Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Well, as promised, here is Part II........

I have been a bit delayed on this as we have been having a lot of meetings with our Contractor, the Construction Dept. at the Bank and the Loan  Department.  Anyway we closed on the House today!  In Montana, you close on the house BEFORE it is built, so different for us.  Even though there are a lot of meetings and shopping for carpet, tile, floors of all kinds, plumbing, electrical lighting, the list goes on and on, I do hope to get some more blogs written.  But we are enjoying it the whole process!

Before we get started, here are a couple of photos that Debbie took on our trip to Blacktail Lodge on Sunday afternoon.  What a beautiful drive!  We also went Snowshoeing at Glacier National Park Sunday afternoon/evening and it was awesome!

Monday started out as a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky!  So, we decided to drive across US-2 to the East side of Glacier National Park.  Laurie, as well as Debbie and I, wanted to see the snow-covered mountains that we saw in the Summer when we made trips to Rising Wolf Ranch.  This route takes us between Glacier NP on the North and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex on the South to Marias Pass and on to the small town of East Glacier Park.  Lewis & Clark came close to finding Marias Pass but were interrupted at each attempt and crossed the Bitterroot Mountains, a very difficult route.  Had they found the Marias Pass, I think it would have shortened their expedition and made it much easier as Marias Pass is the lowest pass on the Continental Divide at just 5,213 feet.   Marias Pass was not recorded until the Surveyor for the Great Northern Railroad, John Frank Stevens, found the Pass in 1889, over 80 years after the Lewis & Clark expedition.

Upon arriving at Marias Pass, we found the scenery totally awesome, Little Dog Mountain, at 8610 feet, is directly across US-2 from Marias Pass and Summit Mountain, at 8770 feet, is just North of the Pass.  These Mountains top out at about 3,400 feet above where we are standing.  Elk Mountain is just Southwest of Little Dog Mt.

We talk about 'if you go anywhere in NW Montana, you take US-2' the ONLY road East - West this area is US-2 through Marias Pass.  The closest road to go East - West from the Plains of Montana to Idaho, is Montana 200, which is over 100 miles South of Marias Pass.

Little Dog Mt center and Summit Mt right

Elk Mountain
Skeleton Mountain is much lower and does not show up on most maps.  It is the ridge between Summit Mountain and Calf Robe Mountain, but to us it is Awesome as this is the view coming out of the driveway that leads back to Rising Wolf Ranch.  The straight line along the upper part of the ridge is the Lewis Thrust Fault.  If you are interested in Geology, you might click on this link and read more about it.  Keep in mind, much of the study of Geology is based on theories, so keep an open mind about how and when Geological  Events happened.  But Geology is a very interesting science for me!

Skeleton Mountain
Calf Robe Mountain
The ridge between Red Crow Mt and Bearhead Mt.
Calf Robe Mountain is just North of Skeleton Mountain.  It looks very different in Winter compared to Summer.  Just to compare the difference in Summer and Winter, here is a photo from this area looking Southwest to Summit Mountain.  Little Dog Mt is left, Summit Mt just right of center and Skeleton Mt is at the far right.

We continued on to East Glacier Park and Debbie took a few photos of the East Glacier Park Lodge covered in snow.  It is closed for the Winter, but if you visit this area in the Summer months, this is a Must See place!

East Glacier Park Lodge with the Peak of Dancing Lady Mountain behind it

Just on the outskirts of East Glacier Park the Mountains are awesome.  This is a photo of Dancing Lady Mountain.  The 'Old Squaw' shows up well in the snow.  It is a huge column of Argillite Rock that looks like a person from a distance, but it is more than 100 feet high.

Dancing Lady Mt 

Dancing Lady Mt, Bearhead Mt and Scenic Point Mt
Calf Robe Mt and Dancing Lady Mt
Next was Lunch at a small restaurant in East Glacier Park.  The town only has a few businesses and thankfully the restaurant was open.  After lunch we headed back on US-2 toward West Glacier.  To show some of the equipment they use here for snow removal we added this photo.

They use large road graders with blades and huge front loaders besides their normal snow trucks.  It does not take them long to clear a lot of roads here being they are out at the 'first flake' and have a lot of equipment.

Notice the snow cap!  Ready for an avalanche?
Going down through Marias Pass this is looking up toward Snowslip Mountain and Running Rabbit Mountain.  We are too close to the Mountains to see the Peaks.  Continuing on our way toward West Glacier we stopped at the Goat Lick.  At different times of the year, the Mountain Goats come down here from the high cliffs of the Mountains in Glacier NP and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to these almost vertical cliffs to lick the salts that seep from the cracks and crevices.  The section to the right, now with a huge amount of snow piled at the bottom out into the Middle Fork of the Flathead River is sometimes covered with Goats.  There may be two or three dozen or more at one time seen on this cliff.

Since I have waited so long to get this one together, I am going to end it here and do a Part III.  Don't hold your breath, but I should have it in place in a few days, so check back!

Thank you for reading these.  I hope you have enjoyed them.  Joe

P.S.  Debbie has not had time to 'edit' this blog, so blame me for any goofs, you may find several.

1 comment:

  1. SOOOO beautiful in the winter. I think we may have to make a visit this time of year. I recognize some of the mountains you've photographed. But I've only seen them in Spring time. Congratulations on your closing. Can't wait to see the progress. Hugs!!