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My Strangest Encounter with a Person, Place, or Thing in the West view contest page »

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Room With A View

by sebreno — Jul 26, 2010
130 vote

A picturesque view can distort one's perception

by Sharon Olbert, July, 2010

After climbing three flights of stairs and walking to the end of a long hall, we finally opened the door to our room at Many Glacier Hotel. As I looked through the window that appeared directly in front of us, my jaw dropped. With a sense of both awe and fear, I said to my husband, “This hotel is floating on water!” As I moved closer to the window, however, I felt comforted when I noticed a fair amount of shoreline between the hotel and the lake. I continued to stare at the view of Swiftcurrent Lake, its surface smooth as ice betrayed its name as it reflected, like a mirror, the white, cumulus clouds above it and the glaciated peaks beside it. Mesmerized, I also saw a horse grazing in knee-deep water. “There’s a horse over there,” I said to my husband, who was busy unpacking and paying little attention to my emotional exclamations and thinking that the sight of a horse was not worth getting excited about.

Moments later, when I walked away from the window, the rational side of my brain kicked in and I realized that horses don’t graze in knee-deep water. Furthermore, that was an awfully big horse standing there on the other side of the lake. I realized, in fact, that what I was seeing was not a horse, but a cow moose. When I mentioned this to my calm and logical husband, I got his attention and he looked out the window and confirmed my observation.

The next day, we took a walk around the lake and further solidified that perception when what I presume to be the same cow moose stood grazing in a shallow stream that ran into the lake, less than 50 yards in front of us. It was the biggest and funniest looking horse I’d ever seen and I’ll never forget it.

The essay "Room With A View"
Leland Scott
Leland Scott
Aug 08, 2010 05:39 PM
Sharon Olbert's portrayal of those moments looking out on an icy lake were captivating. I was, instantly, there, having been in somewhat similar situations though none of which matched her 'discovery,' from a distance, of a horse--I mean moose--standing in knee-deep water! Also, as a husband myself, I can easily relate to the reported fact that her husband, John, whom I know, was a bit delayed in 'catching up' with his wife's enthusiasms but, once there I am sure, was equally enthralled.