Monday, May 31, 2010

This is one of our projects at the park. Installing 6x6 timbers on the path leading down to the lake. The slope makes it a little tricky getting down, so Darrell will be installing the timbers about every 2 feet as needed. It's been raining for about the last week or so......we're learning to just go ahead and do what we need to do. It's only water, and we did get new rain jackets......

Darrell proudly displays his lifetime national park pass. We went to Apgar on his birthday to finally make the purchase. Lifetime pass for only $10!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention....Darrell has applied for a patent for his weed whacker "wacker bags"
Since the water supply hose was exposed, we needed to dig a trench to bury it, keeping it from being a temptation to beach visitors to fiddle with it.

We see our beach from a different angle.....

The peak with the snow still on it is Big Mountain. It's the center of Whitefish resort tourism...... Winter skiing, summer mountain biking, hiking, zip lining.

The shore of Whitefish Lake is pretty much occupied by second homes, or "lake homes". But these are ginormous. This is just an example of them; most of them are bigger! Chris told us that one of them is owned by the founder of Yahoo! A lot of them are owned by Canadians.
As we take off from shore, clouds threaten to rain.

Meet Nick (l) and Chris (r). Nick is park ranger for the northwest territory of region 1 state parks. Chris is game warden for the same area, covering law enforcement, hunting and fishing compliance, and a lot more. After getting things squared away, Chris offered us a ride around Whitefish Lake. We knew he would be really busy as the weather warmed, so we took him up on it.

Sunday morning: we get a call on the park phone that Nick, our park ranger, and Chris, our game warden, are on their way in their boat to team up with Darrell to fix our swim platform and water pump (our water supply from the lake). So we throw on some clothes, gulp down our coffee and run down to the beach. Temp was 39, so we bundled up, for sure! Our arizona blood hasn't thickened up quite yet.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Then we drove over to Big Fork and visited Wayfarer's State Park. On our way into the campground, we spotted an osprey nest. The youngster is on the left on a branch, waiting for mom, and she arrives later, on the right.

We took a drive north of Whitefish to visit a nearby organic farm to get a couple of tomato plants (I have high hopes). Heading back to town, we spotted a group or family? of bald eagles. The adult must have caught something in the field, and the youngsters were swooping down for their share.

Downtown Whitefish on the left, Great Northern Brewery on the right. The brewery was built in 1994 by Minott Wessinger, great great grandson of Henry Weinhard. For you beer afficianados, it's a 20 barrel brew house, designed to produce double hopped golden lager.....Black Star being the product. We haven't had the tour, but I'm sure it's in our future.
Switch engine....used in the switching yard to move freight cars around.

Whitefish depot was built in 1927 by the Great Northern Railway. Amtrak still runs passengers through, on the Empire Builder. It runs from Chicago to Seattle.

Monday we took a day to explore the area, and the town of Whitefish.

Back at camp......

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The lake is a little cold and choppy today.

McDonald Creek runs into Lake McDonald
Guests arrived at the original park entrance here. Just to the left stood the "Bucket of Blood Saloon", owned by the Snyder family. Eventually the park bought the land and removed the saloon, as it wasn't really a good image for tourists to see. This area is now occupied by several buildings housing USGS offices and living quarters.
Belton bridge. This bridge crosses the middle fork of the Flathead River. Early tourists would arrive at Belton depot, then cross the bridge and drive up the road.....

Pictures of the hose tower, built in the early 1900's to hang fire hoses in. Also discussed were the methods of firefighting throughout the park.
This is a restored carriage that used to carry visitors from the Belton train station into the park to stay at Lake McDonald Lodge.
A formal centennial celebration was held at the Community Center in Glacier National Park. Many dignitaries came to speak, and lots of cake was served. West Glacier School attended, as well as many locals, and yours truly.
After the ceremony, we were treated to a tour of some of the historic places in Apgar Village. Retired park rangers and former employees conducted the tours.

May 11, 2010 - Glacier National Park Centennial Celebration

Click on the link below.... We're in the back row, saying "Happy Birthday" to GNP

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Let the fun begin!
Actually, we spent the first 4 days here meeting with our Parks Supervisor, our Park Ranger, picking up uniforms, doing laundry, grocery shopping...We go to orientation on the 18th, and that should be fun and interesting. The weather has been chilly by our standards; only in the 40's and rainy. We've already seen a bald eagle and several deer, of course.
The day we arrived, Amber (our daughter) invited us to a Cinco de Mayo party she was having, where we got to meet some of her friends, including her boyfriend, Kent. Feels so good to have her nearby again! Only 30 minutes away in Kalispell! Yay!
This is the view looking southeast across Whitefish Lake towards town, and Glacier National Park. We're told that the huge homes along the shore of the lake are mostly second homes owned by Canadians.

Darrell finally gets to unload the kayaks off the top of the truck. It was pretty exciting with them on top and driving through 30-40mph winds in Idaho.

This is our living room, complete with sofa and fireplace.
Our 5th wheel has its own spot back in the trees.

Now we're there. Les Mason State Park. It's a little known day-use picnic only park, with a swimming area and picnic tables, plus an area for people to bring their dogs to play and swim. It sits on Whitefish Lake, just northwest of the town of Whitefish, and near the base of Big Mountain.

May 5 - we arrive!

Actually, we're not quite there yet.....this is our first view of Flathead Lake. It is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. It's almost 30 miles long and 15 miles at its widest point, and is 300 feet deep.

But we aren't far from our destination. Kalispell and Whitefish lie just north of the lake.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Beautiful, snow-capped mountains to look at all the way up through Utah.

We spent the night in Joseph, Utah. This was our view. We were just up the road from Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A quick picture of Sunset Crater and we're on our way again.
We need to get to a lower elevation!

Having gotten a late start, we spent our first night in Flagstaff. You can't see them very well, but those little white dots are snowflakes.


May 1 finds us finishing loading the trailer, packing last minute items and wondering if we forgot something.