Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love this sign ...

I wish I could hang this sign up at the state park I walk at. There is a sign that people must clean up after their pets and keep them on leashes, but this one is better. People either can't read or they're just assholes. I wish I could blame this on the tourists, but the people I see with dogs are on the trail all the time, so I'm pretty sure they're local. It's so rude. I wrote to the park manager, but I doubt there is anything she can do about it. The sign is up there. Perhaps if it's not enforced, she should go out and clean up the trail everyday. This is why I prefer national parks over state parks. It's not that I'm a dog hater. I love dogs, but I shouldn't have to watch every damn step I take while trying to enjoy a local park.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Morris Has A Cold

I found the book Morris Has A Cold at a thrift store the other day. I was thrilled because we have another one called Halloween With Morris & Boris that we really like. I love finding other books in series like that, especially when I can find them for a quarter. I don't recall ever owning any of the Morris & Boris books as a kid, but I believe I read some later on. This one is funny because Morris catches a cold, and Boris tries to help him get better with various remedies. The only problem is, Morris takes everything literally—his nose isn't running—it's walking. When Boris asks how his throat feels, Morris tries to reach inside to touch it so he can see how it feels. It's a cute story, and I'm glad to add another to our collection.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More GNP photos

We encountered a very large grizzly bear while hiking. I only got a photo with its head down (above), so it's just a clump of fur really. Some other people we met up with got some good pictures. Every time I tried to get a shot, they'd get in front of me. And besides, they were getting way TOO CLOSE, so I was more concerned with safety than taking pictures. They said they'd email some to us. We're hoping they do. It was a very BIG bear ... the biggest bear I've ever seen ... like a freaking Smart Car with fur! So, if they do send us some photographs, I'll be sure to post them.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Happy 100 Many Glacier Hotel!

Rick and I spent the night at the historic Many Glacier Hotel this past Friday. We've been to the hotel before, but we've never stayed there. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment trip, mostly to check out the hotel more and do a little hiking and kayaking. The hotel is celebrating its 100th year, so that made our first stay there even more special.

You can choose from a variety of rooms—from newly renovated rooms to entire suites—but we specifically wanted one of the older, non-refurbished rooms overlooking Swiftcurrent Lake. The hotel is old, so that itself makes it delightful to be in. It's one of those places where the wooden floors squeak when you walk on them, and you can hear the wind howling through the pipes.

Our room was very simple, but charming. It did have a telephone, but there were no televisions. We didn't even have Internet connection the whole time we were there. They have it, and say it's best in the lobby, but we could never get it to log in. That didn't matter one bit though.

Pictured below is the view from our room. We had a balcony that we shared with the people next to us, although I only saw one of them once, and very early in the morning. She was standing outside taking a photo of the view, just like I was about to do.

I love really old hotels, especially ones that still use real keys.

Below is the view from the bathroom. Not too shabby, huh? For some reason, we ended up with a handicapped-accessible room. I'm not sure why, but it didn't really matter.

The two pictures that follow are of the dining room, which is huge. The food was absolutely wonderful, as was the staff, who were all brand new employees. The hotel just opened for the season on Wednesday, so everyone is all fresh and still learning the ropes.

Below is a picture from the table we had lunch at. You can't beat a view like that. We had three meals in the main dining room, and two of them were right by the window like this.

This is a fireplace in the main lobby. I didn't take too many pictures in here. It was pretty quiet when we got there around noon on Friday, but by late afternoon the place was hopping.

Below is a picture of a different lobby area. This is actually just one corner of it, and it's more like a walkway lobby that leads from the main part of the hotel to another wing. I believe it's called the Breezeway Lounge or something. There were tables and chairs set up everywhere, and many of them had puzzles. There was a china cabinet with a variety of games in them. The cool thing was that most of the time we saw people sitting at these places working on puzzles, talking, and so forth. That was such a nice change from seeing everyone staring at their cell phones. Having no Internet makes people act differently — they socialize.

I'll try to post some photographs from our hike and kayaking next time. For this blog I just wanted to concentrate on the hotel. Normally, we stay in our trailer in the campgrounds, which I love, but staying at the hotel was a wonderful experience. Rick and I both had a blast.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Blurrrrrrrry ...

