Glacier National Park, Montana
June 19, through June 24, 2006

Traveling through Wyoming and Montana, we are stunned by the green around us.  The prairies are lush, pronghorn antelope everywhere. Lewistown, center of the state, is very beautiful country, and it has gold around.  We will return to this place.  Our goal is Glacier National Park, Montana.  This fantastic backyard photo is from our home parked at Two Medicine Lake campground.  Montana really is "Big Sky Country".  When driving here the flat prairie becomes the near vertical mountain in the turn of the road. 

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Two Medicine Lake

Lake Saint Mary

Lake Saint Mary

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald

Two Medicine Lake

The park is filled with huge, deep lakes formed by glaciers, cold clear water feed by the moutain snows.  All of the water, the lakes, rivers and waterfalls, are colored topaz due to the ground up sediment suspended in it from glacier action.  Although the elevations are lower than the Rocky Mountains we are accustomed to in Colorado, the sheer elevations and vertical walls above the valley floor are amazing.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road cuts across the continental divide, and opened for the first of this season Friday at 4PM.  There is a width limit of 8 feet on this road and the Mighty 350 is too wide for travel.  We booked a trip for Saturday morning on the "Red Bus", a 1937 White 17 passenger, open top bus, rebuilt by Ford on an F450 chassis with a natural gas powered V-8.  This road is the only road in the U.S. designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a  National Civil Engineering Landmark.  This road is very much like Independence Pass outside of Aspen and Leadville back home in Colorado.  Our trip was to the summit and back, lots of snow at the summit!  David enjoyed gawking at the scenery, and not driving.




The weather has been very cooperative, the rain stopped our second day in the park.  All the waterfall features are running the snowment and rain downhill in three different basins.  In these mountains a drop of rain can end up in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Hudson Bay.

This is a picture of the McDonald Valley from high up on the Sun Road.







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View at the summit.

Lots if snow!

McDonald Valley

Water and ice have played major roles in the development of this mountain country.  Waterfalls are beautiful, and with the spring rains, we get to see them in their splendor.  Some require hikes and some are just off the road waiting.  We even took an antique boat across Two Medicine Lake to reach Twin Falls.

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Silver Staircase Falls

Running Eagle Falls

Twin Falls (right)

Twin Falls (left)

Wildlife is also plentiful about this country.  The campgrounds warn of bears and allow nothing to be stored outside.  On the southern end of the park, there is a place called Goat Lick.  The mountain goats come here to eat a mineral found in this area.  It is a blast watching these nimble animals frolic around on vertical cliff faces.  Even the little ones can keep up with the others.

The deer, both whitetail and mule, seem tame and have walked up to us on sereral occations.  We have not seen them, but there are also Lynx, Mountain Lion, Moose, Elk, and Bighorn Sheep in the park as well. 





Plants are different here as well.  There are ferns in the forest, and giant ceader pine trees.  Flowers are everywhere, including this species called Beargrass, no, the bears do not eat them.


We took a hike to Avalance Lake.  This hike is two miles to the lake, and another 3/4 to the inlet, gaining 500 feet elevation.  The lake and valley it was in is beautiful, but the fishing was not so good.  Here is David resting inside a long dead Cedar Tree trunk and beating the water with the pole.






There are at least six waterfalls feeding this lake from high above, and the common topaz tint to the water. 





Avalanche Lake

We end the month of June and the 4th of July camped on Golden Back Achers, a GPAA gold claim at Libby, Montana.  Libby Creek flows just behind the camp, bears and other forest creatures abound, and we even found a little bit of gold.


Here is the rig in Libby, parked under one big eagle!






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