Saturday, December 31, 2011

Canada and USA boundary marker

Way up high, atop a mountain east of Eureka, Montana, stands a boundary marker, installed about 1911 or so, that marks the border between Canada and the United States.  

Beats the heck out of a wall or fence with guards and guns, eh?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park Montana

Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park. Photo by Kelly Kratzer Fear
Glacier National Park remains one of my favorite spots in all the World.  I am fortunate enough to live in Montana and within a two-hour drive to the Park.  This photo by Kelly Kratzer Fear is of Kintla Lake, one of the most beautiful (and remote) lakes in Glacier. Kintla is in the northwest corner of the Park, near the Canadian Border.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Retiree Snowman in Missoula Montana

The snow is REALLY coming down right now! (12/21/2011 at 10 am)
The First Day of Winter has arrived with a vengeance, and, although I realize many people want snow for Christmas, for me it is a commuting nightmare.  I may need chains to get out of here and into town.  

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Under a Wispy Big Sky

Taken here at home.  My spouse shot this with her camera phone.  She has a thing about sky and clouds.  I could have posted any of about two dozen sky and cloud photos from her Blackberry.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 at 11:11:11


Originally Armistice Day, which commemorates the truce that ended World War One at the Eleventh hour of the Eleventh Day of November, 1918, today, on Veterans Day, we honor all veterans of all wars and all our current and previously serving veterans of our Armed Services. 

Posted at 11:11:11 on 11-11-11, just for the reason that I can.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Flathead Lake at Wayfarer Campground, near Bigfork, Montana

We just enjoyed a wonderful weekend trip to Bigfork and Whitefish Montana, which included a hike along Flathead Lake at the Wayfarer Campground. This is located on the east shore of Flathead and just a mile or so south of the little artsy town of Bigfork. My spouse and dog are silhouetted in this photo. I really like the clouds.

 (Click on photo to open 3MB size view.)

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Leaves Falling

I also shot some video in which I can hear the leaves rustling around and floating, than landing on the grass.  It was barely audible, but kind of cool. It was 19 degrees here in Missoula this morning.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glacier National Park 2011 Photo Album

Here are just two of the most recent photos featuring autumn color from Glacier National Park as posted on their Facebook page in the 2011 Photo Album.

Middle Fork of the Flathead River
(Click on photos to open large size view.)
Autumn is my favorite season up in the Park, especially the western half below Logan pass.  The staff at Glacier have done a wonderful job with photo documentation this year, all way way back to winter time.  Thank you so much and I hope many readers take advantage of the LINK and look that these photos.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Camping in Montana

We camped in October this year and it was a crisp, beautiful weekend.  The campground, Beavertail Hill, was nearly deserted, as is typical at the end of the season.  The foliage colors are changing, the camp hosts are gone and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks employees only show up for a couple of hours each day to check on things.  We were pretty much on our own, and we really enjoyed it that way.  I did catch a couple of photos, nothing really spectacular, but just a nice reminder of our time away from the bustle of the city. (Click on photos to open larger view)
No-host campground is very peaceful

Two tipi sites are empty
This tipi pad is ready for spring

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two Medicine Lake Glacier National Park Montana

Autumn colors at Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park Montana
(Click on photo to open large size view.)
This is a very nice photo from the Glacier National Park Facebook Page, in the 2011 Photos Album, which I have linked.

Glacier National Park is just spectacular in Autumn when the foliage begins to change color.  This is particularly true in the western part of the park, at least in my experience.  Travel through the park begins to get "iffy" in October due to weather that can change quickly.  I love the smell in the air at this time of the year!

Technorati claim token 8JUB577VPPTE

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Squirrel up a Tree

Camp visitor
(Click on photo to open large size view.)
This little guy sat way up high in the pine tree and was biting off pine cones which dropped on the wild turkeys down below.  Very funny to watch.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hoodoo Pass Overlooking Idaho

Here is a shot overlooking Idaho at the Montana and Idaho state line at Hoodoo Pass. I like the Bear Grass in the foreground of the photo. This is a very remote site.  You can hike over to Hoodoo Lake to fish, but watch out for elk and bear that may be sharing the same trail.  We always carry bear spray as well as a pistol (for making a LOUD noise).  The pistol also gives us a sense of security out in the middle of nowhere.  We fear people more than animals.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flathead Lake Montana and Big Arm State Park

Our favorite camping area on Flathead Lake is along the west shore at the Big Arm State Park.  Many of the campsites are right down on the shore, so campers have open access to the water.

