Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A photographic smorgasbord

Last weekend we drove to nearby Trout Creek for their annual Huckleberry Festival.  It was a pretty big event with music, food, a parade, antique cars and lots of booths.  Here are a few photos.
This little girl liked the huckleberry ice cream.
I've never seen this before
1938 Lincoln
V12 power plant
Nice interior
1916 Hupmobile
1926 Ford truck.  Dog is optional.
Too clever not to include

Today we took a drive to Ross Creek to see a grove of ancient cedars, the oldest of which are estimated to be 500 years old.  We stopped en route to buy a sandwich to enjoy in the grove.
 It is really difficult to capture the size of these big trees.  They were not as big as the sequoias in Yosemite, but they were impressive.
 My co-pilot sneaked into this photo
Devil's Club adds a colorful accent
 Some river beds are really beautiful

From the cedar grove at Ross Creek we drove up to see the Kootenai Falls and a swing bridge over the Kootenai River.
This sign warns of the more than 12 deaths in the river.  By this time, the bridge was looking less attractive.  But I decided to walk it anyway. 
 There were a few loose boards, but all in all not bad.
 A portion of the trail alongside the Kootenai River.
 The Kootenai Falls are not dramatic, but they are very soothing to watch and hear.

Monday, August 9, 2010

You have to see this to believe it

Six of us went to Columbia Falls for the weekend.  My cousin, Diane McDonald, used to work for the owner of this cottage.  It is situated about 10 miles from Glacier National Park and is the kind of place you would use to chill out; to sit on the front porch and contemplate life.  We did a little of that, but what you see below was waiting for us inside Glacier National Park.

So we spent most of Sunday driving within the park and taking photos.  This is unlike any other place I have ever seen.  Words are not adequate.  We were on the 50-mile-long Going-to-the-Sun Road -- considered to be one of the world's most spectacular highways. We probably only scratched the surface of all there is to see.  We plan to return in 2012 for at least a week.

Given the choice of reading indoors or outside -- for this couple it was a no-brainer.

These antique buses  convey visitors within the park.  Originally built by the White Motor Company from 1936 to 1939 the buses were very popular in all of the western national parks.  As you might imagine age and mountain driving took its toll on these classic vehicles.  Fortunately, a few years ago Ford Motor company stepped up and rebuilt the entire fleet, restoring them to their original beauty -- but with new automatic transmissions, a more powerful engine and (importantly) better brakes.

The lobby of Many Glacier Hotel, one of several beautiful lodges in Glacier National Park.

We stopped here to take pictures.  I left with a lump in my throat.  About 30 yards from Going-to-the-Sun Road I came across a small grouping of crosses each with a plaque dedicated to a native-American Indian who had lived in this majestic park and wanted to be buried in a favorite spot. Not a bad place for one's spirit to roam forever.

Stay tuned

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A report from Thompson Falls, MT

Yesterday we drove 60 miles to see the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge at Moiese, MT.    There are many Bison Ranges in the U.S. managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This one is home to about 400 bison.  It took us about 90 minutes to make the 20 mile loop around the range.  We saw the most bison in the last half mile.  It was late in the day and three rangers were herding many of the bison.  We kind of happened upon the event, could not get too close and did not have much time to set up to take photos.  I got a couple of good shots.

     We were on the road as part of the herd passed by.

Deer, antelope and elk also live here.  We saw a few of each and a lot of their antlers.
The rangers stack them on this pole outside of the visitor's center.  The sign says there are hundreds in the pile.

Back at "home" we see this lovely doe each evening, and while she is not tame, she generally will let us walk by without running into the woods. 

Sandy and I have done more tree trimming and are making real headway into our project.

Much of this brush pile has been built by me and Sandy.  You can see a tree trunk sticking up in the middle of the pile.  From that point forward is most of what we have trimmed from live trees.

This is a large section that was cleared by Sandy and me.  The section extends all the way back to our Honda (near middle of right edge).

                A decaying log in the meadow. 

Friday morning Sandy, Diane (my youngest cousin) and I will drive Moose into Missoula for some work on the rear brakes and to do some shopping.

Stay tuned