My Solo Wanderings of the West

River19

Observer
I can confirm I have a solid love hate relationship with this thread. I absolutely love reading and seeing the pictures of your travels. I hate that I have to do this from my cubicle (cellicle) at work instead of a drivers seat, trail or from the end of a fly rod.......

That being said......keep this **** coming it keeps me from going 100% crazy in work-land.

Steve
 
Man, those photos of Glacier were stunning, must definitely visit the park as well someday. Now that I'm back at work doing the grind every day, I really envy you Kenny. Nearly every day when I commute to work, I think about how great it would be to drive past work and just keep on going...
 

Hughbetcha

New member
Kenny, As everyone else has said, this is an awesome log of your wanderings. I've been lurking for so many years, well before you had to sign up to see the pix w/o watermarks. The greatness of your adventure can be measured by the number of us you have brought into the light to say Thank you for taking us along and showing us these amazing sights. BTW I had to go buy my first new road atlas so I can follow along! Subscribed.
 

IncorpoRatedX

Explorer
Kenny,

I'm only on page 40 of this thread but I skipped ahead to see you're still traveling. Thanks for sharing, it's an inspiration. If you find yourself east of phoenix or near tonto national forest experiencing some of it's splendor this winter and need anything, be it a place to park overnight near the edge of the wilderness, a tow, or a shop to turn a wrench in, contact me. It would be a pleasure to meet you and if you're interested im sure the local expo guys would enjoy showing you some of the casual trails with great camping and views. There's a good network of people down here. I too come from the midwest and have done cross country trips for the last 4 years, 3 of them buying a vehicle upon inspection and driving it back, the last one moving all of my belongings to the southwest to set up. Safe Travels!

-Josh
 

skypix

New member
Hope all is well

Kenny,

Like many of your followers, I look for your latest story every day.

You are fortunate to be making the journey, we are fortunate that you generously bring us along.

Been too long since an update, hope all is well.

Don in NH
 

kennyj

Explorer
Thanks for the update...Kintla lake is beautiful.As I was surfing the web reading about the lake,I came across this article about the ranger you posted the picture of.

Kintla Lake Park Ranger Ponders Retirement
http://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/kintla-lake-park-ranger-ponders-retirement.htm
Thanks for posting that Chet, it's a nice article. What's funny though is that it was from 2013 when Lyle was 93, and here it is two years later and he still hasn't retired!
 

kennyj

Explorer
More stunning photos and travels - thanks kennyj! You singlehandedly added Glacier to my bucket list. :)
I can confirm I have a solid love hate relationship with this thread. I absolutely love reading and seeing the pictures of your travels. I hate that I have to do this from my cubicle (cellicle) at work instead of a drivers seat, trail or from the end of a fly rod.......

That being said......keep this **** coming it keeps me from going 100% crazy in work-land.

Steve
Man, those photos of Glacier were stunning, must definitely visit the park as well someday. Now that I'm back at work doing the grind every day, I really envy you Kenny. Nearly every day when I commute to work, I think about how great it would be to drive past work and just keep on going...
Awesome lake pics
Kenny, As everyone else has said, this is an awesome log of your wanderings. I've been lurking for so many years, well before you had to sign up to see the pix w/o watermarks. The greatness of your adventure can be measured by the number of us you have brought into the light to say Thank you for taking us along and showing us these amazing sights. BTW I had to go buy my first new road atlas so I can follow along! Subscribed.
Kenny,

I'm only on page 40 of this thread but I skipped ahead to see you're still traveling. Thanks for sharing, it's an inspiration. If you find yourself east of phoenix or near tonto national forest experiencing some of it's splendor this winter and need anything, be it a place to park overnight near the edge of the wilderness, a tow, or a shop to turn a wrench in, contact me. It would be a pleasure to meet you and if you're interested im sure the local expo guys would enjoy showing you some of the casual trails with great camping and views. There's a good network of people down here. I too come from the midwest and have done cross country trips for the last 4 years, 3 of them buying a vehicle upon inspection and driving it back, the last one moving all of my belongings to the southwest to set up. Safe Travels!

-Josh
Kenny,

Like many of your followers, I look for your latest story every day.

You are fortunate to be making the journey, we are fortunate that you generously bring us along.

Been too long since an update, hope all is well.

Don in NH
Thanks to all of you for these great comments and compliments. There are too many to reply individually but all of your replies are what keeps me updating this. I apologize for taking so long posting this next update, but I've got a lot of good stuff coming up.

Thanks to everyone for following my travels.
 

kennyj

Explorer
All of the eastern side of Glacier borders on the Blackfeet Reservation so there is no dispersed camping outside the park, and the National Park campgrounds fill up early in the day. I went as far as the eastern edge of the Lewis and Clark National Forest and turned south on a forest road to camp. I would get up early in the morning and drive the last few miles to assure getting a site in the National Park.




