Saturday, January 16, 2010
Back into the high country
Late last fall, I wrote an article called "Bears, Where They Fought" about the Swiftcurrent Valley in Glacier National Park for the upcoming Earth Day 2010 anthology from Vanilla Heart Publishing called "Nature's Gifts." I focused on Glacier because 2010 is the park's centennial year.
The National Park Service's centennial committee's approach to 2010 is Celebrate, Inspire, Engage, and I hope that my article, along with the other articles, poems and short stories in the anthology, does just that.
During the ten years preceding the park's creation in 1910, a mining boom town called Altyn flourished in the Swiftcurrent Valley as geologists and speculators looked for oil, gold, silver and copper within ten mile radius of the park's current Many Glacier Hotel. With the kind assistance of the Montana Historical Society and NPS Glacier, I was able to track down what I hope will be some interesting stories about the town and the place where two grizzly bears were seen fighting about 150 years ago.
Indirectly, the research nailed down some information I needed for "Sarabande," the sequel to my 2004 novel "The Sun Singer." Since Vanilla Heart Publishing is releasing a new edition of "The Sun Singer" within the next two months, 2010 seemed a good time to write the sequel. Like "The Sun Singer," "Sarabande" will be set primarily within the park's Swiftcurrent Valley.
Figuratively speaking, work on my novels sends me back into the high country into the glacier-carved stair-step valleys along the Backbone of the World. I can think of no better place to illustrate the mythic journeys of a young man named Robert Adams and now a young woman named Sarabande.