Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Montana


(Above:  Steve and me overlooking one of the many waterfalls in Glacier National Park.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Some people say that Steve and I are jet-setters because we travel so often.  The truth of the matter is that Steve is a genius when it comes to figuring out airline miles programs, on-line car rental options, and how to book great accommodation at amazingly low prices.  Add to that, we are flexible with the dates and equally happy to visit an any number of wonderful places.  We went to Montana last weekend because that's when and where Steve found the best possible deal ... and what a fantastic trip it was!



We flew into Spokane, Washington and drove to an Air Bnb private residence just outside Whitefish, Montana.  From there we visited nearby Glacier National Park ... during the weekend centennial celebration of the entire National Park Services.



We drove our little rental car three times over "The Road to the Sun" ... just like the vintage styled red tourist buses.



The views were breath taking.  We learned a lot about glaciers ...


... the native trees ...

...wildflowers ...


... and the wildlife.  We saw a mountain goat, a bear, and a big horned sheep.  None of them stood still for photographs.  Neither did the free range pony that galloped across the road moments before we came on these grazing cows.  (We saw the bear from a very safe distance. The bear was totally unaware of the fifty very excited people in the boat crossing Two Medicine Lake.)



We also heard a great many birds.  Plus, I watched this little fellow take a bath in the crystal clear river water.



We didn't stay in our cars though.  We did quite a bit of hiking.  From Logan's Pass we hiked to the Hidden Lake overlook.  (1.2 miles ... one-way.)



We also hiked from the small parking lot at the Jackson Glacier overlook to the St. Mary's Lake parking lot.  This hike took us over a swinging bridge, by Deadman's Falls, and through a section of the park that was badly scorched by last year's fire.  This hike was 1.3 miles ... but we didn't stop there.  We went on to both St. Mary's Falls and Virginia Falls ... over three miles before taking the shuttle bus back to our car. 


Hiking was wonderful ... especially since there are so many waterfalls in the area.  Some of them don't even seem to be named.


The view from the top is as gorgeous as ...



... the view from the bottom.


Although the deep colors of the rocks and water are certainly inspiring ...


... as a fiber artist, it is difficult not to be even more inspired by nature's complicated root systems ...


... or the trauma of fire ...


... and the textures flames leave on bark.


I took a few "selfies" ... but there is no way to capture the feeling of actually being there!  That's something that must be experienced, savored, remembered!


On our way back to the Spokane Airport, we stopped at Kootenai Falls.  This was the location for the Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon movie, The River Wild.  There's a hanging bridge ...


... which only allows five people to cross at a time.  Fortunately, we arrived early and didn't have so many people bouncing up and down on the wooden boards while we walked!


The water there roared.  It was amazing!  I'd love to go back ... but I'm a realist.  At fifty-seven years of age and with so many other beautiful places in the world just waiting for a visit, I will likely never return ... but I'll always have the memories and images of this very special time in Montana!

2 comments:

Shasta Matova said...

Wow that is a gorgeous place! I am adding Montana as a place I want to see.

Ruth Lane said...

That's right in my back yard, glad you enjoyed your visit!