Two Medicine

24 Jun

On Tuesday, I decided to go up to the Marias Pass to do email and pay bills. Then we went on into East Glacier Park Village to fuel up and drive out to the Two Medicine access to Glacier NP. Some of the most beautiful aspects of the park are visible on the road in. I had planned to take a walk on the nature trail down to the river and waterfall and perhaps another on  However, every area of the park is overflowing with tourists and no parking is available at any of the normal stops where one can access the hiking trails. Bearing in mind that this is the earliest in the season that I’ve visited, I’m happy that the park is drawing so many visitors, but I will likely choose not to visit again – just plain too crowded.

I will share a few pictures from previous visits to Two Medicine:

Lower Two Medicine Lake…

Running Eagle Falls at end of nature trail…

Mushroom near Running Eagle.

Sunday Drive

20 Jun

The weather here at Glacier Meadow is still chilly, windy, and dousing us with occasional rain. So we spent most of the day driving to some of my favorite places in the area: Chief Mountain, Glacier Edge Café in Babb, and the Many Glacier access to Glacier National Park. The drive included a stop at Marias Pass where I picked up and, where necessary, responded to two days’ email, and then back through East Glacier Park Village, Browning, and St. Mary.

Despite the weather and being early in the travel season, the area is already very busy with tourists. I did a little shopping at the park gift shop, a book to read and a jigsaw puzzle; then on the way back out of the park we came upon stopped cars. Why? A beautiful black bear was moseying across the hill alongside the highway. Pippy, as has become her habit, watched the new creature intently and remained very quiet. Unfortunately, he turned into the woods and disappeared before I could put the vehicle in park and grab the camera – maybe another day.

I have been noticing a large number of beautiful, white flowering plants in the area and, as luck would have it, the Hungry Horse newspaper at the café where I ate lunch had an article identifying the plant. It’s called bear grass. However, it really isn’t a grass and bears don’t eat it although they do sometimes use the plant to line their dens. The profuse blooms of this year are attributed to the plentiful snow pack and a wet spring. The plants often occur in areas where the forest has burned. Finding a spot to pull off and photograph bear grass was an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain View to Glacier Meadow

18 Jun

After two nights at Mountain View RV Park outside Choteau, we headed out this morning for Glacier Meadow Campground just south of Glacier National Park on Highway 2. Pippy thoroughly enjoyed Mountain View; she met a neat male friend named Beaumont. They played just once; his daddy is working in the area as are most of the folks staying there. We were able to take some nice walks including a long section of a Choteau walking trail courtesy of the local Optimist Club. The campground and surrounding areas are populated by scores of gophers so Pippy enjoyed kneeling with her nose plugged into their holes huffing and puffing and hoping to flush one out.

With only one rough section of road construction on US 89, the trip was uneventful and beautiful. Just north of Dupuyer is perhaps to most beautiful rest area we’ve ever visited. Although it was windy and a bit chilly, we walked and explored the overnight scents for half an hour – well, actually Pippy is more into the scents than I am.

Onward to the Blackfoot Nation and Browning where I stopped for a few groceries and some puzzle books. Glacier Family Foods is an outstanding supermarket and a pleasure to shop in. With an onsite gas station, it’s one of my favorite businesses to patronize.

Knowing that we would be without internet, phone, and television for the coming week, I made a stop at Marias Pass; with beautiful views of the mountains and a nice hiking path up through the Lewis and Clark National Forest it has been a favorite stopping place for many years. I fixed some lunch and checked email; Pippy watched as folks with a horse trailer stopped and took their four-legged friend for a walk up the trail. Then it began to rain so we postponed our walk for another day.

Upon our arrival at Glacier Meadow and after hooking up utilities, Pippy had a chance to meet and run free with a similar sized and speed female called Kona. They’ll, hopefully, get another chance to play today or tomorrow.

15 Jun

Once again we are staying at familiar places in Montana before we choose whether to head directly for Washington or head to Canada and then to the coast. Yesterday, after days of cold, rain, and wind, we left Conestoga Campground shortly after six and stopped at the Branding Iron for breakfast, a wonderful veggie omelet with hash-browns. I actually saved the hash-browns and had them for breakfast today.

Having an appointment in Great Falls to get two new tires on the front, the morning drive was not at the usual leisurely pace but beautiful nevertheless. Our route up US 89 took us through Neihart in the Belt Mountains, past the sluice boxes, and back onto the prairies toward the snow-capped Rockies.

After a mere half-hour, the tires were on and I did a week’s worth of shopping at Walmart before heading for our current two-night stay at Mountain View in Choteau. At several points yesterday and today, I thought it was snowing…just the prolific cottonwoods doing their spring thing.

Tried several shots…the white just right of center is one of the ‘snowflakes’.

Mostly Weather

13 Jun

Here in White Sulphur Springs, MT, our experience this visit has mostly been about the weather. Colder than normal, windy, and rainy days have been the rule rather than the exception. And yesterday/last night Mother Nature outdid herself. Frightened by the continuing thunderstorms, Pippy quickly joined me in the sleeping loft where she spent the night. She ‘slept in’ thru my first cup of coffee this morning.

As daylight arrived we discovered that we had waterfront property! And the nearby mountains had received a new blanket of snow [down here in the flatlands temps dipped to 36]. If the clouds lift, I’ll try to get a picture.

In Montana Again

8 Jun

My goodness how time flies when we’re having fun. We left our home base in the Black Hills on May 31; an unusual morning rainbow bid us farewell. We headed north thru the Hills to Belle Fourche – ‘bell foosh’ – and turned west on US 212 to minimize the time we spent on the interstate. We spent a lovely, peaceful week at 7th Ranch Campground enjoying the broad views and expansive pastures in south central Montana. Pippy thoroughly enjoys off-leash runs in those pastures and frequently just stands or sits and stares at the wide-open vistas.

Here are some pictures from earlier stays:

 

 

 

 

 

On June 7, we drove northwest to White Sulphur Springs’ Conestoga Campground. We’ll spend a week here and I hope to get some outside chores done while enjoying the western flavor of the locale. Pictures on our way here and after arrival:

                       The Crazy Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thunderstorm coming…                                          A slight move to the right

 

A Little Winter

21 May

On Friday, I had an appointment in Rapid City, about 40 miles northeast of where we’re parked. Upon rising Friday morning, we were greeted with 3 – 4 inches of heavy wet snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By time to leave for Rapid, the roads were clear but wet and as we drove north the snow on the ground diminished to nothing. After the appointment and some shopping, we headed south on SD 79 to give us another opportunity to drive thru Custer State Park east to west. Pippy gets very excited as we turn toward the park on SD 36 and approach the Hills. She begins to scan in all directions looking for wildlife [for her that includes cows and horses].

With camera at the ready, we lucked out and got some pictures.

Two pronghorns…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A group of male bison, one of whom chose to scratch his head close to where we had pulled off…

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a wild turkey who criss-crossed the road seemingly communicating with his female partner on the left side.

 

 

 

 

Weather is gradually improving and looking more like spring…hooray!