Fractured Flow-Avalanche Creek in Glacier National Park

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The aqua-colored water of Avalanche Creek twists its way through a red rock crevice covered in moss and ferns in Glacier National Park in Montana.
The aqua-colored water of Avalanche Creek twists its way through a red rock crevice covered in moss and ferns in Glacier National Park in Montana.

I visited Glacier National Park for the first time this fall. As I usually do, I spent quite a bit of time finding possible shooting locations and coming up with a general plan for the week. As in all national parks, there are the obvious places to shoot and in Glacier Avalanche Creek is one of them.

My good friend and fellow photographer Luke Tingley and I headed over the to the east side of the park on a rainy day in the middle of the week. We figured that the odds would be better that we would have the place somewhat to ourselves. Our arrival at the trailhead parking area quickly nixed those expectations! The lot was packed with cars. I knew it was a popular trail, but on a rainy day in the middle of the week? Give me a break. We parked in one of the last available spots and hit the trail. I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise to find that the trail is actually a wide boardwalk (otherwise known as a superhighway)!

There was barely anyone else to be seen on our trek back to the bridge that crosses the creek. It made us wonder where all the people from those cars were. Once we got to the bridge, we were once again surprised to find that we had the place to ourselves. We dropped our gear on the bench and got setup. There is really only roughly one spot to be able to get a shot from the bridge, so I let Luke go first. My mistake! Just as Luke got done and I was getting my composition framed up, a large photography workshop came down the trail from the other side. The so called “leader” of the group informed his subjects that only a few could cross the bridge at a time and to make sure to get permission from whoever is shooting. He also stated that that you should holler “OPEN” whenever you were taking your shot so that the others knew to stand still. Sounded like a wonderful plan, but I sure as hell was not going to be doing any hollering since I was already shooting before they arrived. I had hoped that they would wait until I was done, but the next thing you know, I was surrounded by other photographers. I quickly took a couple of shots and Luke and I retreated to the car (after having to wade through the bunch to get to my bag!). So now that I look at it, I guess I was lucky to come away with this one shot!

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