Monday, June 22, 2015

Glacier National Park (part 1)(mostly pictures)

Location: St. Mary/East Glacier KOA (el.4,500 ft); St. Mary, Montana

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 cell phone)

Well, I made it to Glacier. It has been my "destination point" since Crater Lake. I select a "destination point" that is usually kind of far away and that gives me a general direction of travel. Crater Lake was it when I left Louisiana after Thanksgiving of last year. Once I made it to Crater Lake, I set Glacier as the next point. I haven't decided what my next one will be yet, still thinking it over. 

I got here yesterday around 1:00 pm and after getting set up I decided to drive part of the Going To The Sun Road. I will definitely make the trip at least once or twice more before leaving but wanted to get the feel for it. I've found that places like this take a couple trips to see the good things. The first trip sort of takes your breath away with the big sights and then on the second you can see the smaller, sometimes better, sights without being as distracted by the glorious mountains and valleys.

I won't go into a lot of details now and will just post a few of the better pictures with captions. I wanted to get these posted so I can empty my cell phone of pictures to make room for today. In just a couple of hours yesterday, I took close to 200 pictures. I plan to pack a lunch (premium Bar 'S' bologna) and hit the road today in hopes of finding a nice lunch site like I did in Yellowstone. Sometime before leaving I plan to take a boat tour of St. Mary Lake. If it sounds like I'm in little hurry, I am, because I slept in until 7:30 this morning. It got a little chilly last night with the temperature dropping into the low 40's. Today's high is suppose to be the low 70's. Should be a nice day except some storms due to roll through this evening. 

This is the road between Great Falls and St. Mary. The closer you get to the mountain range the prettier they get. Great Falls is in the rolling hills of Montana, so the sight on this road trip would be similar to what the pioneers would have seen as they were heading west. The Rocky Mountains appear in the far distance.  

I passed through a small section of the Blackfeet Reservation. Even though there are fences, there are some many places that have fallen down and are in need of repair. I guess instead of repairing them, they just put up a sign warning about open range livestock. I saw the carcass of at least one horse that had been hit by a vehicle. Further down the road were cattle grazing between the edge of the road and the fenceline. I've been in other places were there is open livestock but in this case I think it was more laziness than anything else. Some nice looking horses though.

Nothing special, just a nice looking area so I took a picture. I am still surprised how well they turn out shooting through the windshield. It is possible that I may stop to take the windshield pictures, or not. 

This is the last leg of the road before getting into St. Mary. Notice the barricade arms that are used during the winter to close the road during snows. I've seen several of these on this western swing of the states.

I had to pull over for this picture. I wanted to make sure it turned out. Right before this the road is surrounded by trees and then you top a little hill and this is what you see. This was the first real "wow".

This is the campsite for the next 4 days. 

There is still some road construction going on, but to me, the tall boy cones only slightly distract from the picture. They add a slice of reality to the view. That is St. Mary Lake in the middle.

More of St. Mary Lake with the mountains in the background. Sometimes the views are so magnificent that they appear fake, even in real life. It take a while for your brain to wrap around such sights. 

Not much guardrail in this location. You are on your own if you run off the road here. Pretty view.

Sometimes it is easier to go through than around. :). Notice the waterfall on the left. There were about a half dozen in this general area.

Breathtaking view

That rounded shape of the valley is a tell-tale sign of glacier action in the past. The old glacier would have reached as high as the point where there mountain is no longer smooth.

I can't think of another caption except the old one,,,,,A River Runs Through It. Another location of old glacier action.
That's all for this post. I went through my pictures quickly to get some posted since I knew some people would be looking for them this morning. Time now to hit the road to see what I see. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  


  1. First off, a comment on the previous post. That tree has definitely been visited by nature's lumberjack, the good old beaver.

    Now for some Glacier Park stuff. If you have the time, you should check out taking a tour on one of these old busses. I did that years ago, and it was a great experience. Here is a link to their website. Looks like they have tours from both sides of the park. Ours started on the west side, I think.

    If you like the scenery in Glacier, you HAVE to go to the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper. Here is a link for that.

    Enjoy your time in Glacier. It is quite the place, and keep the pictures coming!!

    1. Hello KCD. A beaver is what I thought at first, but I have seen similar trees along the Mississippi where boats and barges routinely tie up to large trees. The rope/cable will make similar marks over time.

      Nope, I will not be riding in the tour coaches. I don't like the idea of trusting my life to a driver that I do not know. It would be nice just to ride along but I think I will pass.

      Also, no passport means no visit to Canada this year.