Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category

Wow, just WOW!!!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022
Right at the entrance to the state park

We spent the day in Glacier NP and I am always looking for wildlife. We haven’t seen much on this trip but once we left the park yesterday on our way home we spotted a huge Buck and Deer in a field just off the highway and then we are pulling into Wayfarers State Park where we are spending the week this huge guy runs across the road right behind our car! Paul stops, I grab my phone and roll the window down and grab this quick shot! Teddy is barking at him and growling! The bear could careless about us, he was just trying to get back into the woods.

Then we are driving down the road to the campground and a small deer is right on the side of the road! Paul wouldn’t let me get a photo because we weren’t in a safe place to stop!

That’s a lot of wildlife when we haven’t seen much of anything so far in the past 5 weeks.

Another Been there spot!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

We are starting to recognize odd things in our travels. We were on our way into Glacier NP yesterday and saw a Starbucks at an intersection that was definitely not there last trip. Then we are driving up the road and Paul says “I’m recognizing all kinds of things” You anticipate remembering but usually things change. We were here 2 summers ago and not too much has changed. There are a couple of closed up businesses and a couple new, fancy resorts but most of the things are the same from last trip.

Trying to find new things to see in the same places sometimes can be a challenge, especially this trip because I am not able to do the hikes. But, we always notice new stuff. We are driving the main road thru the park and I am marveling at the road. The Going to the Sun Road was built in the 1920’s. How did they do that then? and then taking care of it! They are working on part of the lower road and delays are expected as well as a very bumpy ride. The road does not fully open each year until July because of the massive amounts of snow. The road is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring. Up to 80 feet (24 m) of snow can lie on top of Logan Pass, and more just east of the pass where the deepest snowfield has long been referred to as the Big Drift.  Wow! Just think in September there is hardly a trace of snow from the road.

Mostly built where they carved out the mountain. The road is narrow and very windy
If you zoom in and look very carefully you can see the road across the canyon
Glacier has the coolest tour buses. They also use very old , wooden boats for their tours on the lakes
No snow but some very beautiful mountain side flowers and colors.
The leaves are just starting to change.
New bathrooms right in the side of the mountain.

The park is making lots of improvements but they can’t improve the beauty! It is just spectacular here.

At the top of Logan Pass, we took a short walk up the mountain. Lots of stairs
The tour vehicle

We had a beautiful afternoon in the park and saw some things that we hadn’t before. Logan Pass is always so packed and there isn’t any parking. There are several hikes that leave from here and I’ve always wanted to go so today we get a parking spot and actually walked the nature trail and the Hidden Lake trail – we only went about 1/3 mile up the hill. It’s a very nice wooden walkway but there are lots of stairs as there is quite a bit of elevation gain. Maybe next year because from what I could see it is a beautiful hike/walk.

Trying to stay safe, Montana

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

While we enjoyed Idaho we need to get into Montana so Paul can see a couple more dealers and we will also visit Glacier NP.  It took us 2 times to get into the park. The first day we were turned around near the base of Going to the Sun Road.  Because of COVID they were limiting cars so the parking lots would not be so full.  Our second attempt we left Whitefish about 6 am.  Too early but the park was empty and spectacular.

Paul and Teddy are learning to appreciate one another.

Yep,  I think Teddy has found a perfect family and I think we got really lucky.

While I am not sure I would want to get up that early for most things it was definitely worth it.  Once we reached the summit very few cars followed.  We had some areas all to ourselves.  We can’t really hike in the park with Teddy but we saw some beautiful views.

We are staying in Whitefish,  I can walk to the town.  The town is busy and following protocols very well.  I feel very safe here. Whitefish is a small resort town and very upscale.  The restaurants are open and we found one with a great menu and outdoor dining.  I spent one morning browsing the quilt/gift shop and spent a little.

We also went to the local farmers market.  We didn’t get any produce as the line for the best variety was a 1/2 mile long. We did have a couple treats for dinner.

Small towns are always fun to explore.  Whitefish is definitely upscale but I still found plenty of things to buy.

Big birdhouse, Little birdhouse! The things you see when you are looking


More Glacier NP

Sunday, July 24th, 2016


This is the inside of the East Lodge at Glacier National Park.  The woodwork on the lodge is amazing and these lanterns were beautiful.


