Thursday, March 1, 2018

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

Now that we have closed on the house, I have a little more time to write these Blogs.  We still are very busy trying to chose all the things that go into building a house.  I have not counted them all but I think the number is somewhere between 1.2 and 1.3 Million!  Could be more, I just can't count that high.  Really, after I have used my fingers and toes, math becomes too complex!  Anyway more than 20 of anything is excess!

To start from where we left off in Part II, we were on our way back from Maria's Pass on US-2.  We had just stopped to photograph the Goat Lick and headed on West toward West Glacier when we crossed the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Out here in Montana, the early settlers were too busy surviving to worry about naming things. The Flathead River is formed by three Rivers coming together, and instead of naming each one, they just called them the South Fork, Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead.  They must have been preoccupied with Forks!  They even named a town Bigfork!

Debbie took this photo of the windswept landscape.  Stark, cold, ripples of windblown snow and snow blowing around the trees and on the horizon give this an ethereal look.  To us, it is Beautiful!

As we crossed the Middle Fork of the Flathead at Essex, the view of the River was just too compelling to pass up.  We like the scenes with Rivers in them, they just add a lot to the landscape.

Looking down at the River from the bridge shows how clear the water is out here. Notice the ice floating on the water.  The Rivers and large lakes don't often freeze over out here.  Some places where the Rivers are wide and the water is moving slower, will freeze over.

Cold Clear Water of the Flathead

Ice Patterns along the Flathead
This view always reminds us of Christmas as the Mountain is named Mount Saint Nicholas.  This forest was burned over in 2003, which was the first year that Debbie and I came out here for an art workshop. Notice all the new growth.

Mount Saint Nicholas framed between burnt trees from the 2003 fire.

Just another view of Mount Saint Nicholas
Continuing on toward West Glacier, the scenery is breathtaking with views of Cloudcroft Peaks above Threetops Mountain.

As we got closer to West Glacier the road  goes through a narrow gorge and on the mountainsides across the valley we saw Deer browsing on twigs.  As we blow these images up on our screen the mountainside is just covered with zigzag trails made by the Deer as they wander looking for that Delicious Twig!   There are at least 5 Deer in this photo and probably more behind some of the trees.

After a beautiful day of photographing the snow covered mountains, as we had time to do some Snowshoeing in Glacier National Park.  The trails are awesome!  Our trail took us along McDonald Creek.  Although the snow was inviting to walk over to the edge and look down into the Creek, we knew that it was simply an overhang of snow and a couple of steps toward the Creek would have ended up with us getting very wet!  So, we followed the trail fighting the urge to step over there!

Laurie along McDonald Creek

McDonald Creek

Edward's Mountain and Mount Brown from our trail.
The Snowshoe trail continued on through the woods looping around and back to the car. The scenery all along the trail is awesome.

Awesome views in the woods

Lichens add color and texture to the landscape

Debbie and Laurie in an open area along the trail
Animal tracks investigating a beaver entrance to the lake below.
We ended our day of photographing and Snowshoeing and headed for Mackenzie River Pizza Co. for some excellent food.

The next morning Laurie wanted to try Cross Country Skiing, and so did we!  So, off to Whitefish to take a  lesson, as none of us had been on Cross Country Skis before.  No cameras with us as we knew we would spend some time on the snow below!  But after skiing and being the first off the course, I got my camera and was able to get a couple of snapshots of Laurie coming back to the Clubhouse.

Was that big smile because she was having fun or that she was getting back to the Clubhouse without any broken parts!  I was nice to not take any snapshots of her backside, as it was snow covered!  We all fell some, Debbie very little, Laurie a few more times, and I was on my feet at least 50% of the time!  I lost track of how many times I fell, but by doing so, I got quite good at getting up!

We ended our day at Glacier NP photographing sundown at Lake McDonald.  The Scenes were awesome.

We are still not sure if these big smiles were because she was enjoying herself or if she was excited to go home the next day and rest up!  We think she was  'enjoying herself' and we are going to think that until she tells us differently!

We enjoyed Laurie's visit eminently!

Joey and Debbie

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