Campers who have boats or water craft often pull them right up on the beach at their campsite.  This is just about as good as it gets.  We particularly like this space, which features a rock wall that allows us to park VERY close to the water, yet remain level and safely above the waves.  We could actually fish from the lawn chairs!

Camp site B15 Big Arm State Park 
Sunrise over Flathead Lake Montana
Sunrise through tall grass
Sunrise through the trees
Board Paddler Zen
(These are really large photos so Click to open full-sized view.)

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunrise Photo, Big Arm State Park, Flathead Lake, Montana

Just spent our weekend at Big Arm State Park on the western side of Flathead Lake.  So we saw the big sunrises from our campsite on the shore.  I think this is a really spectacular shot.

This photo is much larger than you see on the web site.  Click on it to open full-sized view.  

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Used Cow Lot, Drummond, Montana

They sell used Cows in Drummond, Montana
(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Glacier Park Snow Pack and Plowing

REALLY a lot of snow up in Glacier Park.  This photo, from the Park's Facebook Page, shows the snow on June 22, 2011, about five miles BELOW the Logan Pass summit on Going to the Sun Highway.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
A friend who is working in the Park this summer says that there is still sixty feet of snow at the summit.  Who knows when the Road will be open for tourist traffic?  Perhaps not until the end of July.  (And one year it snowed when I was at Logan Pass summit on August 15th.)  

I'm not sure about global warming, but perhaps it affects the snow and ice packs in different ways.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Little Bighorn Battles Flood Waters

Here are some photos of the flooding Little Bighorn River in Southeastern Montana, not too far from the site of the famous Custer Battlefield.

I don't know the source of the photos, they were just sent to me by a friend.  I believe these were all taken within the past three days. They have appeared on Fox News and on KTVQ television in Billings, MT.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Glacier Park Spring Snow Melt

Springtime in Glacier National Park means snow melt and high water in the creeks.  This photo from the Glacier National Park Facebook page shows Upper McDonald Creek on May 15, 2011.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Osprey in Nest. Glacier National Park, Montana

I've frequently mentioned how much I love Glacier National Park and the absolutely magnificent scenery.

But let's not overlook the wildlife.  The photo below is from the Glacier National Park webcam at St. Mary Lake.  This is the first sighting of an Osprey in its nest in 2011.  Photo was taken on April 19.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Montana Grizzly Statue, Main Hall and Mount Sentinel M Trail

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

We have a little of everything in this photo.  The University of Montana in Missoula has an Oval that fronts the Main Hall.  At one end is the Grizzly Statue.  Towering over the campus is Mount Sentinel and the "M" along with the trail that leads to the concrete structure.  

Most every student and every visitor to Missoula makes at least one trek to the "M" and even continuing on to the top of Mount Sentinel.   Student athletes use the trail for fitness training, as do many residents who make the trip up to the "M" a regular part of their workouts.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bitterroot River Missoula Montana

This is a photo of the Bitterroot River in Western Montana, taken late in the afternoon.  I love the prism effect.  This was taken from my deck.  Just across the road the neighbor has recently built a two-story house.  This view is no longer available to us, but I am happy for the memory.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Montana High Country

(Click on photo to open large size view.)
Lolo Pass Visitor Center on Idaho-Montana State Line
There is still plenty of snow in the high country. In fact, CHAINs were required yesterday on at least one Montana mountain pass, with heavy snow falling on two other passes.  Winter is far from over in the the high country, and many weekends of sking, cross-country, snow shoeing, sledding and snowmobiling remain.  

True, spring may be just around the corner for those of us who live at lower elevations, but for much of western Montana, the warmth of spring doesn't arrive until May.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Glacier Park Montana Apgar Mountain webcam

This is a gorgeous photo taken from Apgar Mountain by a Glacier National Park webcam.

(Click on photo to open larger size view.)
Have I mentioned before that this is my most favorite place in the whole world?  Yes?  Yes. The lower elevation areas near West Glacier and Apgar Campground will be opening before too long, allowing hikers and bicycles up the road.  The overnight temperatures are still very cold, and more snow can be expected as well.
The park is open for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cabinet Mountains and Beautiful Lake Koocanusa

Cabinet Mountains above Lake Koocanusa, Montana
 Click on photos to open larger size views
Lake Koocanusa in northwestern Montana

Lake Koocanusa in northwestern Montana, was formed when the Kootenai River backed up behind 422 foot-tall Libby Dam, not far from the town of Libby, Montana.

