Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hungry Horse Dam and Reservoir Montana

Nestled along the northern edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, Hungry Horse Dam, completed in 1953, created Hungry Horse Reservoir.

For most of us, the perceived value of the Hungry Horse area are the numerous recreation opportunities and campgrounds.  Nearby is Glacier National Park as well.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
The mountains in the background are the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.  This area has lots of grizzly bear and mountain lion.  There are no roads.  Only horses and hikers can access the area.

A fairly famous icon of the town of Hungry Horse, Montana, this little carving is one of our favorite souvenirs of our Montana travels.  This is a link to Hungry Horse Montana recreation and trails information.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Men Who Stared at Turkeys

This vegetarian family is entertaining guests today, so we, too, are preparing a turkey.  Bought it from the Hutterite Colony.  Supposed to be free of any growth hormones or genetically-modified-organisms. Our happy bird snuggled down into oven for an overnight roast.  Just could not bring ourselves to prepare the giblets, those internal organs that are set aside in a little bag, usually for the dressing and/or the gravy.  Nope.  The gizzard, liver, heart, lungs and whatever else is in that little bag will be going into the freezer until garbage day.  

Have a terrific Thanksgiving and don't forget, "thanksgiving" is also an action verb.

Here is a link to a previous post entitled "A Turkey Named Marie Antoinette"

This is a photo of our Marie Antoinette:

"Marie Antoinette" was saved from the slaughter, to live another year.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Avalanche Creek in Glacier National Park

One of my first hikes in Glacier National Park was the easy "Trail of the Cedars" walk near the Avalanche Creek Campground.  This trail is handicap-accessible for its entire length, features some spectacular views of the creek itself, as shown above.  The photo really shows the mist that rises above the churning waters.  I love the variations in the color of the water too.  I have no photo that is this good.  You can see other photos at the Glacier National Park Information website.  I think the best time the year for visiting is early summer, before the tourists show up and fill the campground.

The park road to Avalanche Campground opens long before the Going to the Sun Road over Logan Pass, so you can visit and enjoy without the crowds.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana

This beautiful Montana ski area was previously named "The Big Mountain" which didn't really tell anyone where it was located.  It has been around for about 62 years and was always kind of a "local" ski area up until just recent years, when it become a full-fledged "destination resort."

As of today, November 19, there is a 23-inch base. Opening day is December 5th.  Below you can see that the autumn colors were pretty spectacular up at Whitefish. 

The photo below was shot by Brian Schott and is featured as one of the Shots of the Day on the Whitefish Mountain Resort Website

The Whitefish Mountain Resort webpages include a Ski Whitefish Blog too. (Click on photo to open large size view.)

The City of Whitefish, Montana is also famous for the Whitefish Winter Carnival.   Join us on February 5, 6, and 7th, 2010 for the time of your life!   Here is the official Whitefish Winter Carnival website.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ross Creek Cedar Grove is a Montana Hobbit Forest

The Ross Creek Cedar Grove is in Northwest Montana.  The area features giant Western Red Cedar, a wonderful hiking path, lush undergrowth and many birds, including woodpeckers.

To the left is the view that my wife referred to as "like a little Hobbit forest."

And the Ross Cedar Grove is so untypical of most of Montana's flora.  Here, with a lower elevation and greater rainfall, the old growth cedars thrive, with ferns and moss and green water creating a scene that could be the setting for a hobbit movie, (I guess).

Some of the old trees are said to be nearly 500 years old.  I've seen a giant tree that must have been eight-feet across.  It did remind me of the giant redwoods.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

You travel here east from Spokane, Washington, or northwest from Missoula, Montana.  The area is adjacent to the Cabinet Mountains and near Bull Lake in Montana. Take State Highway 56 north from State Highway 200 which runs through Thompson Falls in Montana.  We tried to stay at a nearby campground called "Bad Medicine," but we actually felt the bad medicine and hurried away.  We eventually camped along the Bull River, which has a very nice campground. 


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Montana Snowbowl Ski Area

Time is near. We have a little snow on the Mountain. Montana Snowbowl will be ready!
Tentative Opening Day is November 28, 2009. Are YOU ready?

Photos from Montana Snowbowl website link

(Clicking on Trail Map will open larger view.)

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Bannack State Park and Ghost Town Beautiful Still

I know it may seem late in the year to be visiting a Montana Ghost Town, but, in fact, the tourists are gone, and the little territorial capital of Bannack is still here.

I would certainly encourage the locals to visit the park during autumn, as this is a beautiful time of year, particularly along Grasshopper Creek, which was the gold-bearing creek that attracted all the miners so many years ago

(Click on photos to open large size view.)

Grasshopper Creek still flows around the edge of town. There is a nice little campground alongside the creek, just west of the town itself. It is within walking distance. I've never caught a fish there, but that didn't really matter.

One other benefit of a late autumn visit is that there are NO bugs. None!

These photos, of the town, and of Grasshopper Creek, are from the Bannack State Park Homepage. Be sure to visit.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

National Bison Range at Moise, Montana

Just a couple of weeks ago, the annual bison roundup was completed up on the National Bison Range at Moise, Montana.

The Range managers cull out the herd, selling off some in order to control the size of the herd to accommodate the available range pastures, etc.  Microchip technology is used nowadays to identify individual animals, and in that way they control genetics.

The Bison range is 101 years old this year, 2009, and bison were placed on the Range 100 years ago.

We have quite a few herd of bison in Montana, and thanks to people like Ted Turner, several large herds around the West.  I can see bison when I drive south of Missoula about five miles.  There is a privately owned herd that quietly grazes alongside U.S. Highway 93.  It's really quite wonderful.  There are over 200,000 bison in North America today.  The Bison Range at Moise has between 350 and 500 animals.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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