Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Northwest Montana mini vacation

Alpine flowers in profusion on Rogers Pass
This beaver put on quite a show on Seeley Lake
Holland Lake gushes spring melt
This black bear shows his profile on Going to Sun Road in Glacier
Katie on Scenic Point Trail looking toward Rising Wolf Mountain
We did a whirlwind tour of Northwest Montana that included a couple days checking out the snow conditions in Glacier Park, a swing to the West side that included Whitefish Farmers Market, the towns of Eureka, Bigfork and Seeley Lake and a check on the alpine flowers on the Continental Divide Trail above Rogers Pass.
The Glacier snowpack made getting around the park difficult, although we took a short hike up the Scenic Point Trail and another up the Swiftcurrent Valley on the East side.  On the West side we walked to Howe Ridge on the Trout Lake Trail at the head of Lake McDonald.  That hike gave me ideas about how to get up Stanton Peak, a trip I'll make later this summer.
On the East side the Going to the Sun Road was blocked at Jackson Overlook;  on the West side, at Avalanche.
We toured the North Fork of the Flathead Road, something I hadn't done in years to see the extent of the flooding along that river.  It was raging and over the banks in many spots.  We had a visit to the charming Polebridge Mercantile and Dirty Shame Saloon before heading out of the park.
The East side of the park seemed deserted because so many trails aren't open yet.  The West side was a tad more busy.
The Whitefish Farmers Market was much larger than we had expected and we were blown away by all the local fresh produce.
On the way home we stopped at the Holland Lake Lodge and walked up to the waterfall at the end of the lake.
Then at our Continental Divide Trail stop we were thrilled to see that the wildflowers had benefited from all the moisture and particularly, the forget me nots were blooming in profusion.

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