Friday, May 26, 2017

Reflection's Flora and Fauna at Logan's Pass, Glacier National Park, Toss in a Short Hike for Measure

Copyright 2017, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

July      2013

Logan's Pass, Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park.

When you reach the end of the shuttle ride, you are at the Visitors Center, Logan's Pass. (Remember, we are coming in from the west, but, the same is true if you ride from Saint Mary's on the east.)

Where to look first??  Oh, just start looking in all directions, snap photos, fast and furious. One direction:

The opposite direction:

Oh, there is a hike, it goes to Hidden Lake, but, before we wander up that way:

It's snack time.  I'll admit, it's really (sarcasm alert here) hard sitting with some food and drink surrounded by this beauty.

From signage in the Visitors Center, I believe this is Sitka Valerian.

Looking out over the parking lot at the mountain side.  We noticed other visitors pointing and taking out binoculars and their cameras.  Sony and I went to work, zoom zoom, ohhh, what HAVE we here?  Look hard, serious camouflage by Mother Nature at work here.

Yes, they are Bighorn Sheep.  Here, Sony is past it's max zoom, the photos show how far I am pushing, but, I do have a bit of an image to share.

The scenery just begs for panoramic.  Can't do it justice, but, we do try.

There are water falls to woo me.

And, some mountain goats having a meal of fresh foliage growing on the meadow-like areas.

Awww factor!

The yellow avalanche lily was blooming.  (That's what I believe it is, per this page.)

Another panoramic.

Sometimes the best action is NO action. Just sit and smell the roses, as they say.  The views are hard to argue with.

Still working on the identification of this.  Wonder if it is Rocky Mountain dwarf-primrose? After some study, I believe it may the the pink mountain-heather, as seen later on this post.

When there is a protrusion of rock where the board walk is going, build said board walk around said protrusion.

Looking back down towards the Visitors Center.

Man just HAD to have a photo in the snow. This is no longer a glacier in the true definition, but, oh, hey, we can pretend!

He convinced me, it was a "must" do!

Our park staff at work, hiking in to rescue a hurt visitor.  I over heard the ranger saying they were 30 to 45 minutes from the injured party.  Four staff, gurney and a LONG hike to bring out an injured visitor, that staff is going to be tired.

By this time, Man and I had done all we could for hiking UP this mountain.  We never made it to the top, nor did we see Hidden Lake.  The trail is 1.5 miles from the Visitor Center to the overlook (crest) with a gain of 450 feet.  The lake itself is another 1.5 miles (one way) with a drop of 780 feet.  Now, remember if you hike in the 3 miles you will have to hike out 3 miles, and gain the 780 feet you went down and then, drop the 450 feet to the Visitor Center.  Not being acclimated to the elevation, and the heat of the day convinced us, we were happy with what we had done and seen.

The views, the flowers.  SIGHHH

This may be pink mountain-heather.

On the way back down to the Visitors Center I stopped to take more photos of the Yellow Avalanche Lily, I could not help myself.

This is most likely a Columbian Ground Squirrel.  Not too shy.

And, almost at the end of our hike I found these, probably growing right around the Visitor Center.  They are purple, maybe? AHHHHHHHHHH.  They are Gentiana glauca, thanks Cate for the ID.

They are described as "blossoms of the clearest blue".  Note, I did NO color correction on these photos.  All I did was resize the photos for Reflections.

We had been at Logan's Pass for about 2 hours.  We were ready to catch the shuttle back to the west side of the park.  It was a long wait for buses, we had to switch at Avalanche Creek, another long wait.  More on our ride down from Logan's Pass next time.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Glacier National Park, Going to the Sun Road

Copyright 2017, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

On July 25    


We finally got to the Going to the Sun Road.

My emotions were high, my expectations even higher.  We decided to take the trolley/buses to Logan's Pass.  This is a great service for those that are a bit leery of driving mountain roads themselves.   I am so very glad we did the bus thing for Man.  He got to gaze and look and never have to take his eyes OFF the landscape.  That is a rare treat for my driver supreme.  For me.  Well, not so much.  I found the crowds to be upsetting, noisy, some of the little ones very wild and the parents of same little ones did not seem to care that their little ones were playing in the middle of the bus driving/parking area.  Waiting for the buses on an extremely busy  HOT summer day, well, ok, I'm spoiled and I was tired and well, my patience was thin, to non-existent.  My bad.  The photographer in me was very disappointed.  I have yet to figure out how to take acceptable (to me) photo out of a bus window.