The area I drove into had burned at some time and was in the process of re-foresting; there was an unusual beauty to the area, and wildflowers were blooming like crazy.




In the morning I made the short drive to East Glacier Park and then to the Two Medicine area. They call the eastern slope the land where the prairie meets the mountains. The mountains of Glacier rise abruptly from the central plains of Montana.




Looking up the Two Medicine valley; about 10 miles in is Two Medicine Lake and the campground.




Along the drive is a short walk to see Running Eagle Falls, also called the Trick Falls.




Seen everywhere around Glacier, and also back in Yellowstone, are these custom Ford tour buses with old style bodywork on modern running gear, and fueled by propane.



 

kennyj

Explorer
Arriving early paid off with a nice campsite in the quiet no-generator area. Once I was set up I took off on a hike around Two Medicine Lake. The campground is arranged around this eastern end, most of the lake is beyond road’s end.




Hiking along the north shore of the lake.




A lone rock spire towers high above the trail.




The trail continues beyond the lake to Twin Falls, and then the junction of the south shore trail.




Starting the return along the south shore of Two Medicine Lake.




The trail passed through meadow areas covered with wildflowers.




The south trail climbed pretty high above the lake with great views. Looking back at the west end of the lake.




Hiking through a meadow area.




I finally completed the loop, returning past the boat docks.


 

kennyj

Explorer
I only spent one night at Two Medicine; early the next morning I continued north to the Many Glacier area. Along the way I got my first view of the St Mary area, with the valley full of smoke from the fires.




Just north of St Mary town this private campground was taken over as the fire camp, turned into a canvas tent city and home base to approximately 600 firefighters.




Just one small area of the firefighter’s tents.




I saw one of these water-bomber helicopters taking off for the fire area.




Just north of the fire camp, a large empty field was the base for the 7 or 8 helicopters that were water-bombing the fire. This was another of the tanker-style; there were also some big Chinooks hauling giant bags that would fill with water from St Mary Lake. Parked alongside every one of the helicopters was a big semi fuel tanker, and various support vehicles and trailers.


 

kennyj

Explorer
Driving to the Many Glacier area the road follows along the shore of Lake Sherburne. At the head of this valley mountains separate several distinct glacial valleys.




After finding a campsite, the day was looking rainy so I decided to hike down among the trees and started out along Swiftcurrent Lake.




Looking back across Swiftcurrent Lake at the grand Many Glacier hotel.




The trail continued on to Lake Josephine and I hiked along the south shore with glaciers and waterfalls in the distance.




At the far end of Lake Josephine the trail crossed over this creek and headed back along the north shore.




The view looking back at the far end of Lake Josephine. The last mile or so it started to rain lightly; just as I made it back to camp it started to downpour.

 

kennyj

Explorer
The next day the weather was absolutely perfect so I set off on a hike up another of the glacial valleys to Iceberg Lake. The trail starts off with a steep climb then follows along exposed mountainside with spectacular views.




About halfway up is Ptarmigan Falls and a trail junction, it was a great spot to rest and take a break for the many hikers on the popular trail.




Leaving Ptarmigan Falls the trail destination starts to come into view.




Continuing higher and looking back; the beginning of the trail is beyond the notch in the valley below.




Finally nearing the end of the trail and hiking through meadows blanketed with color of wildflowers.




Iceberg Lake is obviously named for the floating slabs of ice, many of which last all summer. The lake is surrounded by the cirque of the Ptarmigan Wall that towers 3,000 feet above the water.




This year was one of light snow fall so there weren’t as many “icebergs” as there might have been.




Nevertheless it was a stunning sight and one of my favorite spots at Glacier.




There are no words to describe the amazing color of Iceberg Lake.




Starting back down the trail, Swiftcurrent Lake is barely seen in the distant valley.




It was a really great trail day, with good weather up to the end. I even saw several moose, and I spotted bighorn sheep grazing high up the mountains.

 

kennyj

Explorer
The next day I left Many Glacier and headed south for Cut Bank campground. Along the way smoke from the fires rises above the valley; looking across Lower St Mary Lake.




The view from an overlook on the highway of the burning area. St Mary Lake is in the distance.




One of the big twin rotor Chinooks hauling a load of water picked up from the lake to dump on the fire.








Cut Bank is another of the park's “primitive” campsites, reached by about five miles of rough road.




The campground didn't allow RVs or generators and was only about 12 sites so it was very peaceful. It was a great place to hang out for a few days and explore on the bike.




After making camp I rode the bike back up to the St Mary area. The day had become really windy and the fires seemed much bigger than earlier that morning.




Fortunately the Glacier fires didn't cause great loss of structures or property, and stayed confined to the area along St Mary Lake. It did force the evacuation and closing of a large part of the resort area including hotels and campgrounds, and the closing of the Going to the Sun Road. I was disappointed not to be able to ride the east end of the road on this trip, but I already know that I will be returning to visit Glacier again.



Coming soon, the trip continues west...

 
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