven for birdwatchers.

I heard many, but saw few.

Congaree NP – Swamp

Feral piggies

I did spot four feral pigs running as fast as their little legs would go. Not native to the park these porcine interlopers roam like four-legged outlaws. Their snouts, like a bulldozer, can turn a serene patch of forest floor into a scene resembling a worn out rugby field.

The day before I arrived Park rangers closed the park & went on a piggy hunt. Feral pig foraging habits also make them the inadvertent landscapers of Congaree, altering the forest floor and waterways.

Feral Piggy Hut

This can lead to changes in water flow and vegetation, which in turn affects other species who are less keen on such disruptions. It’s a bit like someone deciding to reroute a river to get a better view from their tent.

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