Friday, June 14, 2013

6/11/13, Tuesday:  We’re at Fort Peck Downstream Campground in Montana for the next two nights. It’s $18 for 50 amp; RV dump and water available. We got greeted by a thunderstorm late afternoon. It sounds like there’s storms in Montana and the Dakotas, some severe. Hopefully we don’t get any hail.

It’s a long drive through Montana, kind of like crossing through Texas, except Montana is green. The western part of Montana has Glacier and is a beautiful area, as is northern Idaho.  As we’ve been going east, it’s reminding us more of North Dakota with rolling hills and flat areas and fewer trees. They must have been getting a lot of rain – the rivers are full and overflowing as we got closer to Glasgow.  We’ve driven farther than usual the last few days too; usually we’re under 100 miles. We’ve driven farther so we can stop a couple of days at Fort Peck dam and then at Cottonwood Campground at Medora, North Dakota for the weekend before we get to Dickinson. We’ve always enjoyed camping at Cottonwood. There are no amenities but it’s only $10 and there are no specific generator hours like some parks have. We have reservations at North Park Campground in Dickinson starting the 16th.

We stayed at four different campgrounds in the Glacier area. We started out at Edgewater Motel & RV Park by Flathead Lake, south of Kalispell. This is where a lot of the cherries come from that you buy in grocery stores. From there we went to Columbia River Falls RV in Columbia, North American RV Park in Coram and finally St. Mary’s Campground in Glacier National Park. The first three were Passport America campgrounds and the last one a national park campground. Columbia Falls and North American were close to Glacier National Park on the west side. On the west side we drove as far as we could (Going-to-the-Sun road isn’t open all the way yet) and did some hiking. The same for St. Mary’s in the park on the east side; we hiked there too. Monday morning when we left St. Mary’s, we went up to Many Glacier, another part of the park and did a hike before going on toward Havre. We picked hikes to waterfalls. When we were in the Many Glacier area, we saw some big horn sheep up on one of the mountains. Luckily when we were at the waterfall there were three other people that came and started looking up at the mountain, using their binoculars and camera. We were able to see with our binoculars that they were pointing out big horn sheep. Can’t quite imagine why they like to be on the ridges and cliffs, other than to get away from predators. We did see a moose and two babies alongside the highway,  lots of mule deer and antelope, and a coyote running along the highway in Glacier. We didn’t see any bears though. L  They’re suppose to have black bear and grizzlies. Not that I wanted to come upon any while we were hiking, but driving would have been fine. Of all of the states that we’ve been in that say there are bears around, we haven’t seen one yet.

 Suspension bridge at the falls. I wouldn't walk on it.
Garter snake. He wasn't too pleased to have us stop him.

6/04/13 Glacier National Park, west side, pics below

Lake McDonald on a beautiful sunny day

Prairie dogs
Nope, no bears

The famous red tour bus

6/06/13 hike

 Bear weed
 We were down the road from these 2 deer, and did a double-take because from a distance we saw the two heads and it looked like one animal at first!
 Helicopter tours
Rafting, kayaks, canoe rentals

Below pics are on our way to the east side of Glacier, 6/08/13

Marias Pass, continental divide

 As we're coming St. Mary visitor center, east side of the Park, below - they had a fire in 2006

6/09/13 hiking

 Baring Falls above pic

 St. Mary's Falls above
 Virginia Falls above. You can see this one from the highway a couple of miles away.
You can walk right up to all of the ones we've been too.

Very friendly butterflies below.

6/10/13, On our way to Many Glacier, another entrance on the east side, and hiking pics
Mother moose and 2 babies in the ditch while we were driving

 Mule train that we had to step aside for on our hike
 Red Rock falls
Big horn sheep on the above and below pics


There were 4 people painting the waterfalls

6/11/13 - We had to leave the national parks to see the Bison! On our way east.

 There are elevators at every little town along the way, and lots and lots of grain bins.
Must be some big farmers in the area.

 Trains all the way across the top of Idaho and Montana

 Flooded areas
Sculptures, for sale