Archives for posts with tag: northwest US adventures

While driving to Glacier National Park, Montana, I kept telling my “daughter,” Jenni, about a great steakhouse I’d visited in that area in 2003. We talked about having a great ribeye steak as we hiked all over the western half of the Park because it was closer to where we were staying and had more areas to hike for the day. The drive to the eastern half was quite a jaunt of 2-3 hours each way so we’d need to plan for a whole day and part of the night to get everything packed in before leaving.

On our last full day, we got up early and hit the road for the eastern part of Glacier where I was sure the restaurant had to be. Everything we planned got dumped (boat ride on that water? NO WAY!) but what we got was even better! I’d found St. Mary’s Lake and the hike I’d loved so much before with waterfalls (can’t get better than that) AND “THE” steakhouse! It was right there all along!

I’ve been pondering on my trip and that steakhouse these last weeks and I gotta say, if you ever find yourself even near there, go for it! It’s called Cattle Baron’s Supper Club at the turnoff to go into the upper region of the Park.

However, instead boring you with more details, I figured I’d share the pictures from that night of the insides of this gloriously decorated place and our experience. Dang! I wanna go back now!

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Cattle Barons Supper Club

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OMGosh! What a Ribeye! How are we going to eat all of it?

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Huckleberry pie? Well, we split it. It’s the delicacy of the area!

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Uhhhh…we both did!

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Not sure if you can see the the “story board” above the tables of the Blackfeet tribe and their pictographs of before and after white people came to their lands, but it’s so beautifully done with varying “western” motif colors for each period. I thought I’d caught those but, even though it appears I didn’t, I’ll have them imbedded in my brain forever.

I LOVE the West! I always felt I was born in the wrong state. And I was. I was born in a state of confusion about the state in which I was born. I’m no longer tied to one state. I can roam all the western ones I want and still love my cabin home. I know I said this year’s trip would be the last. I think I’m slowly taking that back!

HAPPY TALES & TRAILS…UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

Not only have I been totally confused about the day of the week this whole trip but where I am because, like today, I could have been in eastern Idaho, western Montana or northern Oklahoma from the looks of things! And, although I was in northern Montana for awhile, it was with Glacier National Park mountain range in my rear view mirror, in my heart and with the impact from Mother Nature’s mystical power which pushed me off the cliff toward my solo voyage across Canada with Alberta as the reminder of places I’d just been.

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Farmland in northern Montana looks a great deal like eastern Idaho!

The cliff, you say? Well, God teaches us to pray believing with the faith of a child and, to do that, it means you “believe” in the power of prayer. I do. Every time I’ve jumped off that proverbial cliff to start my own business or homeschool a recalcitrant child while trying to make money with that business or travel alone across the backroads of US and Canada, I’m doing just that…claiming God as my parachute. Some say I’m brave. Some say I’m crazy. I say I have faith.

I must say that I had a moment or two before Jenni left to go home where I wasn’t sure about that parachute opening, but yesterday’s visit to West Glacier’s t Western Red Cedar grove, that nature walk restored my soul and gave me confidence for this healing journey to continue. So many amazing non-coincidences have been integral parts of it. Miracles of sun rainbows, finding new Chirrens, meeting babies born to some of those Chirrens whose parents weren’t sure if their precious one would ever be born, meeting so many kindred souls and reconnecting with Mother Earth in a way I haven’t been able to do since Ava died. Yep. That parachute is open and God keeps showing me how big it is!

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Long, roads with nothing but fields of cows and crops.

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That’s the storm I’m running away from.

Now, for those of you who have followed my posts thus far, you, too, might be confused about where I was today. Tom (my GPS) even took me down a very long and lonely dirt road, but our 150,000 mile relationship and my parachute kept the devil of doubt out of my soul and helped me embrace the wonders of the dirt road headed toward the border and away from the upcoming storm, above.

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Dirt road, Tom? Really?

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Wish this picture showed how bright these yellow blooms were. There were hundreds of acres of them!

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See that tiny white dot to the right in the grass? That’s a farm. The first one I’ve seen in many miles!

Tomorrow? Twelve hour drive through Saskatchewan (supposed to be a real sleeper) and across Manitoba to Winnipeg.

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

My good friend, daughter-by-another-mother, confidant and outstanding travel companion just flew home to get back to work and her life. We almost cried at the airport but promised new adventures for another day and she’s already conjuring one up for next year! I miss my Jenni already.

However short in the greater picture, it was incredible in the amount of quality time, fun, laughter, insanity, states, cities, places we left our unique one-two-punch of us…two very confident, powerful, exciting women with great laughter and joy to share!

Today, we decided to go back to West Glacier to hike the one trail I wanted to revisit from my 2003 trip which was the Great Red Cedar trail.

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Where I come from, this AIN’T no creek!

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Western Red Cedar

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Along the Cedar Nature Trail

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Roaring water is a bit of an understatement!

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Temple of Hemlocks, Red Cedars and Cottonwoods

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My baby’s great great granddaddy! Too bad you can’t see how big the base of this Big Daddy is but figure two people can comfortably pass each other on this boardwalk and compare the width of that with the tree at the end. Four feet? 

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This HUGE boulder is covered in a lush carpet of moss. There again, tough to describe how big!

Tomorrow? Waterton Park and Prince of Wales National Historic site (just across the border of East Glacier) and then on to Medicine Hat, Alberta. Yeehaw!

Last but not least, some of Mother Nature’s art to ponder ’til we meet again!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK! PERSONALLY, I’LL TAKE ALL THREE!

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One bites the dust and leaves a most outstanding piece of art for us to love & enjoy…even if for a minute or two. Don’t you just love Mother Nature? If you don’t, try getting to know her before she’s been totally destroyed!

