Category Archives: On The Road

Traveling in our Coach

~Glacier National Park and the Hungry Horse Area~

 

“I have no words to adequately describe the raw beauty of Glacier National Park. 

Nor, do I have the words to express, the feeling of pure joy, while I stand in this beauty.”

 

These photos were taken this afternoon, in Glacier National Park, driving to the Fish Creek area.

Not far from Fish Creek Campground. Photo taken from the west side of McDonald Lake looking east.
Not far from Fish Creek Campground. Photo taken today from the west side of McDonald Lake looking east.
West side of McDonald Lake
West side of McDonald Lake

 

These photos were taken yesterday on our way to Logan Pass, in Glacier National Park. The day was cloudy and last night we had a thunderstorm pass over.

Going-to-the-Sun road. It is a pretty scary road to travel! We went as far as Logan Pass.
Going-to-the-Sun road. It is a pretty scary road to travel! We drove as far as Logan Pass.
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An Alpine Meadow
The Road below
Going-to-the-Sun Road below

Going-to-the-Sun road

Going-to-the-Sun road
Wildflowers and Glaciers

 

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Another view of Going-to-the-Sun Road

 

These photos were taken this morning on our way to Hungry Horse Reservoir.

On the way to Hungry Horse Reservoir
On the way to Hungry Horse Reservoir

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~Oh no, over the falls!~

We are riding along on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park and pull into a turnout. We get out of the car and walk down an embankment to view McDonald Falls. Howard and I are enjoying the magnificent scenery and I am taking a few photos.

I see movement out of the corner of my eye and glance in that direction.  On the other side of McDonald Creek is a family of Canada Geese coming out of the forest They seem in a big hurry and within seconds I realize why. Behind them, emerging from the forest, are two hikers.

Emerging from the forest is a Canada Goose Family
Emerging from the forest is a Canada Goose Family (look close and you will see all five)

 

The Canada Goose Family, two parents and three juveniles, are heading for the creek traversing over rocks toward their destination. I don’t believe they realize just how close they are to McDonald falls. They should have been more afraid of the falls than the hikers.

Heading toward the creek
Heading toward the creek

 

In the creek the father goes, followed by the rest of his family.

In the creek the father goes

The family follows
Notice how one parent is leading and the other parent follows. You will see this behavior over and over again

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All five make it into the creek
All five make it into the creek. Notice again how they line up.

 

I think at this point they realize their mistake! They are trying to swim upstream, the current is swift, they are not doing well. They try to climb up on some boulders to get out of the creek, the boulders are slick and they keep sliding backward. They flap their wings trying to lift out of the fast flowing water, it doesn’t help. They are getting soaked.

 

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Slipping on the rocks
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Look at their face, a look of pure determination.

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Finally, they get a foot hold and four of the five make it up out of the water.

The others have made it out of the creek

One of the young is having trouble, the current is too swift and over the falls it goes. It tries to climb up on a boulder in the pool in which it  landed. The boulder is too wet and too high. 

Having trouble swimming against the current
Having trouble swimming against the current
Over it goes
Over it goes

 

I was watching its face, it was like it just decided this wasn’t working and resolved to float out of the pool and further down stream. It turned and went over another small fall.

Lands in a pool

 

It floated several feet before it got a foot hold and was able to climb up and out. I was not able to see where it climbed out.

At this point it was on a slope of solid rock and was able to make its way toward its family. As it waddled toward them it was fussing the entire time. 

 

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Floats down the creek and manages to climb out
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Trying to make it way back to its family
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Fussing as it goes

 

Once the family was united they hurried back toward the woods.

Parent and one of the young watching
Parent and one of the young watching
Off they go back into the forest - all five of them!!
Off they go back into the forest – all five of them!! Notice the poor, over the falls, guy. Looks like he is still fussing.

 

So glad this episode ended well.

Howard and I were not the only ones watching this drama play out. About 15 other tourists were there to view the falls. Everyone was yelling, including me: “swim, fly, you can make it, get out, oh no, its going over, yeah it made it”

And, everyone was clapping when it got out of the creek and waddled its way up the slope of rocks to its family! The hikers, dang them, were sitting on a boulder watching along with everyone else.

 

 

 

~Glacier National Park, Day One~

 

We are staying in a RV park two miles from the entrance of Glacier National park. Today, after we arrived and got situated in our site, we decided to take a drive. We stopped at Five Lake and then drove into Glacier National Park. It was a pretty day and we enjoyed our short foray into Glacier and can’t wait to truly begin exploring this beautiful park tomorrow.