For example, here is a photo.  Probably a fat finger photo, but, still it shows the issues, frame and reflections/glare.

I included this one to show some more glare.  If you look closely in the blue sky you will see the word "Logan's Pass" in the sky. The reflection is from the digital screen over the driver.  It's backwards, but, it's there. LOL

Same photo, seriously cropped.  There are other methods to digitally enhance/edit, cropping on this one is not the best approach.  Still, it's a pretty shot, what with the river in the foreground.  Yes, the foreground, is a bit out of focus, we were rolling, shows movement??  LOL

Working our way up the mountain.

As you will see, I took several shots of this mountain.

Shot through the front windshield, a bit of zoom and a lot of luck.

Still rolling, here's that mountain and the snow/glaciers.  Interesting note, from what we learned during our visit at Glacier, the number of glaciers is down from 150 in 1850. Now, a glacier is not snow pack.  A glacier is snow packed over time that actually MOVES, from the weight of the snow. Depending on the source you use, they say that all glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2020 or 2030.  There are currently about 25 active glaciers in the park.

Now, I believe this is Bridal Veil Falls.  I will stand corrected if someone knows otherwise. Please let me know.

We may have stopped for this photo op, I am not sure 4 years later.  I can tell you that Sony and I used a lot of zoom to capture this.

In attempts to get photos, I even shot out the long thin windows of the van/bus.  I know, right??  LOL  Laughter aside, it is an interesting shot, even showing a bit of depth (almost 3 dimensional).

Another pretty water fall.  I love water falls.  By looking at the tree in the foreground, I can tell you this one was taken while rolling.

Logan's Pass.   6,647 feet.  Very little snow, and it is hard to believe that some springs they find 90 FEET of snow drifted over the Going to the Sun Road when they begin plowing.

I'll show you more photos from our stop at Logan's Pass next time.  Flowers, hiking, creatures.

Information about the shuttle bus services can be found here.

See ya soon at Logan's Pass (well, the 2013 version of our visit there).


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hungry Horse Dam, West Shore State Park at Flathead Lake

Copyright 2017, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

In July     2013   We are visiting the area surrounding Glacier National Park.  Even tho we had recently visited Libby Dam, we decided to run up to Hungry Horse Dam.  And, in the same day, we drove down to West Shore State Park at Flathead Lake.   

The dam building began in July of 1948, and the power plant started up in 1952, the dam itself was completed in 1953. Here we are looking down.  It was BIG!  One of the brochures claims it is 564 feet high and the crest is 2115 feet long.

Yes, you can drive it, or walk it, we chose to walk at least part of it.

In the 1990's, the generators produced up to 428,000 kilowats of electricity, they say, that is enough to power about 270,000 homes.  The power is sold and the funds are used to pay for the construction costs and the maintenance of the entire "Hungry Horse Project".

Resting Sony on the walls, looking down to Hungry Horse Reservoir.

I cannot remember exactly where this was, and the GPS on Sony and Google Photos did not tell me.  No matter, so pretty, who really cares??

On our way from Hungry Horse to Flathead Lake.  Picturesque, yes, indeed.

This is the West Shore State Park at Flathead Lake. The clear water was gorgeous.

A little ride on a personal watercraft to wile the afternoon away.

And, what have we here?  This is north of the state park, in a geographic area Google maps called Somers.  I saw this nest on our way to the park and we managed to find a place to pull off on the way back to Tana.  Thanks to Sony zoom.  Osprey.

I never saw any chicks.

I do note that this was near the Flathead Salmon Hatchery - - dinner is served.

I had fun getting these captures.  As far as I know, these still may be the best Osprey photos I have snapped.

And, I cannot tell you exactly where this is, so, if you know where this "horse and buggy" are, please let me know.

The next day, July 25th, we would spend many hours in Glacier National Park, destination, Going to the Sun Road and Logan's Pass.