Yesterday, we explored West Glacier and today we spent the whole day exploring all the key areas in West Glacier we’d picked. I don’t know, but I think the photos will either get your exploring juices going or they won’t. My words won’t matter because this place is full of “gorgeousness” (as Jenni says) in so many ways that it feels archaic to try to reduce Mother Nature’s glory into words…or even photos for that matter…but that’s all I got!

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Snow capped mountain peeks

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St. Mary’s Lake

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Hiked Sun Ridge Point to Bering Falls

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Hike through a wonderland of wild flowers

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St. Mary’s Lake

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BLACK BEAR! AND…WAIT FOR IT…

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A GRIZZLY BEAR IN THE SAME MEADOW!!

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ONE OF THE LAST GLACIERS. NO!

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St. Mary’s Lake just keeps getting more beautiful!

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Bering Falls

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Snow capped mountains on way out.

Jenni and I have been talking about getting a good Montana grass fed Ribeye all week and I remembered this place my ex and I went to in 2003. It’s at the end of Hwy. 49 at Hwy. 89 and it is a MUST if you’re in the neighborhood! Best Steak…bar none!

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Cattle Barons Supper Club

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OMGosh! What a Ribeye! How are we going to eat all of it?

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Uhhhh…we both did!

And, in the same building, they serve HUCKLEBERRY PIE! It’s got a little bit of a bite to it just the way I like my berries!

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Huckleberry pie? Well, we split it. It’s the delicacy of the area!

Tomorrow? West Glacier to hike the Giant Red Cedar trail before Jenni flies home…boohoo.

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

 

We finally made it here today and it’s been a dream come true for us both but only one of us knew how outstanding the whole park and surrounding areas are. The great news is that now both of us know! Even though the “Going-to-the-Sun” Road isn’t open yet (probably not until July but they really don’t know when because of snow), we drove up about fourteen miles along the West side of Glacier.

But before we even get to Glacier National Park, we drive from Kalispell, Montana because it’s one of the prettiest drives anywhere and especially with such a magnificent destination awaiting our arrival!

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Driving from Kalispell to Glacier National West Gate seeing these mountains is life changing!

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Yeah!

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Truly majestic!

Jenni was a happy young woman when we got to the Park entrance! She looks so cute in this chair!

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Inside the Park, we drove up to Lake McDonald Lodge built in early 1900’s.

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Lake McDonald Lodge (front)

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Lake McDonald Lodge Great Room at entrance

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Lake McDonald Lodge (back facing lake) where Montana and I had our picture taken last year. (tear)

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Lake McDonald

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Cabins for rent overlooking Snyder Creek

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Rushing waters of Snyder Creek emptying into Lake McDonald

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Montana in Montana resting at Lake McDonald one year ago!

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Raging waters that feed Lake McDonald near McDonald Falls!

Tomorrow? More Glacier but from the East side! St. Mary’s, for sure!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK! JUST DO IT!

Every inch of this trip has been absolutely incredible… better than even MY wildest dreams! I’ve been blessed with new kindred spirit chirrens and friends at every turn and  I feel like I’m flying and it feels GREAT!

We headed for Nevada City and its twin Virginia City, Montana this morning as they are   places I always wanted to visit but never made could make it there. This year…it WAS going to happen!

The Old West towns of Virginia City and Nevada City sprung up in the mid-1800 as gold rush boom towns which, like most, petered out after the gold stopped flowing. After years of abandonment, it was the Boveys who took Nevada City under their wings to restore. And, as a cowgirl at heart, I wanted to immerse myself in the history of these towns. What we ended up doing was meeting some truly incredible people as we meandered through these “frozen-in-time-towns.”

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IDAHO just south of Montana

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These hills looked like velvet!

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Rocks, baby!

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They looked like sheep scattered on the mountains!

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NEVADA CITY & VIRGINIA CITY OR BUST!

NEVADA CITY, MONTANA:

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Railroad cars from that time

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This passenger car looked kinda spooky!

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Frozen in time for sure!

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Old soda fountain

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VIRGINIA CITY, MONTANA:

Bale of Hay Saloon touts itself as being the oldest watering hole in the US! We met new friends here (Hi guys!) and told tales for hours! It was great fun! I think I’m in love with this town!

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VIRGINIA CITY: BALE OF HAY SALOON…OUR FIRST STOP!

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Inside  the Bale of Hay Saloon

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Telephone company!

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Inside Telephone Company

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Not made for looks! Made for warmth!

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Yeah! Cowgirl Heaven!

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New chirred! Evelyn Schmelling–psychic poet. Welcome aboard!

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I asked her to write a poem for me. This made all three of us cry. It was definitely from Ava. Evelyn didn’t know about Ava at the time she wrote it! Yup. Got me another one!

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Way to top off our visit was with this sign! Loved it!

And, if today hadn’t already been the most outstanding adventure so far…for me…EVER, Jenni and I saw a rainbow around the setting sun! I’m so glad she was with me to see it and capture the best picture of it possible with her phone camera. If you look closely, you’ll see two layers of color above the mountain. My camera couldn’t even come close. We were both in shock and awe of this Post Script to our day and the prelude of our tomorrows hiking at Glacier National Park!

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Tomorrows? Three days of exploring and hiking Glacier National Park! The bitter sweet part of these next days is how wonderful it is to have my girl, Jenni, experience it with me but the other is that she goes home as I head toward Canada. “Healing road” was the name of the album I bought in Taos. And that it has been for all of us who venture out to find love in our hearts for our great country and the wonderment of its backroads!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

Montana in Montana at Glacier National Park 6/2016:

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