Lake MacDonald

                                   Lake MacDonald

Looking for a good cup of coffee we stopped at the lodge at Lake MacDonald.  The lake was very inviting even though it was early and quite chilly.  From here we took a drive to Polebridge, over 1.5 hours each way just for a cinnamon roll!  We didn’t even have one, we opted for cookies instead!  Polebridge is in the northwestern part of the NP and very remote.  They don’t even have electricity, only generators and solar.  We did stay long enough to travel another 45 minutes to Bowman lake and take a nice walk/hike along the lake.

We stayed an extra day in the area just to visit Whitefish.  The brochures said it was a beach town in the middle of Montana.  It had lots of shops and very cute but not beachy if you are from the Capitola area!  Just sayin.  We did stop for a picnic at the lake and they even have a control your dog area on the beach and encourage the dogs to have as much fun as we do.  Duke went right into the water and then Paul thru the ball!  I wasn’t sure Duke would chase it but he did.

Whitefish Lake

                                        Whitefish Lake



Top of the Sun, Glacier NP

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016


Paul and his sister Cindy enjoying the view of Avalance Lake in Glacier National Park.  We took a six mile hike and the views were spectacular.


It is a pretty decent uphill from the parking lot but very soon you get to see this amazing stream.  It was flowing very quickly and there were many areas you could get right down and into the water.AvalanceTrail

Then as you climb away from the stream this is the beautiful, lush forest you are walking through.  The trail was really well maintained.  So far, one of my favorite hikes on this trip.  I think mostly because it was so clean, hardly any people (we did get on the trail by 8, at 10 when we were descending there were scads of people) and the sun was hidden so it was cool.


At two miles you arrive at the lake and then you look across and….




The mountain was filled with waterfalls.  You couldn’t get up to them but you could definitely hear them.  Perfect.


This little guy was sure we left some scrapes after we left his log.  Returning to the trailhead and our car we were amazed at how many people were scurring for a parking spot.  I wonder how many got one and how many actually took the hike.  We find that most people visiting the NP never get very far from the parking areas.

We decided to take the drive through the rest of the park on Going to the Sun Road.  A beautiful drive through the heart of Glacier NP, actually the only road that goes through the park.  Once we got to the Eastern side the sun finally came out.  We stopped in the Eastern Lodge just to look around and then we continued around the park.



If you look closely near the bottom you will see an arch.  That is built so the waterfall can go under the road!

Tomorrow we will explore a different, less traveled part of the park and enjoy one more day with Pauls sister before we split again.  Next meet up will be on our Alaskan Cruise.


Here we are again

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Boiling River again

                                Boiling River again

One of our favorite parks and this week we are at the top end.  We are coming across Montana and the park is only 50 miles south.  Mammoth Hot Springs area was amazing last time so we made the trip.  By the time we got there it was very crowded and hot so no hiking today.


This is the entrance gate from the north into Yellowstone NP,  There is these tiny doors and of course Paul has to check out the mechanics.  We decided the doors are not original and they have been put in so you can see the arch is hollow.


See the door in the corner?  That is how tall this arch entrance gate is.


Mammoth Hot Springs, this time was not spectacular,  still very cool but there was very little water flowing and they didn’t have that “it” factor.



This one was pretty cool,  all created from hot boiling water coming out of the ground.


We saw a couple of beautiful waterfalls in the north area.  We had to walk a bit to see them.

The river below the falls


The Gorge the river runs through.  This was from a viewpoint very high up.


Just a wall!  Actually it was a wall that went straight up from the road with these trees sticking out into the sky.


And of course the Elk that come into the park to graze and relax on the grass in the early evenings.


Where the Buffalo roam

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

We didn’t see any buffalo but we saw lots of Pronghorn and deer along the highway as we drove through Wyoming.  We stopped overnight in Gillette and continued to Montana where we will be roaming for about a week.

Today we are working (at least Paul is!)  I’m catching up on a few things that I had been putting off and then I went to the Zoo.  The Billings Zoo is just down the street from where we are parked in Billings.  It isn’t much of a zoo and many of the exhibits are being renovated.  They did have a big reptile exhibit indoors where the gift shop and concession stand is!  I did check out the concessions but not the reptiles.  Most of the other animals they had were somewhat up and about.

