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A visit to Montana

and Jenny's sister and her family

July 24-29, 2012

Intro

Jenny's sister DeAnn and her family (husband Matt, Kids Sarah and John, horses and dog) have lived in Montana for some time. Montana is cooler than Texas in the summer, and we had never visited DeAnn in Montana, so off we went. Of course with the scenery we just had to include a panorama shot, at one of the mountain resorts... you will probably have to pan right to see it all (horizontal scroll with your browser program).
 

Getting There

We flew from Austin to Salt Lake City to Kalispell (Glacier Park International Airport). The airport was about 2 miles from DeAnn's home, as the crow flies. Lacking crow wings, we had to go as the car flies on highways, closer to 20 miles. The plane for the second leg had mechanical problems - we were assured that we would get to use it 90 minutes after it left it's previous stop. But it didn't leave, and didn't leave... bottom line, they found a plane that wasn't broken, then found a new crew, and we arrived over 5 hours late. (On the way home the second leg was over an hour late, but that pales by comparison (other than arriving home at 2 am). Delta sent us a written apology, and gave us some extra frequent flyer miles, even though it was a free trip on their frequent flyer program.

A little North of Kalispell, and across the river is Columbia Falls, the mailing address for Matt and DeAnn's home. A little farther North is Whitefish, where the rich folks live. The sunset at Matt and DeAnn's home, over the hills, was beautiful.

While we were out touring, I got a group picture of John, DeAnn, and Sarah Latcham.

Sarah would probably prefer this picture. She is a champion cross country runner, among other talents. While we were there she even was fastest woman in all age groups in a regional "ranch race" meet.

And John is a neat kid - even seems to get along great with his older sister!

We didn't see a real moose, but this "sculpture" was at a restaurant. Note the gas can, the flexible tail (a chain), the gears, horse shoe, exhaust pipes, and so forth.

A park ranger found these mountain goats FAR up the mountain - almost invisible to the naked eyes. I am surprised that I got this much of a picture without a telephoto lens.

The mountains everywhere were stunning, both inside Glacier Park and outside.

As well as the mountain lakes. I bet the water is really cold.

This is in Glacier Park, but remember it is the end of July. The road is only open a few months per year.

We went on a "walking trail up the hill"

but decided to leave the "full" trail for younger folks like John and Sarah. While we waited, a young man came down the trail carrying his skis - he had been skiing the higher slopes. Repeat after me, the end of July.

No desire to go wading here... bet it is cold.

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Beautiful

Note that this stream is not coming over the hill as a normal waterfall, but coming OUT of the hill.

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There were countless streams, valleys, and hills - this is not the same one.

Those who have gone up a mountain know how abruptly the trees stop - how real the tree line is. Those who have not, this is above the tree line. No trees behind us.

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There are a number of mountain resorts, built in conjunction with the railroads who brought patrons to the lodges.

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The lobby of the lodge. Note the many 4-story tall logs that are the primary structure.

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Or the little table in the lobby of this (different) Great Northern railway lodge.

Mountains as far as the eye can see - I believe this is Canada in the distance

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And tall ones, too. That is a waterfall in the foreground, but the white lines on the mountains in the background appear to be snow filled valleys.

The ski lifts do run in the summer for tourists like us - with hiking, biking, and other activities at the top.

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