Monday, July 27, 2015

A busy weekend!

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

 It was a pretty quiet week, but with a few interesting moments.

Tuesday there was a fire in the Deep Creek Canyon.
It's about 23 miles from here, but the smoke
caused ash to fall all over the place.
The road was closed for awhile.
Unfortunately it's the main route to Helena.
It was out by the end of the week.

We had several summer rain storms,
which always make for lovely rainbows..

The biggest excitement was the 
which was Thursday through Sunday.

The campground was full!

There was a shuttle that came around
picking up people every 20 minutes
to take them to the festival.

Seemed like everyone had a good time,
judging from the noise when they came back :-)

Today it's back to normal, there's a mass exodus.
It is raining today, so not much going on for us.

We made reservations to stay in Whitefish August 20-22,
so we can explore Glacier for a few days.
I cannot wait to see it!

Monday, July 20, 2015

A nice hike

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

We've spent the last few days having some down time
with our friends.
The four of us having been taking walks around town..

We went out to dinner on Saturday,
then came back for the ice cream social.

Yesterday Kathy & Paul accompanied us to our local church.
They really seemed to enjoy it!
Later in the afternoon, we took the short drive up
to Memorial Falls for the lovely hike there.
It's a half mile trip to the upper falls, mostly uphill,
and over rocks and Talus slopes.

There are some beautiful wildflowers around the Belt Creek.

The first half of the hike isn't too bad.

We stop half way to stand on the bridge that crosses the water.

The rest of the hike up to the upper falls winds up
with switchbacks, and over rocks and roots.

There are a few places to stand on the edge to look over the falls..

The flowers have the most amazing colors!

We had to stop and rest a couple times on the way up.
The altitude made it hard to catch our breath!

 We had to cross over the creek at the top,
and we took another route down.
It was quite steep!
We took our time :-)

 It was a very enjoyable day.
Once we were back we had cocktails outside..
and a great pasta dinner.

Kathy & Paul are departing today.
They're heading toward Glacier to explore.

We will miss them!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A nice visit with friends

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

There's been a few happenings this week..

We took a ride to Helena again on Monday.
We needed to pick up George's new glasses,
and it was time to upgrade our cell phones.
I chose the new Samsung 6 Edge,
while George got the Samsung Note 4.
He likes the big screen :-)

Tuesday was George's 65th birthday!
I surprised him with a cake made by a local baker,
and we all snuck into  the clubhouse while he wasn't paying attention.

He was very surprised, and the cake was excellent!

Wednesday our good friends Kathy & Paul Anderson came to stay for a few days.
They are exploring the west in their motorhome,
and are on their way to Glacier.

We welcomed them with a nice double rainbow that night :-)

Yesterday we took them on a tour of the area,
and ended up at Crazy Mountain Inn.

This is a little rustic place only open Thursday-Saturday.
Cash only, but good food.
Their pies are fantastic!
I had a piece of sour cream lemon :-)

We ended the evening chatting in their motorhome
and catching up.

They'll be here until Sunday,
we look forward to spending time with them!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Beartooth Highway

Conestoga Campground
White Sulphur Springs, MT

One of the areas we had on our 'must-see' list
is the drive on the Beartooth Highway.
For us to do this as a day trip meant getting up at daybreak (5:00 am!)
and driving a loop of 427 miles!

The highway is closed during the winter due to massive amounts of snow.
It opened this year on May 29th,
and we were surprised to see 
that there were little patches of snow in places.

The highway runs from Cooke City, MT
to just south of Red Lodge, MT and is 68 miles long.
It was officially opened on June 14, 1936,
and rises to a summit of 10,947 feet!

We drove to Gardiner, MT and stopped for a quick breakfast
at the Yellowstone Mine restaurant.
It was a so-so buffet, but it fit the bill :-)

Just past Gardiner, we drove through the North gate
into Yellowstone National Park.
It's nice to save the $30 entrance fee with George's senior pass :-)
As we drove through the Lamar valley area,
we saw the typical wild animal population..

George learned one lesson..
never beep the horn at Bison in the road :-)
They don't always run away from you, but turn toward the car!

The beautiful wild flowers are abundant..

The scenery is beautiful!

The drive exits the park at Cooke City,
and the highway itself goes through Wyoming and Montana.
As you wind through the pass, the Yellowstone River is crossed several times.

There are lots of places to pull over to get a grand view..

 At some of the larger turnoffs these guys were looking for handouts..

The alpine meadows were filled with different flowers..

..and lots of glacial lakes..

Once we reached the summit,
it felt like we were on top of the world!

 Eventually we got to see the namesake for the highway..

The name for beartooth comes from an old Crow name 'Na Piet Say'.

The last vista before heading down is also impressive.
There's a great walkway out to the point to get the sweeping views.

 You can get a glimpse of the road that we came up from there.

The road going out is way down there..

It was definitely worth getting up early to do this drive,
we highly suggest it!
We didn't get to see any Mountain Goats,
but on the way home we saw this bear out in the field..

He was sniffing at a deer carcass when we drove by,
so we stopped and turned around to get some pics.

All in all it was a fantastic day!