Howard at Five Lake, West Glacier, MT
Howard at Five Lake, West Glacier, MT

 

Alberta Visitor Center at West Glacier, Montana
Alberta Visitor Center at West Glacier, Montana

This is a beautiful Visitor Center built and hosted by Alberta, Canada. We stopped here to pick-up some information about traveling into Canada. Perhaps in the fall of 2015!

Lake McDonald in Glacier
Lake McDonald in Glacier. Beautiful, crystal clear, water.

Traveling along Going-to-the-Sun Road

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. Lake McDonald is approximately 10 miles (16 km) long, and over a mile (1.6 km) wide and 472 feet (130 m) deep, filling a valley formed by a combination of erosion and glacial activity. Lake McDonald lies at an elevation of 3,153 feet (960 m) and is on the west side of the Continental Divide. The Going-to-the-Sun Roadparallels the lake along its southern shoreline. The surface area of the lake is 6,823 acres (27.6 km²). [Information taken from the web]

"Find Me"
“Find Me”

 

"Here I Am!"
“Here I Am!”

 

I found this little guy or gal hanging out at McDonald Lake!

~Flathead Lake, Montana~

The gorgeous state of Montana! 

Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge
Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge

A lot has happened since I posted last; hopefully I will catch up and post a few photos of the places we have been since leaving Nehalem Bay State Park.

When we left Nehalem Bay State Park we drove to Astoria, Oregon. We stayed at Fort Stevens State Park for four nights. While there we enjoyed the historical aspects of this city, the beautiful, hiking trails in Fort Stevens and a few brews!

Leaving Astoria, we left the cool breezes of the Oregon Coast behind. We stayed a few nights in Coeur d”Alene, Idaho and fell in love with this beautiful city. While there we celebrated our 39 wedding anniversary!

We have spent the past three nights in Polson, Montana and have enjoyed the towns of Polson and Lake Side, Flathead Lake, the Mission Mountain Range and the numerous wildlife refuges in the area. It has been hazy here, because of forest fires in the surrounding states.

Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge
Ninepipe Wildlife Refuge

 

Mission Range, Polson, Montana
Mission Range, Polson, Montana

 

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird

 

Trumpeter Swan
Trumpeter Swan

 

Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Pablo National Wildlife Refuge
Pablo National Wildlife Refuge

 

Retreating (I believe this is a Northern Harrier)
Retreating (I believe this is a Northern Harrier)

 

In the morning we head to Glacier National Park!

~Nehalem Bay State Park~

Nehalem Bay State Park

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We arrived at Nehalem Bay State Park on Wednesday. Upon arriving we experienced something that has never happened to us during the seven years we have had our coach. We could not maneuver into our reserved site. We tired several times, even going around the RV loop trying to position the coach just right. NO GO!

The roads are narrow within most of Oregon’s  State Parks and the campground roads in Nehalem Bay are no exception. These beautiful state parks are old and designed for much smaller rigs.

There were three trees that prohibited us from backing into our site. Two were on either side of site F05 and one was on the opposite side of the road. Prior to booking our sites, we always look at photos of them on the web and this one seemed fine.

Oregon’s Coastal Highway 101 is a curvy, hilly, narrow road and as you travel along you go through many small towns. These towns have speed limits of 25 miles an hour. During the summer months there are lots of people and lots of traffic.

All of the state parks we have stayed in on this trip, have been FULL, including Nehalem Bay, with the Campground Full sign being posted very day!

The milage from South Beach to Nehalem was about 100 miles, not much, but given these conditions my driver was tired. We didn’t want to leave Nehalem Bay and try to find somewhere to spend the night.  Needless to say this would have changed our plans. We were upset!

Nehalem Bay has SOME very nice sites that will accommodate 40 foot rigs, but you must make sure, prior to booking, that you will fit into a site. F05 was long enough, but we could not swing wide enough to get in!

We drove back to the Ranger Station and explained our situation. They assigned us a site that they hold open for emergency purposes.  We thank them very much and we are very happy with the site we were given!

Staying at Nehalem Bay State Park gave us the opportunity to walk on the beach, hike to the Bay, and visit Tillamook to the south and Canon Beach to the north, all of which we enjoyed.

Today, we drove to Cape Meares and walked around in the clouds! We then stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and ate cheese (I did, Howard doesn’t like cheese, can you believe that?) and ice cream. A fun day!

In the morning we head to Fort Steven’s State Park.

 

The beach at Nehalem Bay State Park
The beach at Nehalem Bay State Park

 

 

 

Canon Beach
Canon Beach

I add this photo of a Red Crossbill that I spotted while parked at a pull-out, on our way to Canon Beach. It isn’t a good photo, because I was too far away. He was perched atop a huge pine tree with the ocean in the background. However, I was so excited to have spotted the Crossbill, because it has been many, many years since I have seen one.

Red Crossbill
Red Crossbill

 

Enjoy the Journey!