Labour Day in Montana, 2008
Everyone who moves to Montana wants to be the last one allowed in.
-- More Than Skin Deep, Glenn Law

This was a weekend trip south across the border and through the other Glacier National Park. Unlike Canada's Glacier, this one has a daring feel, mostly due to the very limited (as in seasonal access only) Going To The Sun Highway. This is a road you should travel with care, particularly when it gets cool.

(click on any image to view full-size)

The view across St Mary Lake is lovely. When we visited, the sun and clouds were alternating rapidly. As near as I can tell from Google maps, this is Fusilade Mountain and a large ridge of Reynolds Mountain (left to right)



We stopped to see the Sun Point Nature Trail (an easy walk) and our enthusiasm carried us up the Piegan Pass Trail for about a mile. This is Baring Creek.



Shortly past that point is Baring Falls. The falls is very accessible, perhaps more than is safe, as you could (if you wish) walk right under the falls. Me and the nice camera stayed a little further back, thanks.


As we hiked back beside the lake, the wind began to pick up. A cold steady push was coming down the lake from the high mountains just to the west. The trees along the lake show that this is not some rare event.


This is Going To The Sun Mountain, which overshadows the highway named after it. This picture was take from Sun Point, which is a very worthy little stop, so long as you make sure everything is tied on securely.




Here's another tree that gave it's all to that cold katabatic wind. Sun Point is almost (but not quite) bald, and the breeze was so fierce I almost lost my hat twice, despite it having a snug wind cord.


Still on Sun Point, there's a row of trees like this right by the east edge of the point. All dead and bleached white. This is (evidently) a tough place to stand for any length of time, but impressive to visit.





This little waterfall is right below the Logan Pass and visible from the road, so long as you're not afraid to go near the edge. With no signage, I can only deduce from Google maps that this is Cataract Creek. If so, it's well named.

Oberlin Mountain utterly dominates the view at the Logan Pass Visitor Centre, which is also, if you look carefully, seen in this picture.

This frame, with a bit of shoulder in the foreground gives a better sense of how sheer the drop is beside the highway.  The subject is the same waterfall on Cataract Creek seen earlier.



Mount Oberlin again, this time seen from above the Logan Pass Centre. The alpine meadow there is breathtaking and accessible via a boardwalk trail.

Here we are (minus me behind the camera of course) heading down the trail.  The boardwalk protects fragile plants from foot traffic. The Logan Pass Centre  looks quite a ways off, but is only 20 minutes away.



A herd of Mountain Goats were foraging near Oberlin Falls. They took little interest in people. The converse was not true.

 Despite the large number of people nearby there was little effort to approach the animals. The terrain was tough, but also, the visitors seemed to have uncommon common sense and stayed to the roads.




 This fellow clearly had his tank topped up for winter, but he wasn't slowing down grazing either.





This goat started by eating the bush, then, after a few nibbles, decided that it was better to have a good scratch between the horns.

Oh, and there were falls. The Oberlin Falls. I mentioned that. Busy taking pictures of goats though...

The goats moved across the highway and into some light brush beside a boardwalk trail. Cameras followed like paparazzi after a celeb.

Two things amazed me about this stop. First, the goats seemed totally unconcerned by the people.

This image is in fact of goats on the metal-grated boardwalk. The animals placidly wandered onto and around it.

The second thing that surprised me was how well people stayed on the walkway, rather than heading into the bushes after the fauna. People are often idiots, but not that day.

Here's another good look at the best-winterized goat on the mountain. He needed it too. Three days later there was snow falling on this spot.

The ridge on the left is called Garden Wall, while on the right we have Bishop's Cap.

The next morning we are in Polson, at the south end of Flathead Lake. The sunrise is spectacular.



We stayed at the KwaTakNuk Resort in Polson, as did these gulls on the roof. I'm certain they liked the waterfront location even more than I did.



The cloud layer that morning was low and full of fascinating patterns. It was a rewarding day to not sleep in.

Wild Horse Island has, curiously, many more Bighorn Sheep than wild horses. I'm not complaining, just observing.

The western shore of Wild Horse Island was full of interesting rock formations like this.







This Osprey circled above us for some time. The boat had an upper deck full of small children, so maybe...



All of these Osprey pictures are at quite high resolution. (Three cheers for the nice lens my wife bought me!) This frame in particular I visualize as a wall poster, rather than computer wallpaper.




Text and images copyright Glenn Gill. Permission is granted for personal use at no charge. Contact me for commercial use, or to order prints.