There has always been something about Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks that is so incredibly captivating that we've spent much of our lives exploring and enjoying them. This captivation was the direct result of our parents taking us to these parks on family vacations ever since we can remember.
My wife Shannon and I practically grew up in these parks, and the experiences we've enjoyed have created the best memories of our lives. The camping, the animals, the beauty, and most importantly the joy of being with our families, all contributed to our profound feelings for these national treasures.
The memories that we share with our families will stay with all of us for the rest of our lives, and each year, more and more memories are being created.
For example, our great-nephew Tucker, an eighth generation Montanan, took his very first steps on the boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin (see left photo). And after Tucker started walking he wouldn't let anyone carry him! So he walked (with a little help) all the way back to our vehicles. It took forever, but we loved every second of it. And what's so great about "Tucker's first steps" is that the entire family was there to witness this special occasion, and none of us will ever forget this memorable day.
OUR GOAL: Throughout the years, our desire to have other people "see" these amazing parks through our eyes became stronger and stronger. Eventually this desire became so overwhelming that we decided to do something about it by creating this website. With this single goal of helping people all around the world enjoy these magnificent national parks just as we do, we are hopeful that this will then forever change their lives for the better.
The first step toward achieving this goal is to show everyone exactly where to go, what to do and where to see animals while vacationing in these parks. We spend an average of 225 days each year in either Yellowstone, Grand Teton or Glacier, and everything that we've learned and discovered (and continue to learn and discover) will be shared on this website with everyone, including YOU!
"We strongly feel that when people visit these parks and catch "the magic", their lives will be forever changed for the better. As we continue to add to this website, and as we continue to reach more and more people, we will be changing more and more lives in a positive way. This is our way of making a difference."
I'm a retired eye doctor, and was born and raised in a small Montana ranching community of less than a thousand people.
My ancestors, William and Clara Dalton and their daughter Matilda, first came to Montana in the early 1860's during the Grasshopper Creek gold rush and Alder Gulch gold rush near Bannack and Virginia City. These early pioneers were among the first to settle in Montana, and this rich family history gives me a great sense of pride in being a sixth generation Montanan. Click Here to learn more about the Daltons' amazing story.
My roots grow very deep here, and my love and respect for this great state run equally as deep.
Shannon grew up in a small town in Montana only sixty miles from where I grew up, and she also remembers her parents loading up the kids and heading for the parks whenever they had the chance. When we met many years ago it was love at first sight, and of course being "children of the parks", for our very first date we went to Yellowstone!
Shannon also has an incredible love for this area, and feels extremely attached to it just as I do. She is a marketing consultant by trade, but is now spending her time continuing to explore Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton and putting it all together on this website, just as I am. Our goal is the same, and we both are extremely passionate about achieving it... We want to help people understand and enjoy these wonderful parks.
Shannon and I enjoying the incredible view from the summit of Bearhat Mountain in Glacier Park.
"Refresh the Human Spirit"
Teddy Roosevelt once said that our national parks "refresh the human spirit", and that is the reason why we are so passionate about sharing these parks with the world through our eyes. We know what these parks can do to the quality of people's lives. We've seen it first hand. These parks act as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and they allow people to relax, calm down and take in the beauty of their surroundings. This in turn inspires them to once again "find themselves" and re-invent who they are, who they want to become and where they want to go with their lives. These parks are your refuge from the outside world, and they allow you to put everything back into perspective and help you determine what's truly important in life.
This "refreshment of the human spirit" that Teddy Roosevelt talked about changes people's lives forever for the better, and this is our driving force behind our passion for building this website. We've always somehow wanted to make a difference on this earth, and we've found the perfect vehicle for us to do this. This is our "authentic self", and there is nothing in this world that we'd rather be doing.
These parks also offer a place for you to create lasting family memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Taking your son or daughter on a hike around Jenny Lake in the Tetons, or camping at Madison Campground in Yellowstone where the entire family sits around a roaring campfire laughing and telling stories, or driving up Glacier Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road together in the family car- these memories are absolutely priceless and are why these parks are so important to everyone. Generation after generation of families have developed a tradition of coming back to these parks, and the experiences and memories they share throughout the years become the common thread that keeps these families close.
What further prompted us to build this website was the fact that we've witnessed so many park visitors who didn't know where to go for the day, ending up asking someone for advice. More times than not, the advice was wrong, and they'd find themselves on some horrible trail and having a horrible experience, instead of getting on the best trail where they would have had the time of their lives.
This became more and more frustrating to us, so we started looking at travel books and vacation guides to see if there was something out there to help these visitors. What we found was even more frustrating. Most of these so-called vacation guides were written by people who obviously have never personally been there, or spent maybe a few days in an area and then considered themselves to be experts, or they acquired their information from the internet and simply regurgitated it.
For example, we read a book last summer that had the "top places to go in Glacier", and the very first place they recommended is probably the most boring and non-scenic trail we have ever been on. We've been on this trail before, and it's not even in our "top 100". Because the authors didn't do their research and did not personally hike this trail, they didn't realize that the vegetation had gotten so thick over the past twenty years that you couldn't see anything! And the poor folks who buy this book and take its advice are going to have a terrible time! Bad advice can ruin your vacation, so be careful about taking advice from sources that don't have a clue about what they are suggesting.
About Our Photos
We've taken photos of our adventures in these parks ever since we were kids, so we have literally a room completely full of photos that are packed away in boxes. When we "went digital" several years ago, we found that these digital photos worked far better for our website, because the scanning process for our older "film" photos took far too much time.
So we decided to only use our digital photos on this site for now, and if we need to go re-visit a certain place or hiking trail or peak with our digital cameras, then so be it. It gives us an excuse to once again enjoy these areas that we haven't seen for several years.
Someday we'll get to our "film" photos, but to be honest with you, we'd much prefer to be in the field taking new photos rather than spending our time indoors scanning hundreds of thousands of old "film" photos. As we continue to photograph more great hiking trails, summits and other great places, we will continue to update this website. In all reality, this website will never be "finished" because we will always continue to add to it. And by the way, all of our photos were taken in either Glacier Park, Yellowstone Park or Grand Teton National Park- including the animals.
Dedicated to Dave's Parents
This website is dedicated to my parents, Oscar and Jeanne. They absolutely loved these parks. In fact, they spent their honeymoon in the Old Faithful Inn, and their favorite things in the world were to camp at the Madison Campground in Yellowstone Park, hike along Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, and drive over the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
They eventually had 5 children, including me, and every chance they had, Mom and Dad would haul the family to these parks for weekend outings. And every summer, our two week family vacations would be spent in one of the parks, and we loved every second of it. Those were precious times that shaped all of our lives in a dramatically positive way. To learn more about my parent's story and the story of my ancestors, click here.
I remember when I was a young boy my Mom and Dad would give all us kids "bear spotting glasses" (which were actually cheap children's sunglasses) and told us that the glasses magically helped us see bears better. So as we drove the roads of Yellowstone, us kids would wear our "bear spotting glasses" religiously, and when there was a bear near the road, Mom and Dad would slow down and wouldn't say a word until one of us kids would yell at the top of our lungs, "There's a bear! There's a bear! There's a bear!" Those were not only magic "bear-spotting glasses", those were magic times, and I will never forget them.
And that's really where our passion for these parks began- as kids spending time with our families camping, hiking and watching wildlife. All of the memories and all of the stories come alive again every time we are in Glacier, Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park. These parks are indeed magical, and it's our goal to help you and your family discover their magic just as we have.
Here we are on the summit of Reynolds Mountain in Glacier National Park.