I didn't plan to post onto LivingTastefully this month. I've just returned from one out-of-town trip and am leaving on another shortly. But I made this Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Cashews before I left and I also have some photos from Glacier National Park; so why not just combine the two before I leave town again?
First off... a little bit about Glacier. It's beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful. I have never been there before, and after spending a week traveling through the park, I feel photos do it little justice (but I took them anyway, because that's what you do on vacation). You need to be there to fully understand and appreciate the enormity of it all. And because of its size and scope, forget newspapers, wifi, or cell phone use at the historic lodges that lie within the park's boundaries; something I struggled with daily. It's just you and the bears -- something that caused my anxiety level to soar.
Here are just a very few photos...
1. Yes, the lakes really are that color (when fed by the silt of a living glacier). We were told that once the glaciers are gone, the water will become a dark blue.
2. My favorite "landscape" photo along Waterton Lakes. (Also the deepest lake in Canada.)
3. Grinnell Glacier, as seen from the Many Glaciers Hotel. I feel bad for my husband. He really wanted to hike the 1600 feet in elevation up to the glacier, but I just couldn't. A grizzly bear was sited that morning at the base of the mountain where we would have started hiking. This is where my bear fear came into play (big time).
4. Hand-painted parchment shades, original to the 1914 lobby of the Lake McDonald Lodge in Montana.
5. Early morning photo taken by my husband from the deck of the Many Glaciers Hotel. (I slept in :)
6. My three favorite photos that have nothing to do with mountains.
7. Twenty yards from a black bear (our rental car was right behind me). We soon discovered, upon entering Glacier National Park, that September is a VERY active time for bears. They are eating massive amounts of berries down in the lower regions to hold them over while hibernating during the winter months... just what I needed to hear :(
8. My daughter asked me why I didn't smile in any of the photos. I told her that in this one (our last day of hiking!), it was because we just walked head-on into a large black bear idling down the trail deep in Canadian back country. When we came around a curve on the path of the dense brush and saw the bear walking towards us... he stopped... we stopped... and slowly stepped backwards while nervously making noise, until we were out of the bear's sight. Try as I may, I could not think of anything to sing but the national anthem. My husband said the bear must have thought he was going to see a baseball game. After five minutes, we again headed down the trail (with bear pepper spray in hand). The bear had disappeared! I ran that last quarter mile to the ranger's outpost, ahead of my husband. I guess we were just lucky not to have come upon a grizzly. My understanding is, you don't stand much of a chance (grizzlies will eat black bears).
The morning we caught the train for home we had access to wifi and my husband downloaded the Wall Street Journal for me to read on our 22 hour train ride. One of the first articles I read was "Quinoa Faces a Backlash" that told of bloggers finally admitting they hate this ancient grain.
I started using quinoa a little over two years ago when my eldest daughter found she was gluten intolerant. Many times I substitute quinoa for dishes using small pastas (like orzo), and have come to really like it. I guess it's for you to decide... We all like this salad!