Beautiful Yellowstone ecosystem in macro.
We went into Glacier and it was breathtakingly beautiful.
I love living where I do because I am constantly surprised. I am always amazed and shocked and the opportunities that abound here aren’t like any other.
We encountered a man carrying a cigarette and a walking stick simultaneously. He was walking at a decent pace. He got out another cigarette after he finished this one.
The Many Glacier Lodge we went into was built by the railroad companies as tourism destinations, but they are in the “Swiss” style- it made me a little nostalgic for my real Switzerland, although real is entirely subjective.
We hiked 8 miles to Bullhead Lake that day, quietly soaking up sunshine and hearing waterfalls and the breeze blow through the alpine flora. Glacier is beautiful, despite the people we encounter. I enjoy solitary moments while travelling but being somewhere so popular doesn’t always afford those.
Regardless, last weekend was absolutely lovely!
Two weekends ago on my home, I was feeling frustrated and restless.
So naturally I decided to get it out by taking a 3 hour long tour 550 feet underground at Lewis and Clark State Caverns.
I went alone, and everybody seemed to be surprised that a lone female was hiking the 1/2 mile to the entrance and on the tour. The tour guide was very friendly and kept asking me questions, and an aloof couple from France kept holding up our tour group trying to get pictures without any of the ‘Muricans in the frames.
It was cool, humid, and beautiful. I couldn’t believe that nature can simultaneously allow caribou calves to run 12 minutes after birth and yet take 2,000 years to grow a single stalagmite. It’s incredible and humbling, but also sad- early explorers had dynamited the cave 100 years ago and only a few inches of limestone had grown back in some places, and none at all.
The darkness made it quite hard for my little flimsy digital camera to capture much of value but I hope you enjoy some views of what our beautiful world looks like underneath everything, if conditions are right and humans don’t ruin the good things.
This morning I woke up and it was pouring rain at 7 am.
So I slept some more.
Waking at 8, the rain was gone. I got up, filled my Nalgene, packed a rain jacket, and ate some breakfast.
Then I drove into Hyalite Canyon.
I am ashamed to say that after having spent 3 years in Bozeman I had never explored Hyalite properly. Last fall Chris and I went up there a few times and camped out but this time I was determined to drive all over the roads and walk up quite a few trails.
It was chilly and damp, and everything was full of water- dew drops hanging off of plant edges, pine needles raining water on you when you moved a branch. Driving I had the windows down because it was so beautiful and cool outside.
I didn’t know where to start hiking, and I started at the easiest “hike” to Palisade Falls. It’s paved the whole way but the falls were pretty. The whole morning I barely saw a soul, and that was the best part. I drove where I wanted, as slow as I pleased, and paused a lot to take pictures or photograph a plant (that post coming soon!)
Overall it was the most refreshing and beautiful morning. I ended up getting pretty wet at the end of the Falls hike because it started pouring rain and even a bit of snow. It was entirely worth it though- I got to drive and see all the beautiful things I’d been missing.
Now I need to go back to discover more. I think next time I’ll bring my kayak.
Today was my day off.
I woke up early and played with my dog, drank mint tea and ate muffins. Then I headed downtown to read on a sunny bench. I’m currently reading about 3 or 4 different books, all with very different ideas. One is Margarted Atwood’s The Robber Wife, which thus far is very much from the early 1990′s and different, if not still good. A biography of FDR has revealed that he was a ridiculous momma’s boy, but still incredibly good as a man and president (we can’t all be perfect!). I shared my books with a spider that literally blew in on the wind, but didn’t want to hang around for whatever reason.
I wound up at the Montana Museum, where I saw Charles M. Russell’s depictions of cowboys, Native Americans, and life in Montana 120 years ago. I feel very grateful for modern furnaces and adequate clothing, as well as bug spray!
Among many of the treasures there, however, a beautiful red dress adorned with elk teeth always catches my eye. It’s such a beatiful color and elk’s teeth are smooth and symmetrical, and on the dress they are beautiful. I am not sure if they were elk ivory (elk have two ivory teeth in their mouths, per elk. They are beautiful!). I also visited the eerie creamy white bison that inhabits the second floor the Historical Society. Blue glass eyes add to the effect, making me never want to spend much time in front of the creature.
I came home and promptly fell asleep for 3 hours of odd afternoon dreams, and woke up in time to help make dinner and wish I’d done more with my day. I was going to drive to the Deerlodge Car Museum but decided that I couldn’t afford the gas (GAH) and so stayed within the town limits for the day, but nonetheless still had a lovely time!