Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A jewel of a hike to Jewel Basin

It was a hot day, and we wanted to avoid the crowds in Glacier, so on a tip from Amber, we took a hike to Birch Lake, in Jewel Basin. Jewel Basin is south of GNP, and east of Flathead Lake. There are 36 lakes you can visit in the basin. It's designated for hikers only, and lots of backpackers frequent the area. Our trip took us to a pretty little lake, only 3 miles one way, plus another 1.8 miles if you want to go all the way around it, which we did.
Our trail has lots of scenery to look at along the way.

The view along the trail is breathtaking!

We must be getting close.....

Birch Lake is one of 36 lakes nestled in Jewel Basin, a hiker's paradise.

We arrive at Birch Lake

The ranger at the trailhead said we might see mountain goats coming down to the lake, but all we saw was a little evidence of them passing through.

This is a pretty little stream that runs into the lake, where we had our lunch.

Not sure what kind of moths or butterflies these are.

Darrell finds the most interesting things to photograph.
Lots of wildflowers growing along the trail....

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today we took one of our favorite hikes in Glacier. We usually make it our first hike, so we can get our "hiking legs".
About 5 miles round trip, with about 500 feet elevation gain. Avalanche Creek runs along the trail for a while. This part of the park is almost like a rain forest, with lots of cedars and ferns.
We stopped at Lake McDonald Lodge to check it out and have lunch.....or was it dinner?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Several cabins and outbuildings are located all over the grounds.
The inside of the lodge has beautiful lamps hanging from the ceiling.

One of the wooden boats that carries tourists across the lake.

A view of the back of the lodge, and a stream that runs alongside it, into the lake.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back at camp.......

This picture was taken just after Darrell tripped on and crushed the shower vent cap, and moments before Melinda cracked the skylight. So much for trailer maintenance.

This is a haz-mat fashion statement. Prepping Amber's house for painting, we need to be careful of lead paint.

Friday, July 16, 2010


We thought it would be fun to take the Amtrak Empire Builder from Whitefish to East Glacier, and then do a hike on our special day. The Empire Builder goes back and forth from Seattle to Chicago, and we just took a short leg of the whole journey.

Our route follows Highway 2, from Whitefish to East Glacier, along the middle fork of the Flathead River.

We've arrived in East Glacier, and it's cold and windy!

Glacier Park Lodge is located on the east side of GNP. The gardens are beautiful, and the lodge has been carefully maintained to its original condition.
We waited inside of the lodge, killing time until our shuttle van came to pick us up. There is a restaurant and a bar/lounge, plus a gift shop. A pool is out back....but who needs it?

The view from the back of Glacier Park Lodge

Winds were gusting to 50mph that day

This is Two Medicine Lake, trailhead for our 6.8 mile hike.

This is Two Medicine Lake, located in the southeast corner of Glacier National Park.

Our hike today took us through bogs and meadows. The only wildlife we saw was a beaver, but that's ok.....we made lots of noise for the bears.
This bridge was missing a few slats; but check out the movie below to see who crossed it.

A bridge goes over it......

I think I've mastered suspension bridges. The key is to keep a low profile, and go fast.

We reached our destination ....Rockwell Falls. We quickly had a pbj, and headed back; it was starting to rain.

Bears in the woods

Heading home to Whitefish at the end of the day....

Our scheduled departure time was 6:45. But, the train was a little late. We ended up leaving for home at 8pm. We're told Amtrak is late 80% of the time. Oh well, it was fun anyway.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday night, and the beach is empty......

We walked down to the beach for our usual nightly cigarette butt pickup, and the beach was unusually deserted. The wind had really come up, and the waves were choppy. Weather conditions can change quickly here in Montana.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First wedding at Les Mason State Park

The scene of the event, to take place later in the day, is being guarded by host Darrell. 3 tables to guard until 4pm when the wedding starts. No pix of the ceremony, but a good time was had by all.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Fourth of July on Whitefish Lake

Over at Whitefish public beach, the show begins....they haul the fireworks out to the middle of the lake on a barge.

By 10:30, the rain has cleared, and the show begins. Neighbors all along the lake make their contributions to the light show.

Fourth of July dawns, but no visitors come. It rains off and on all day, with temps in the 50's.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Driving along the reservoir road, we came across an osprey nest and some Indian Paintbrush.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

This beautiful reservoir runs for 80 miles! We had no idea. We drove along the road running around it for a while, and came upon some beautiful campgrounds. They're US Forest Service, with few amenities, but the view makes up for that.

This is the Hungry Horse dam and reservoir, located about 10 miles west of Glacier National Park. We had been meaning to see it, but never had time. We were really surprised at its size (the largest dam in Montana). It is part of the Columbia River Project, and was built to help prevent recurring spring flooding on the Flathead and Columbia Rivers.