Summing It Up

Wildflowers at Logan Pass – there was snow here July 4th!

These tourists kept getting in our pictures! This is with the Bishop’s Hat behind us.

Sunday Brunch – included two Golden’s – Steve is befriending Cooper!

Lake McDonald – look at the reflection of the reflection…

Look carefully at the reflection of the clouds on the lake.
Saw this majestic fellow on 9-11. How fitting.

Yes – we really went on a float trip! Steve and Cille are in the front and Bonnie is sitting behind Steve.
Silly tourists.  I guess we will just bring them back to Mississippi with us! Home again but definitely a place we want to return to. It was one of those magical trips that left us wanting more.

America The Beautiful

I read something today in Montana on a printed sign in a craft shop. It was titled: “You know you are from Montana …..”

  • When people you don’t know smile and say “Howdy” (found that to be true).
  • When major county fund-raiser isn’t bingo – it’s sausage making or a raffle where all the locals produce contributions to raise money for town and county needs like fire departments, etc (had one in Bigfork since we have been here – they are unincorporated and this is how everyone does their part).
  • When, unlike folks in other states, even when you live there you’ve been to Glacier Park, Yellowstone, Custer’s Battlefield, and at least one pow wow in your lifetime. (So true – there are a number of historical places in Mississippi I have not been yet).
  • When you think nothing of an elk, buffalo, moose, or other wild life wandering through town (seen it!)
  • You know the meaning of “purple mountain majesties” and “amber waves of grain”.

We have certainly seen the last one on our trip here. Today we rode around the southern end of the park to East Glacier (stopping at the Glacier Lodge) and St Mary (stopping at St Mary Lodge for lunch and then spending some time skipping rocks and just chilling down by St Mary Lake). We then drove the remaining length of the Going to the Sun Road back to West Glacier via Logan’s Pass stopping at Apgar Village for some ice cream and to check out their local crafts center (not unlike what we have in Mississippi on Rice Road) before returning to Bigfork.

As we drove past Two Medicine Lake, Lake St Mary, Lake McDonald, the Swan River, the Middle and South (I think) Forks of the Flathead River and on down to Flathead Lake where we are staying, we passed field after field where they are harvesting grain (I have no pictures of that but plan to get one). It is perfectly golden swaying in the breeze.

All of this brought to mind, America the Beautiful. My Dad has said all my life this should be our National Anthem, and I agree. On the eve of this, the tenth anniversary of 9-11, I thought it appropriate to relook at some of these words. I will admit as I sat on the rocks at Lake St Mary today in the peace and quiet I thought, too, why cannot our world be like this – at peace. And I pray that God will shed his grace again on us.

Jackson Glacier – one of the few remaining active glaciers in GNP

Lake St Mary – looking westward

His shirt did not help MSU today!

Bonnie’s new friend (her Auburn shirt was good luck!)

Front of Glacier Park Lodge

Interior of Glacier Park Lodge

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee! 

Red Bus Touring

Bonnie, Cille, Steve and the Red Bus at GNP

 Yesterday was the Red Bus Tour (Western Alpine was the official name) from West Glacier to Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Our driver’s name was Vic – a FSU grad who lives here part-time and part-time in Colorado. He was v-e-r-y talkative but also knowledgeable about all that we were seeing.  
In GNP we added Rocky Mountain Sheep (rams) and a Mountain Goat (male) to our list. On the way back last night, we almost had our limit on deer (very young ones).  Bonnie and I say another more mature female this morning in someone’s yard but the ones last night almost met their Maker.  Also, our friendly little squirrel is still at it. His name is now “Ralph”. I wish I had that much energy!

Sitting on the Garden Wall with Haystack Creek behind us!

Stood here yesterday! Wildflowers are unreal!

A few pictures from yesterday and today are loaded here. We are having fun and making plans as we go. Today Bonnie and I went shopping in Bigfork. Yes – we both bought something and had lunch (we did bring Steve something back.)  

Tomorrow’s plans include East Glacier and St Mary Lodge – hope to have lunch at the Lodge and ride on Lake St Mary.  Also have plans for a Flathead River float trip, a trip back to McDonald Lodge (so Bonnie can ride a horse and Cille and Steve can check out other things) and a lake boat trip. Fun Fun Fun!! Weather is outstanding so we are spoiled already!!

More to come.


Upper Falls – McDonald Creek – glacial cold
Saw this mint condition Chrysler Town and Country on Electric Avenue in Bigfork
Fell in love with this sculptor in Bigfork. Not sure I have a place for this though.

Meet Me In Montana!

Garden and orchard behind the house
Flathead Lake from our porch
Arrived yesterday and it is daytime warmer here than at home. BUT – no humidity and this morning as I sit on our deck overlooking Flathead Lake, it is cool – in the 40’s kind of cool. Behind the lake are the mountains (part of the Rockies but what range I have yet to figure out.) They are under a fire watch here so we were cautioned to be careful with the fire pit.

On the wildlife scene so far we have encountered a very industrious squirrel hiding away pine cones for the winter. Little dude must have hauled five the size of him while we watched. Right now we think he is in the tree closest to us throwing them down! Also saw a complete family of wild turkeys and down at the water last night what we thought was a weird frog turned out to be a bat!

Flathead Lake at Sunset 9-7-2011
Been up too long!!! (P.S. Mom – that is the gardener’s “shack” behind us!)

I hear sounds that are emotionally connected to my growing up years in South Mississippi. Birds chirp. Breeze in the pines and the lake sounds bring back memories from the great summers I spent on Black and Red Creeks and at Camp Iti Kana in south Forrest County. Feel of the morning air is not unlike that of my time as a Scout at National Center West (though it is by far greener here and no rattlesnakes!) I wonder, again, how anyone could believe man created this! 

I went to Psalms 8. Majesty and Glory. How can you not identify with this scripture.

Today we are headed for Glacier National Park. More to come.
Still Choosing Joy!