Northern Montana–plains to mountains

3 Oct

How did it get to be October? Where has this year gone? In fact as I write we are celebrating  that 3 years ago today Robert had his last day at work before our adventures began, so, where have those 3 years gone? Another milestone we crossed this week was on our mileage, we clocked up our 40,000th mile…. haRVey chose a fairly un picturesque spot to do it but…..

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there is the proof. So 3 years and 40,000 miles and still so much to see.

As we crossed the north of Montana the vast plains stretched either side of the road, the harvest mostly gathered in the fields are golden and bare but make a striking contrast with blue sky

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You can see the trains coming for miles the colour full containers stringing across the landscape. This flat dry agricultural land went on for many a mile as we drove westwards, until in the distance we began to see the faint outline of the mountains of western Montana rising before us.

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This was the view the explorers saw as they tried to make a passage west, I wonder which was most daunting the long days crossing never ending flat plains or the towering obstacles now in front of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we talk with fellow travellers the one place that we are constantly asked have we visited yet is Glacier National Park. Like some of the other high altitude parks Glacier has a short season, snow sometimes not fully cleared from its roads until August only to return again mid October. We had not been in the correct location at a time to visit previously but now Glacier was on our route and the weather looked set to hold fair. Unfortunately it was too late in the season for the shuttle buses which would have taken us around the park, and our vehicle, we thought, was too large for the road through the park. However after talking with the rangers we discovered we could actually drive a good way along the park road and then walk some more.

We found a spot in the National Park camp ground at Apgar, West Glacier on Saturday afternoon then took a stroll beside McKenzie Lake looking up its length at the towering 7 and 8 thousand feet high mountains around us.

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We decided to get up early Sunday morning and drive as far as we could, then we would find a parking spot and have breakfast. This idea was assisted by an early morning thunder storm at 4am, followed by another before 6am when I gave up trying to sleep and got up. It does not get light until 7.30 so we decided to have breakfast before our trip out!

The drive was not spectacular, we had hoped to see some wildlife but I think the storms IMG_0301had kept them in shelter. Parking in the RV space at the turn around point we made coffee and looked out at the mountains with the mist rising up them as the sun occasionally peeked through. We set off along the road for our walk and soon we were beside the river at the base of the mountains. Its flow quite diminished at present but the broad stony river bed shows how it grows with the spring melt waters.

 

 

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When we eventually turned to retrace our steps we could see that the storms of the early morning were still drifting through the high mountains. Fortunately it did not rain on us just gave us some great views.

 

 

 

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We left Glacier to prepare itself for the coming of winter, having since spoken to people who lived in the area we realise we should perhaps have taken the eastern entrance into Much Glacier to see the wildlife so, there goes another item on our ‘to do’ list!

We are making our way towards British Columbia where we need to renew our vehicle licence documents before the end of this month, internet is scarce in sparsely populated mountain regions – hence the posting of three blogs in one day – however this one brings us up to date.

Tonight we are in Kettle Falls Washington State, we have had a beautiful drive again today through the mountain passes from Montana across Idaho and into Washington, the sun has shone, showing up the Autumn colours in the trees, the reds and yellows standing out from the background of green coniferous trees which largely grow on the mountain side. Tomorrow we hope to cross the border and make our way to Harrison Mills where we intend to spend the next few days before beginning our turn south.

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2 Responses to “Northern Montana–plains to mountains”

  1. Liz October 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    So enjoy reading about your adventures. Oh, you are making me so sad reading about Glacier Park. Sad, in that we had such a great time visiting this park. And I was not a good girl as far as updating our blog this trip. Maybe as I go thru all of our pics, I’ll do that and capture where we went this year.

    And yes, if you come by Northern CA in the spring, please plan on giving us a call.

    • elainethehill October 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      One of Roberts favourite comments to people who say they are jealous of our travels is ‘ don’t be jealous – be inspired’ so – don’t be sad be inspired…. go get those pictures sorted so I can see what we missed!

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