Sunday, October 21, 2012

Heading to Glacier National Park

Cattle along Sun River.
I left the Buckhouse Inn early and following US 287. The day was sunny and clear and the forest fires’ smoke did not yet reach this far north. Driving along the highway there was no mistaken that you are in cattle country. Everywhere you look there are cattle grazing far and wide and if you looked to the west the Rocky Mountain were looming in the distance.

Sun River from Hwy 287
US 287 ends in the town of Choteau, here I turned of US 89 and followed it up to St Mary just outside the Glacier NP. Choteau was busy preparing for their 4th of July Parade. People around the area were coming for an old fashion parade. The sidewalks were beginning to be lined with lawn chairs. It looked like this town knows how to celebrate our country’s birth. I did not stop long here except to gas up since I wanted to celebrate my 4th of July driving the “Going-to-the-Sun Road”.

Hwy 89 Mile marker 51 near Egg Mountain Historical Marker
Highway 89 climbs up and down the Rocky Mountains foothills; this allows wonderful views of Montana’s vast landscape. The Glacier eastern park edge is surrounded by the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. They marked the beginning of their land with this monument.

Blackfeet Monument sited at the entrance to Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
An hour later I drove into St. Mary stopping to get ice before entering the park. I stop at St. Mary Visitor Center at 11:30 to change out of shorts. The mountain weather is much cooler. Everyone was layering their clothing and cover themselves with a windbreak to keep out the cold wind. The weather forecast stated that the wind was to stop blowing today. The winds were so strong that driving along the I90 corridor my wrists and shoulder ached toward the end of the day. The winds finally ceased blowing when I started climbing up into the Rockies.

St. Mary Lake viewed from Hwy 89 before the town of St. Mary.
I took some time to explore the area around the visitor center and I had fun experimenting with camera shots before going over the "Going-to-the-Sun Road".

St. Mary River near Visitor Center. Red Eagle Mountain is on the left. Right of the far tree is Mahtotopa Mountain and behind it is Little Chief Mountain.
Note: Between getting the house ready for winter and doing research on Glacier National Park it is taking me a long time to put together a new posting. I never knew how hard it would be to identified mountains from pictures. A lot pictures show just the peak and not the whole mountain. Some mountains have more than one peak and I cannot tell if the peak is the mountain or it includes more. So if I have made mistakes please forgive and let me know so I can correct it. Thanks!

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