Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall larch tour at its colorful best

A maple leaf turned golden near Swan Lake 
Gold everywhere on Swan Lake

Middle Fork Flathead color 
Golden larch spring up in North Fork Flathead country's Roberts Fire (2003)
It's the shoulder season and I've been dormant, enabled by the baseball playoffs which have kept me tethered to my couch.
We finally got out last weekend to enjoy the larch on the west side of the mountains and managed to hit the peak of the colors.
Answering a Tribune display add from the Laughing Horse Resort in Swan Lake, we stayed there two nights and ventured into Glacier Park two days.  The food at the resort restaurant is over the top delicious gourmet. On Saturday night Rob Quist (late of Mission Mountain Wood Band fame) performed with his son Guthrie after dinner.  It was a perfect weekend there.
The larch, cottonwoods, birch and aspen were at their colorful best.
In Glacier we hit the North Fork of the Flathead, Bowman Lake and the Polebridge Mercantile on Saturday.
On Sunday it was Lake McDonald to Avalanche Campground where the Going to the Sun Road is closed for the season.
While we traveled to the Swan via Seeley Lake, we headed back to Great Falls along the Middle Fork of the Flathead, which I thought was more luminous, stopping for lunch at the Izack Walton Inn at Essex.
Our hikes were short because the weather was rainy and my wife sick with a head cold.
I suspect there's at least another week of gorgeous West-side color left.
I'd encourage the trip.

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