No, you don't need glasses. That's how my pictures look right now. I'm sitting here waiting for FedEx to show up. The other day the camera on my phone decided to just stop working. Well, it works, but the pictures are blurry. They are especially blurry when I take something far away. When the camera is in reverse (like when you take a selfie), it focuses just fine. Rick called tech support, and went through all the process of emptying my phone to my computer so he could restart it. None of that worked, so we think it's a hardware problem and not a software one. Unfortunately, I had over 5000 photos on my phone, so those all had to be transferred over to my computer. My poor laptop is on its last legs, so it wasn't happy with 5000+ new photos. I had to go through it yesterday and delete quite a bit to free up some memory.

It's sad how much I depend on my phone for the camera. The camera is what I use it the most for, whether it's for all the photo challenges I do or taking a picture of something for reference. I just went out to get some pictures of our kayak seats for Rick. They were a little blurry, so that was frustrating. It's just stupid because I have a really nice Canon PowerShot camera that takes awesome pictures. Still, who carries big cameras around all the time? I also have a small, water-proof Olympus that I take kayaking. It's not like we're lacking cameras here. Even so, I've gotten to where I depend on my phone so much for the camera. The iPhone 6+ has a really good camera too -- when it's working, that is! Apple is replacing it, so I hope it gets here soon.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Kayaking in Two Medicine

Last Friday we headed back over to the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. We had lunch when we got there with a view of the mountains and the sound waterfalls. Then we got in the kayak and traveled all around Two Medicine Lake. We were greeted with a bit of headwind on the first half of the trip, but luckily the winds were at our back later. In the photo above, you can see Sinopah Mountain. We kayaked right up to the base. This picture doesn't do it justice.

Unfortunately, as we were driving home, I noticed my FITBIT was missing. We had stopped about halfway around the lake and sat on the shoreline for awhile. That's the last time I noticed it, so it must have gotten knocked off while paddling. I'm always hitting my wrists and fingers on the side of the boat. I wasn't too upset over it, but Rick has already replaced it for me. I guess I won't be taking it kayaking anymore.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Morning hike ...

The other day Rick and I walked on the loop trail that goes around Wayfarers State Park. It's only a few miles from our house. We've been to the park many, many times, but for whatever reason, we've never gone on the trail. It's only about 1.5 miles, unless you venture off and go to the shore of Flathead Lake, which adds a little more distance. I went back by myself this morning and did the trail in less than a half hour. I only had my phone for photos. Next time I'll take my camera because I saw a few really cool birds. I pretty much had the trail to myself because I went pretty early. It was nice -- up until right at the end when some lady appeared out of nowhere yacking loudly on her cell phone. I don't get that. But anyway, it's a fun little hike. Hopefully, I can get the boys on it soon. It's nice it's so close to home.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Click, Clack, Moo ...

Oh my goodness ... I didn't realize that I didn't have this book in my collection until today. I came across it at the thrift store. I stood there staring at it, thinking for sure I had to have it. I bought it just in case, and sure enough, I didn't have it. How could I not have this treasure? It's such a funny book. The fact that I got it for a quarter makes me pretty happy too.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Swan River Nature Trail

Yesterday Rick added a hitch to the front of our van. We have one on the back already. We use it for the trailer or the bike rack. Thing is, we can't do both at the same time. Either we pull the trailer and leave the bikes home (or stuff them in the back of the van), or we take the bikes and leave the trailer. So, he ordered a special hitch for the front. I can't even imagine what we're going to look like with four bikes on front, two tandem kayaks on top, and the trailer behind us. Anyway, to make a long story longer, he wanted to test it out so we drove over to the Swan River Nature Trail. It's here in Bigfork, and it's only a couple of miles from the house.

The trail is two miles one way, so we only rode four miles total. Even so, it's all along the Swan River, so it's a really pretty ride. Here's a link that tells more about things to do in Bigfork.

This area of the river is also known for the Wild Mile during the Bigfork Whitewater Festival. Apparently, it's a Class IV section of the river. I believe the festival was just a few weekends back. We've watched it before, but we didn't go this year. I live on top of that hill, by the way.

I almost stepped on this pretty, little thing while getting on my bike. One thing I'm going to buy this summer is a Montana or northwestern book on butterflies. It's so hard to find them online. I'd also like to get a local book on mushrooms, but that's a post for another day.

And finally ... here's is the tail-end of the snake that I accidentally ran over. Trust me, I didn't mean to. I felt just awful. I only saw it right as my tires were right on it. I had no way of swerving or avoiding it. I stopped and turned around. It coiled up like it was totally ticked off, and then it slithered off the road and into the bushes. It seemed to be moving okay. I hope so. I don't really like snakes, especially super ugly brown ones that look just like sticks. Even so, the last thing I want to do is hurt one. On the ride back, every darn stick looked like a snake. Eeek!