Friday, June 29, 2012


Amber gave Darrell a book for his birthday with hikes to take your dogs on in Montana.  We took advantage of the nice day to explore a nearby hike, and it was ....nice, but not spectacular..we are spoiled being near Glacier.  It was a nice, easy hike to take Luna on, and we all got some good exercise.
Darrell and Luna pause along the road.


 Luna helps Darrell dig in Amber's yard.  Above, she and Darrell enjoy their own special ice cream at Sweet Peaks Ice Cream shop in Whitefish.   Darrell had chocolate love, and Luna had doggie ice cream with chicken, peanut butter, beef, and some other disgusting combination.  She loved it.
Cousin Bella comes as often as she can to play at the lake.  Can hardly tell them apart.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


This morning, I visited with some fishermen who had caught 6 of these lake trout so far, all of them at least 18 inches or more.  They caught one that was 32 inches, threw it back.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Today we combined a couple of trips, one was to pick up some plants from Amber's friend in Missoula, the other was to visit Garnet Ghost Town, not too far from Missoula.

Our first stop was to a friend and co-worker of Amber's.  She's at the point in her landscaping project where she needs plants, and has been getting advice and inspiration from her friend, David, who is also a fish biologist, in addition to gardener extraordinaire, bird watcher, naturalist, and anything else earth-friendly that you can think of.  And, his wife is a botanist.  David thinned out some of his plants, all of which are native plants, and potted them, leaving them on his back doorstep for Amber.

In his spare time (?) David gives classes at the Montana Natural History Center, and maintains a blog at Amazing things he has done with his yard.  He has used recycled sidewalk to make the walkways through his garden, which he describes in detail on his blog.
After taking lots of pictures and loading up the plants, we embarked on our second adventure of the day.

An urbanite walkway leads to the backyard, where plants native to Montana proliferate.  There is a surprise around every corner!
(urbanite is the term used for busted up sidewalks, or any flat cement surface someone doesn't want....but earth-friendly gardeners want it!)
 I think the red thing is a bat house....just guessing. There are a couple of rainwater barrels on the property.
 This cute phone booth-like structure houses garden tools.
Inside is a potting sink.
A greenhouse comes in handy for early starts here in Montana, where the summers are short.

The yard consists of several "rooms"
A few raised beds provide room for the vegetable garden.

A relaxing haven in the far corner of the yard....perhaps a getaway?


  We took the south road from I90, because on the map it said scenic byway. It was scenic, but also not such a good road.  Before we knew it, we had gone 8 miles and had a flat.  Oh well, we were calling this an adveture, and it turned out to be!

Originally named Mitchell, after one of its founders, this 1895 era town was renamed Garnet, probably after the mountain range it is found in. After the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1895, miners turned their attention from silver to gold.
 This cabin was built later on, in 1949, but was never occupied.  It now houses staff.
 Kelley's Saloon was one of the 13 bars in Garnet during the boom period that offered "male orientated" entertainment.
Built in about 1898, this store sold dry goods, shoes, jewelry, canned goods, meat, and had an office that weighed gold.  One-stop shopping!
This was the J.K. Wells Hotel, built in 1897.  It was said to be equal to the most luxurious buildings in Helena.
Though the doors were locked, I peeked through the glass with my kind of a glimpse into the dining area.
This was an example of the drilling method in some of the mines nearby

One of the many outhouses dotting the landscape, a necessary part of life.  I just kept thinking about those cold Montana nights! brrrrrr
 We were able to go inside one of the homes, a two room log cabin.  What I noticed was the excellent condition of the floors! 

On our way back, on the good road, we went past what used to be a traveler's rest....a halfway point between Missoula and Garnet, where the stagecoach could stop.

Friday, June 15, 2012


We found this little known place in the Montana brochure that we give away here at the park.  So, on a day of predicted rain, we went exploring.  This is at the southwest corner of Flathead Lake, and is the drainage point to the Flathead River, as it continues its journey all over Montana.  The dam is 206 feet high, and is quite impressive when the spillway is running at full capacity. 

This power plant provides power to 125,000 homes, has 3 generators, and was built in the 1930's.
From the parking lot, we walked along a catwalk to reach the power plant. On the way, a truck drove by, we said hi, and Darrell asked if there was any chance of getting a tour.  They said "sure!", so we got a private tour of the inside of the power plant.  They even let us bring Luna....but no pictures, due to security issues.
From the platform of the power station, we look north at the Flathead River, which now flows north to meet up with the Clark Fork near Thompson Falls.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Having lived in Minnesota for so many years, we have learned to make hay while the sun shines!  Today we took Luna on her first hike over at Whitefish Trail.  The city just finished the trail system last year, and it's for hikers, bikers and horses.  We got Luna a pack to carry her water, and it is working out well; needs a little adjusting, but that's what the hike was all about. 
After that, we grabbed lunch, took her to a dog park, came back home, took her for a swim, then cleaned the shoreline of a bunch of debris that has been washing up.
And she went for another swim! 
As we were cleaning the shore, a couple came down and we got to talking to them.  He is a Jammer Driver...the red Jammer cars that take tours all over Glacier.  He informed us that his father is Jammer Joe, a famous Jammer in the park.  The guy we talked to also goes south in the Antarctica, to drive shuttles there! 
People from all walks of life drift through Les Mason, it seems...I'm waiting for Johnny Depp!  Hey, ya never know! :)
It was a quiet, rainy Sunday at the park, no visitors to speak of....until this guy arrived on the back of his owner's 1ton truck with a crane.  The artist and his wife are from Couer D'Alene, and had picked Mr. Bear up in Big Sky, were touring him around a bit to hopefully find a buyer.  I must say, this made more of an impression than a picture on a website!  We meet the most interesting people on this job.......

Friday, June 08, 2012

 Just a week ago, the ski runs on Big Mountain were bare, but we had a significant storm come through, and it made things all pretty again!
Here is the swim dock, given a little repair and care, almost good as new.  The kids really enjoy it.
 Amber's landscaping project is coming along....our latest push has been to get the 2 piles of discarded sod and dirt off her driveway.  Gotta wait for the rain to let up!

We explored the area one day, driving down to Lakeside, and from there, up to Blacktail ski area.  There was a great view of the Mission Mountains, and Flathead Lake in the foreground.