My Park Story - Ingenuity: Whitney Smith & Glacier National Park

Ingenuity is today's National Park Week theme. Sometimes, when experiencing the outdoors, we may encounter something we are unfamiliar with. Be it an animal or new species of tree. As humans, we often give names to things when we don't know their true classification. We make things up to help us remember that thing or experience. And that's where ingenuity comes in handy. Read on to learn about our Business Operations Manager, Whitney Smith, and her first time visiting Glacier National Park with her little sister.


I went to Glacier for the first time with my family when I was about 10. We weren't a super outdoorsy-type family, so I'm not sure I even knew the park existed until that point. I went with my mom, her cousin, and my 3-year-old sister. I remember being as terrified as I was in awe of the narrow path and steep dropoff of Going to the Sun Road. At the visitor's center, there were a bunch of mountain goats in the parking lot. My sister, being three and not the most articulate, ended up calling them a sort of portmanteau of my cat's name, Fondue, and goat- so ever since, my family has continued to refer to them as "Fongoats."