Monday, July 23, 2012

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FAMILY REUNION

Our third year of park hosting at Les Mason State Park in Whitefish, Montana, finds us receiving more and more visits from friends and relatives, which we love.  This year, it was Darrell's cousin Dick's 70th birthday, and he got to choose where they would go. Dick and his wife, Marcia, and their daughter, Robyn, her husband Matt, and their son, Noah, all flew up to Spokane, and drove over to Whitefish to spend about a week. At the same time, Eric and his girlfriend, Pam, and our 2 grandsons, Will and Tyler, drove out to visit as well.  With Amber already living in Kalispell, that made this quite a family reunion.  We tried to show as much of the area highlights to them all in one week as we could.  Of course, you have to figure in rain, heat, and mudslides in Glacier National Park.  But, we sure did have a good time reconnecting.  So good to have both our kids near us!

RIDE LIKE THE WIND AND SCREAM LIKE A GIRL!

 Among the many summer activities on Big Mountain (including a zipline), there is the alpine slide.  A quarter mile of hair raising turns and dips.  All of the non-sissies gave it a try (that means I didn't).  I did ride an open gondola up to the top, however, so that's crossed off my list!  Woo hoo!
 Darrell, Matt and Noah ride back up for another run.
 Darrell, Melinda, Tyler and Noah at the top of Big Mountain.
 Darrell prepares his leaning strategy.
Will and Tyler are speed demons!

A RAINY DAY RIDE TO EAST GLACIER AND TWO MEDICINE

 A rainy day kept us from going up to see Logan Pass, so we drove to East Glacier to see the sights.  First stop was a beautiful waterfall along the way, where Dick and Marcia, Darrell's cousin and wife, posed for us.
 Inside East Glacier Lodge, we stopped for lunch.  Circa 1910, the building has been well preserved.
 Wolf Mountain is shrouded in clouds as it towers over Two Medicine Lake.  Lots of hikes in this area, plus a wooden boat takes you across the lake for a naturalist-guided hike. 

We stopped at Goat Lick, where the mountain goats gather to lick the mineral-filled rocks.

BIG WATER ON THE MIDDLE FORK

 On Monday, the weather cooperated, and we all went on a whitewater raft trip on the middle fork of the Flathead River.  So, starting with back row, l-r, we have Dick, Marcia, Eric, then Melinda, Tyler, Robyn, then Pam, Will, Amber, then Darrell, Noah, Matt.  That's the entire group, and did we have fun!  The guy in the back with the hat is our guide.....well, I had my doubts, but we made it safely through.  He said it was his 21st birthday, and was wearing his "birthday" suit. 

Not everyone is pictured here, but this is the deck of the condo the Greenley's and Darling's rented.  We made it simple....2nd Street Pizza!

MORNING HIKE ON WHITEFISH TRAIL

Tyler, Will and Luna did really well on this 3 mile hike....they're pretty new to hiking.

ONE FISH AND A TACKLEBOX OF GEAR LATER....


Will proudly displays the only fish caught in an afternoon filled with a little rain and lots of patience on all three boys' part.  Darrell was the commander in chief.

BACK AT LES MASON CAMP


Above, Luna and Darrell try out paddleboarding, and the group chows down on lots of food, to be followed by s'mores around the campfire.

HIKE TO AVALANCHE LAKE

 Tyler cools his head in the lake
We made it!  l-r Robyn, Marcia, Amber, Dick, Melinda, Darrell. Front row, l-r Noah, Will, Tyler.

OTHER THINGS MAY CHANGE US, BUT WE START AND END WITH THE FAMILY. Anthony Brandt

Amber and Kent


















 Eric and Pam

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SWAN RIVER "WILD MILE"

Darrell and I had seen a snippet in the newspaper about an event in Big Fork, every Wednesday in July and August, where they open the floodgates up the Swan River, and kayakers can practice in the whitewater.  They weren't very specific about where to go for the best view of this, so we kind of winged it.  After hiking around a while, we finally decided we had found the viewing spot, a couple of rocks downriver from the falls.
In May, there is a weekend event where all the kayakers compete with official judging.....we were on duty at the park, and it rained, so......didn't get to that one.
Not too many boaters dropped in, but it was fun finding it and dipping our feet in the river on a really hot day.
This Osprey nest has the perfect spot by the river.
 Really short kayaks maneuver much better in this whitewater.

video
Videography is not my thing.  That being said, please excuse the fast pans, and bumpy close-ups.  And, of course, right when I wanted to say the bird's name, my mind went blank.  When I asked Darrell, sitting behind me, the name of the bird, he thought I said the name of the river.  What a comedy of errors!  I need brain help, he needs a hearing aid.....

Monday, July 09, 2012

CUTTHROAT TROUT FROM WHITEFISH LAKE

Here you see one of the best anglers we have coming to the lake.  He's been coming since we got here in May, and when he does, he always leaves with a catch to be proud of.  Here he holds a Cutthroat Trout, a native species to Montana. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

URBANITE REPURPOSED

video

We went and picked up really big chunks of concrete (urbanite) at a place Amber had found.  It's free, and will form walkways and a patio when we are done.  Also, it's earth friendly, cause we are using old stuff for a new purpose.  That being said, here is how the awesome hydraulic lift trailer worked. 
Thank you, Gary!!!!

Friday, July 06, 2012




Above you can see that we really utilized the hydraulic lift trailer we borrowed from one of the FWP guys.  Here you can see the path that is dug down....first layer gravel, next layer sand, then the urbanite, then pea gravel around the pavement.  This is for drainage, and stability of the walkway so it doesn't crack or buckle.  Might as well do it right the first time!

MULLET OR MOHAWKS?

The fourth of July found us on duty at the park.....but, Amber and some friends came over for a campfire cookout, and to watch the fireworks shot off from City Beach, at the south end of the lake.  This is Kent, Amber's boyfriend, who, quiet and retiring as he is, surprised us with a little addition to his hat. He was sporting a mullet of sorts for the festivities.  If you look closely, you can see his two dogs, Mukwa and Sammie, to whom he has just given summer haircuts....always leaves a mohawk, perhaps to be different?