Tag Archives: landscape

West Glacier National Park, Montana

Farm Montana

My journey to West Glacier National Park did not start out as I had planned. Less than two hours into the trip, I encountered snow and strong winds. There were travel advisories out, especially in the direction I was heading. Hearing the travel advisories only 2 hours into a 12 hour trip, I debated about turning around and cancelling. That thought would come again as the time passed.

During the journey, I struggled to see the road, was unsure if I was even on the road, and had to slow to an almost crawl in order to prevent spinning out. Almost no one was out, save for some power crews who gave me a thumbs up and smile as they traveled in the opposite direction. I am not sure if their thumbs up and smile was to say, “good job dumbass for being on the road in this white out”, or, “way to go for having the balls to get out in this shit”. They either thought I was extremely mad, or extremely brave, or maybe even bravely mad. Regardless, it was good to pass them occasionally on the otherwise human-less journey.

The trip ended up being about 2-3 hours more than originally planned because of the weather, but it eventually cleared or maybe I had just driven through it, and when I saw the mountain peaks off in the distance I knew it was going to be worth the obstacles.

The tiredness and stress from the trip disappeared as the sky cleared and I entered what was going to be my stomping grounds for the next few days.

As soon as I was crossing one of the bridges, I spotted this remarkable barn. It was postcard perfect and I couldn’t resist coming to a stop and jumping out of the car to snap a few shots of it.

Farm Montana

 

The scenery that was to follow was just as beautiful and I oohhh’d and ahhh’d the entire way to the lodge. I wasn’t disappointed when I checked into the inviting West Glacier Lodge with its comfortable bed and warmth against the cold. The hot shower after the long drive was magnificent. I don’t know if it was from the stressful drive, the beauty around me, exhaustion or what but I cried the first night and sank into the big bed to drift off to sleep.

I stayed at Glacier Outdoor Lodge. Beautiful view, great room, and relaxing atmosphere.

One day, I ventured out of the park down an old back road and happened upon a unique store, Home Ranch Bottoms, that is “off the grid” in Polebridge, Montana. The owner was out changing batteries (that’s where their electricity comes from) and offered to open the gift shop store for me. Even with no electricity, I wandered through and found some gifts to send back to some of my Florida family. The owner was pleasant and gracious even though I had interrupted his chores. I’ll definitely revisit the store on my next trip.

Great little place to spend some time and unwind.
Home Ranch Bottoms
Home Ranch Bottoms BBQ. Wasn’t done when I got there. Maybe I’ll get the chance to try it on my return trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the next few days, I discovered nothing but spectacular beauty, experienced a relaxation difficult to find, discovered a magic I did not know existed, and lavished in Mother Earth’s wonders.

After this trip, I decided to add this to my “must do destinations”. It was simply one of the most refreshing and wonderful trips I had in a while and I am looking forward to going back!

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Minot, North Dakota

The first day of the New Year found me in frigid, snow-covered Minot, North Dakota. I travelled here on another assignment during the last week of December. I wasn’t prepared to be snowed in the facility on Christmas, but I was.

Between working evenings and nights with very little time off and the weather, I haven’t seen much of this city yet. We did recently have a warming trend with temps in the high 20s and I happened to be off a day to take advantage of the sunlight.

The park I found was all but deserted on the day I ventured out. The sun was bright and felt good soaking through the layers of clothes I had on. I got as close to the frozen river as possible to take a few pictures, even venturing out on it a few steps. I had to remind myself that I was alone and the dangers of walking on unknown ground, or water, in this case, was risky.

Deciding to return to the path, I just enjoyed the solitude and beauty around me. I was amazed at the depth of the snow. The benches and picnic tables were almost buried. I guess you could get to them if you didn’t mind wading through snow up to the butt. I chose not to do it and stuck with the cleared pathways.

The glittery snow mesmerised me. I loved how it sparkled like diamond chips when the light hit it. Every time I see it now, I think the angels must surely cry diamond chips.

I did see a bird, a nuthatch I think, flittering from tree limb to tree limb between posing for the camera. He was pretty swift in his movements. His ground companion was a squirrel. They both took turns eating from a pile of seeds someone had left for them. Otherwise, I saw no other creatures.

All in all, it was a decent outing even if I couldn’t stay out as long as intended. It felt good to be able to get some fresh air and experience the winter like I never have.

Stay tuned for the next stop at the local Scandinavian Park…

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