Wolf (1)

This guy (wolf) was chomping away.  His buddy was up and about but very hidden.Panda

This guy was a bit shy but I got a pretty good look when he came down off his perch to dig in the ground.

Red Panda

Red Panda

He was right under me but would not look up.  I guess he was comfortable in his habitat and didn’t care about the noises the kids were making to get his attention.  Or,  he is just tired of all the interuptions to his day!




Bald Eagle2

This guy was a show off.  His mate is directly behind him but he would not allow a good shot of her.

There was a giant grizzly but he was taking a nap in the sun and was really snoring so I am sure he would not be getting up anytime soon.  That would have been a highlite as he was huge.

Well I haven’t been to a zoo in awhile but I was hoping for monkeys.  There was a lemur exhibit but it was not open.  Next time!  Probably somewhere else.

Taking it easy

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The last 5 days have been spent laying around the RV watching TV, resting and trying to get over a nasty cold!  The good news is the cold has finally moved along and I got to relax for 5 days on the shores of Flathead Lake near Kalispell Montana!

Flathead Lake

We arrived here on Thursday have watched the smoke engulf the mountains across the lake.  Montana is really not very beautiful now that the smoke is moving into the area.  Something good out of the lousy visibility is am the sun came up and looked awesome shining through the trees and on the lake as it peaked through the smoke.

View out my kitchen window at 7 am! The lake is right there, shimmering. Those are just weeds that are so bright yellow!

Looking south from the lake – total smoke!

In the five days here we have had to run the air conditioner and the heater!  The temps are dipping at night below 40!  I didn’t do any swimming, just relaxing!   Duke on the other hand didn’t understand why we would get up at 10 am, eat breakfast, check email and be back on the couch/bed resting before noon!  For 4 days!

He tries to play with us and brings us a different toy hoping one of them will get us up and moving!

An empty dog toy box!
Can you believe I keep his toys in a fancy Logenberger Basket?

Maybe he needs a playmate?  Something!  Toys are always everywhere!  Or maybe less toys?

Anyway,  the colds are gone, the smoke is increasing and we are moving south to Yellowstone today!  I sure hope we can see Old Faithful through all this smoke!

How do you choose your favorite?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

National Parks, State Parks, City Parks, private RV parks, fancy RV Parks, parking lot type RV parks, Walmart parking lots, rest stops, fields, wind, rain, 100+ degrees, mosquitoes, flies, perfect weather, scary weather, big cities, little towns, great local foods, fireworks, lakes, rivers, creeks, family, friends, tours, getting lost, buying wine and jelly we didn’t really want, tourist attractions, little spots in the road. After over three months and about 8000 miles wandering this country, up the east coast, across the top through Canada into Michigan, to Oshkosh Wisconsin to see “the greatest airshow” into Minnesota, through the Dakotas and into Montana we have traveled as a mini caravan seeing as much as we could and enjoying great times together.  We traveled this great adventure with our friends Kip & Pat who today have headed back to California where they will resume their lives of leisure and catch up on some much needed rest.

Kip & Pat!

Last night we talked about what was our one favorite event in this journey and I have to say mine was traveling with you guys!  You have been so much fun.  I can’t believe you followed us for so long!  Lets do it again real soon!!!!  I miss you!

Nature at it’s best

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

It feels like we are at the top of the world as we travel along Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park,

Magnificent Mountains

So many “ahh” moments as we drove along the cliffs through this special place.  We stopped as often as there were pullouts and just stood there taking in the scenery.  This park is a hikers paradise but most visitors take it all in from the passenger seat of a vehicle or one of their tour buses that are convertible.

crystal clear mountain snow melt

We saw lots of waterfalls, lakes, snow, wildflowers and yes, we saw Grizzly Bears!  A mother and her two cubs were eating the Service Berries on the mountain side.  They were too far for picture taking but our binoculars gave us a nice half hour of watching these huge bears having a picnic!

Lunch Creek

They even have a place for humans to have a nice picnic lunch!  While here we got a view of a herd of Long horn sheep eating from the hillside.

Mountain Goats

These were the only wildlife willing to get close enough for a photo!  We also saw some later basking at the top of a waterfall but the camera was in the car!  We didn’t get to hike as time didn’t allow but this will be one we return to one day.