What probably started as a way to beat the heat on a fun adventure ended in tragedy over the weekend. And our thoughts are with the victim's friends and family.

Associated Press and other news sources tell us that a Kalispell, Montana, man died in a kayaking accident on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are investigating the incident.

Reportedly, 39-year-old James Curtis was kayaking with his wife when his boat flipped near Spruce Park On The River. That's an RV park located near Montana Highway 35 in Evergreen. Mr. Curtis was not wearing a personal flotation device. Bystanders heard him and helped pull him to shore. They were the first on the scene, followed by the Evergreen Fire Rescue and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Department. Responders attempted CPR Mr. Curtis was transported via air to a health care facility in Kalispell where he died.

In a separate incident that we shared last week, more sad news. AP reports that searchers looking for a Montana State University graduate student who went missing while hiking in the Beartooth Mountains say they do not think she's still alive. Red Lodge Fire Rescue says that after nearly a week of intense search efforts, it’s likely 23-year-old Tatum Morell was involved in an accident and could not activate her satellite communicator. The last known contact by Ms. Morell was to her mother on July 1.

She was expected to return July 5.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

 

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