Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 24, 2010, Texas

We're home! Check back in October when we start our volunteer work at LBJ State Park!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 20, 2010, Bear Lake, Idaho

We're in Idaho! Another state we have never been in.

Potato fields

We got up early and drove to the Bear Lake NWF. It’s not too far from the campground. It’s surrounded by mountains and the elevation ranges from 5,925 feet on the marsh to 6,800 feet on Merkley Mountain. It’s 18,000 acres that was established in 1968. We drove the driving loop and also walked quite a ways in on one of the trails. We saw lots of birds. There were California and Franklin Gulls making a lot of noise. Made me think of winter at the Texas coast!

Trumpeter Swans with chicks

White-faced Ibis

Coot chick

Young moose

We then drove into Paris and had lunch at a small antique store (sandwiches and chips). It was very good.

Then it was on to the Minnetonka Cave (Minnetonka means Running Water). We enjoyed the 90 minute tour. The cave is 40 degrees year-round!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17, 2010, Dillon, Montana


We went to the Bannack Ghost Town this morning for “Bannack Days”. It’s a trip back in time with shoot outs, wagon rides, pioneer crafts, candle making, Doc Hall’s Medicine show, and lots of food.

We tried our hand at gold panning. We found a lot of garnet and a little gold.

First you screen you rocks, with hopes of hitting it big!

Then you start swirling.

And swirl some more.

Then you let the old back rest for a while.

That little gold dot is real gold!

This is our stash of garnets.

Gold was discovered in Grasshopper Creek on July 28, 1882. Bannack’s population swelled to over 3,000 in the spring of 1883. The town slowly died as the gold mining played out. Bannack State Park was established in 1954 ensuring the town would be maintained and preserved. Over 50 buildings still remain.

Doc Hall's Medicine Show

Slightly soiled doves

Chuck wagon

Over 50 buildings are still standing.

Furnished room

Buggy rides

Lots of music


Having a Pepsi and hoping for a shoot out.

Scottish Highland Cattle

July 15, 2010, Fort Benton, Montana

We got a lifer today! The Chestnut-collard Longspur. Unfortunately, the photo was blurred. We drove out to Lake Benton National Wildlife Refuge this morning. There is a 9 mile drive that we spent quite a bit of time on. There are a lot of lakes, wetlands, and grasslands. We saw quite a few birds and had a great time.

Eared Grebe

Tree Swallow

Western Meadlowlark

Marsh Wren

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 12, 2010, Glacier NP (East Side), Montana

We drove to Canada today. It wasn’t a very long drive. We had to go through customs and show our passports.

The Prince of Wales Hotel

After stopping at the visitor center to get some information, we drove to Cameron Falls.

Then on to Bertha Lake and Bertha Falls.

Bertha Lake

The trail to Bertha Falls was lined with wildflowers.

Bertha Falls

We drove back into Waterton for lunch. The town is very quaint! The little houses were adorable. There were deer walking around all over. We had lunch at Trappers Mountain Grill. The food was wonderful!

We walked around the 2 streets that have all the shops and picked up souvenirs. Then on to dessert!

Then we drove on to Cameron Lake. It was starting to get very windy and a little cold and cloudy.

Cameron Lake

On the way out of Waterton Park we spotted a mama black bear and a very playful cub!

Then it was back through customs (US this time)

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 11, 2010, Glacier NP (East Side), Montana

We moved to the east side of the park this morning. It took us about 3 hours to get here. We didn’t have any trouble getting into the St. Mary campground. We’ve got a great site.

View out the front door of our RV.

After lunch we drove the “Going to the Sun” road to Logan Pass.

Wild Goose Island

Bighorn Sheep

Logan Pass Visitor Center. (6646 feet)

For my birthday, we drove to the Many Glacier Hotel and ate in the Ptarmigan Dining Room. This is the view from our table:

Many Glacier Hotel. The restaurant looks out the back toward the mountains.

July 10, 2010, Glacier NP (West Side), Montana

We hiked the Fish Lake Trail this morning (5 1/2 miles round trip). We had just started crossing the bridge over Snyder Creek when we saw movement in the underbrush. A Pine Martin came out of the bushes and started across the bridge toward us. He stopped when he saw us and seemed very curious. He was super cute. I didn’t get to my camera until he had jumped up a tree. He didn’t stay around very long.

Pine Martin
The trail switchbacks uphill for a couple of miles through hemlock forest. We saw small cones of the hemlock as well as the giant cones of the western white pine.

Western White Pinecone

The trail crosses Jackson Creek.

Jackson Creek

Fish Lake is very pretty, despite it's name. There wasn't a lot of activity around the lake. We only saw one Barrow’s Goldeneye on the whole lake! We did watch a Pileated Woodpecker for quite a while.

Fish Lake

Longhorn Beetle

After supper we went to the ranger program on Nocturnal Creatures in Glacier. It was very good. The ranger was very funny and entertaining.