Stop 4: At the summit
At the top of Going-to-the-Sun, on the Continental Divide, I stand on the mountains the Blackfeet called “the backbone of
the world.” The trail runs north along that backbone, toward the park’s highest peaks and the glaciers.
I get, suddenly, a sense of the planet as something both enduring and fragile. Maybe it’s the ranger stationed at the trail’s start, talking about how the warming Earth has affected her park. “About 150 years ago, we had 150 glaciers. Now there are 25. There’s nothing we can do. We can’t wrap them up in insulation. But we’re not changing the park’s name. It’s not going to be the Park Formerly Known as Glacier.”