It was at Baxter State Park, home of Mount Kathadin that I learned, always ask the park rangers, or the natives, where to go to paint. We had driven all around the park looking for just the right spot and without being entirely happy with my selection of a location I went to work painting. At least an hour or more into it, a park ranger came by. Rick chatted with him and then I decided I’d had enough of the black flies attacking my painting. I came up the river bank with my gear and joined in the conversation. When I told the ranger what I liked to paint he immediately directed us down some less traveled roads to the perfect spot. Lesson learned, always ask the rangers. I took lots of pictures and turned out a nice painting. I would have preferred though to have started with that instead. The painting I did work on there has been a source of irritation ever since. “Reflections of Kathadin” however, continues to be a favorite.
So today as I was about to head out, having completed the paperwork for my car rental, I asked the young man where I should go in visiting Glacier National Park. He hesitated and was starting in with a question, I jumped in, “I’m a painter”, “Oh, ok”, he said with enthusiasm, I love it when that happens! “Do you like water or just mountains or…”. Once again I returned with the same enthusiasm, I like water with mountains in the background”, and we were “off to the races”, as they say. He pointed out the route he thought best, added another idea but said that would be crowded, yup, he really did understand. “No, the first idea is great, thanks!” and off I went. Only to have to come back for the bagged lunch I’d ordered and forgotten – how unlike me!
Now, when I was thinking about this blog entry I was inclined to whine about the train being over 4 hours late in arriving, which meant I arrived at midnight instead of 7:41. But today was just so glorious, what’s the point? I followed the young man’s instructions and followed the signs for Two Medicine. The beauty of everything around me as I entered the park was overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes, what glorious views, such beauty in the strength of the rock which towered into the sky. It had started to drizzle when I left the parking lot of the inn, but I thought it could be a blessing, with some dramatic clouds. Ever the optimist, if it rains, celebrate the beauty of the clouds!
En-route I stopped off in the parking lot of the East Glacier Bay train station. There was internet and cell phone access so time to check in with “the boys”. Why is it always “the boys” with me? Anyhow, I digress, besides Richard threatening to put my dog in the microwave, everything was fine there and they knew I’d arrived safe (although I don’t think they were too concerned about it). I figured I should “check-in”.
So, as instructed I headed to Two Medicine when I entered the park. Hew was right, it was a great spot, the problem was, deciding what to paint. There was so much there. water, mountains and my favorite, wildflowers! I worked on a little watercolor to warm up and then went for the 16″x20″ oil painting. I still need to look at a couple of maps to figure out what peak it was i painted so I can name it properly. But after a day’s worth of painting I’m happy.