The Kootenai River used to cause flooding in Montana, Idaho and in British Columbia during the spring snowmelt.  The Lake has become a prime recreation area, with trails and a scenic drive.  The lake backs up 93 miles, all the way into Canada.

Incidentally, and I just learned this the other day, Lake Koocanusa received its name in a contest to name the Libby Dam reservoir. Alice Beers, from Rexford, Montana, combined the first three letters from KOOtenai River, the first three letters of CANada , and USA, to create KOOCANUSA!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Garnet Montana Ghost Town (Is that a ghost in the bottom photo?)

A popular activity for Montana tourists and residents alike is visiting our ghost towns.  Garnet is a well-preserved town that is still used to some extent.  There is a cabin that cross-country skiers can rent.  During the summer months the visitor center is staffed, but the town is open and accessible all year around.

On the road to Garnet (click on photo to open larger view)

A lot of gold was hauled out of the hills around Garnet, and the stories are plentiful.  The visitor center has a number of pamphlets to assist in understanding this part of our history.  The Garnet Preservation website is very informative.

To reach Garnet, drive six miles east on I-90 out of Missoula and take the Highway 200 exit at Bonner (Exit 109), then continue on Hwy 200 for 22 miles until you reach the "Garnet Range Road" turn.  Continue another ten miles on the gravel road and park in the designated parking area. There is an alternate road that comes in from the south, which you can access at the I-90 exit at Bearmouth, but this is forty miles from Missoula and the road is much much harder to travel, and impossible for any kind of camper or RV. It isn't even open much of the year.

My hubby and I have visited Garnet a number of times and we have quite a few photos. (That's him on the overlook photo above.) I will just put up one overview picture of the town, plus one of the GHOST!
Click on the Ghost town overview to open larger view
Below is a photo of one of the old buildings, along with a closeup view that shows a visage I am unable to explain. Ghost?
Who is that in the window?  The ghost of a miner?

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Montana Mountain Mood

View of Montana wilderness from summit of Granite Peak
(Click on photo to open large size view.)
Granite Peak, at 12,799 feet elevation, is the highest mountain summit in Montana. It lies just north of the Wyoming-Montana stateline, in the Beartooth Mountain Range, within the 943 thousand acres of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area.  It is slightly northeast of the northeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park.  The hike to the summit is recommended for expert climbers only, as the very last leg is quite hazardous with a great deal of exposure. 
The photo above, with a mountain goat, appears on the U.S. Forest Service web page for Granite Peak

I've not climbed a mountain, but I did drive the Beartooth Scenic Highway, which goes over the Beartooth Pass at 11,000 feet!  I tried to jog up there, but no matter how deep of a breath I took, my lungs felt empty.  That is pretty thin air!  This is the highway drive that the late Charles Kuralt of CBS "Sunday Morning" and "On the Road" once described as "the most beautiful drive in America."  

"Mountains make the heart beat faster and fill the soul with awe."  --Charles Kuralt

The Beartooth highway links Red Lodge, Montana, with Cooke City, Montana, and is usually only open to car traffic between mid-May and mid-October.  Snowmobiles traverse the highway over the pass to Cooke City in the winter.  That little town is quite the place to visit too.  I recall meeting the Postmaster, a young woman who more or less "volunteered" for the job.  That is perhaps a story for another time.


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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

Together, the Great Bear Wilderness, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Scapegoat Wilderness form the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, an area of more than 1.5 million acres, in western Montana, south of Glacier National Park.  This is a LINK to the U.S. Forest Service site.

The "Bob" is a roadless area where no structures are allowed, nor motorized vehicles or even mechanical vehicles like bicycles. There is no logging or mining.  There are over 1800 miles of trails which are limited to human and animal use.  This is said to be the most densely populated area of Grizzly Bear other than Alaska. Among the wildlife that make their home in this Wilderness area are moose, elk, black bear, mountain goat, wolverine, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, lynx, wolf, and bald eagles.  Camping and fishing are allowed with permits.  Don't travel alone.    

Here is a photo by Max Spiegel, Public Radio Host and musician, who says his visit to the "Bob" changed his life forever:

Bob Marshall Wilderness by Max Spiegel

(Click on Photo and Map above to open larger size views.)

The Life of Bob Marshall is documented in the book, A Wilderness Original by James M. Glover.

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