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Geologic disappointments

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | June 8, 2022 12:15 PM

People are driving here for rocks.

That’s right, rocks. The colored rocks. Nevermind that when they see the rocks many will be sorely disappointed. The rocks got ‘em here. The rocks were the proverbial hook.

I learned about the rocks the other day when chatting it up with one of the Apgar merchants in Glacier National Park.

We were talking about the upcoming tourist season and she happened to mention that people were asking about the rocks.

“The rocks?” I said.

“Yep,” she said. “The rocks.”

Then I thought about it a minute.

Of course, the rocks.

I first saw the rocks probably a decade or so ago. A photographer I’d admire took a picture of them. At night or close to it, with a flash, with the mountains in the background.

Under that particular lighting condition, the rocks glowed. It’s a great picture taken by a true artist.

I speak of the rocks in Lake McDonald, of course.

If you look at the rocks just about any day of the week, they look, like, well, um, rocks.

But if you light them just right, the colors pop.

That was then and this is now and now anyone can make the colors “pop” with a little Photoshop work, or, better still, their phone and an Instagram filter or two.

So there you have it. The rocks. Rocks people are driving hundreds, if not thousands of miles to see.

And those who aren’t seeing them in person are viewing the rocks by the millions online. Shoot! I need to add rocks to my photo portfolio or certainly my life will not be complete.

Only the last time I looked at the rocks there was a rather nasty algae bloom at the foot of the lake — the best place to see the rocks.

The rocks! Oh no the rocks! They were all coated with slimy green stuff.

To be honest, it’s the first time I have seen a big algae bloom on the lake and it made me sort of sad and wondering at the same time how we managed to get here.

But my guess, and this is just a guess, is that the folks who drove all the way to see the pretty rocks could have seen that at home.

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