Our first full day of being in Montana started off with breakfast and coffee as the group woke up and made it to the community room. The whole group sat around chatting and getting to know each other, coming and going as we got ready to start the day. In my opinion, it’s the best way to start our days as I really enjoy the morning conversation and getting to know everyone.
Our first project as a group was an exercise to determine what our individual goals were and what brought us to the Blackfeet Reservation. We had 20 people, each with three goals to share and we managed to all fit into four different categories: to experience the culture, to serve, to learn, and to have a super fun adventure along the way. We also discussed Linda’s experience in participating in a sweat. This is a very spiritual experience and quite an honor to be allowed in to. Bob Tailfeathers has asked that if other Global Volunteers were interested and if so we may have the opportunity to join in the experience as well.
We had a small break after our meeting and we got food and bags ready to go explore some of Glacier National Park. We made lots of stops and unfortunately they blur together as the day went by so quickly, luckily there are lots of pictures to document our travels. The main stops were Many Glacier and St. Mary Lake. Many Glacier had a rustic Swiss-style lodge right on Lake Sherburne with mountains in the background. We then made a short drive to St. Mary Lake, which is one of the most perfect and picturesque sites you could ever see. The water sparkled a blue green and a mountain rose up directly behind the lake. The park was absolutely amazing. The lakes, the mountains, and the colors just make me look in awe of how beautiful it is here.
We went straight from the park to dinner at the senior center where we had spaghetti and garlic bread with salad and watermelon for dessert. The tables were much more mixed than last night as the group was getting more comfortable with each other and coming together. Bob Tailfeathers joined us for dinner as well. After dinner we piled into the vans again to go back to the campus and meet with Bob. He talked more about the sweat and helping to clean up after the Sundance Festival, but the highlight was his artwork. He brought some of his quillwork jewelry and print from his drawings to share and sell if we were interested. His prints are amazing; I can’t say it any better than how others described it to me, that he truly captures the spirit of the animals.
It was another exhausting day, but completely worth it - full of memories not soon to be forgotten.
P.S. We saw a bear.
Entry submitted by: Mark Besley - Cortland, New York