Sunday, July 15, 2007
Back from our "Holidays"
It really had been my intention to send little posts along the way but discovered that the RockyMountains, in many areas, interfere with internet signals and we couldn't get connected. So this will have to be a retrospective of a magnificent trip through Washington and Idaho to Montana and Glacier National Park. Having never been, I was delighted and overwhelmed with what nature has managed to do. And bless the National Park Service for their efforts to maintain what is there. But back to the beginning: the Columbia River cuts a wide swath through central Washington at the Vantage Bridge. We drove on through the eastern Washington Palouse country and spent the night in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
The next morning we headed east into Montana and then north past Flathead Lake. Wow was that beautiful. We spent the night in Kalispell and then began our Glacier Park Adventure the next day. We drove around the south side of the park and met our family in St. Mary's on the East side of the park. The eastern and western sides of the park are very different, but what I found most unusual was that there are virtually no foothills into these mountains. You have rolling plains then you have mountains. The Going to the Sun Highway [THE road across and through the park] had been closed all winter because of the large amount of snow and subsequent road damage and only opened the day we arrived.
Because it was still "early" in the park season, all the flowers were blooming, the waterfalls were roaring with snow melt and everything was still green. Over the summer it will dry out and much will become brown. We hiked, looked for animals, tried macro-photography and generally had a fabulous time. During our time there we saw: moose, elk, bear, mountain goats, long-horned sheep, pika's, marmots, squirrels, chipmonks, beaver, geese and ducks. We got a full zoological exposure - but all at arm's length (as it's supposed to be). Forest fires are a big threat and there was one while we were there in the very southern part of the park. Because it was hot and windy, it made containing the fire even more difficult - they don't try to put them out, only contain them. More adventures to follow, but needless to say, it was a great treat to be able to go and we couldn't encourage you more to go yourselves. All ages, all abilities - a magnificent place to visit.
P.S. I did take the mat and cutter and got quite a few I Spy hexagons cut out (on a picnic table in the KOA park.) No one said anything - I wonder what they thought I was doing?