We have one more beautiful breakfast (including a new favorite – Red Neck Bacon) at the North Fork and head down to civilization. Thanks so much to Linda and Joe for opening their home and ample grounds to us. As Joe says at the table (with that view on our opening page),
“Some of us started this trip as strangers and now we are friends”.
Here’s a photo from our stay of our friend, Joe.
Here’s our group photo from the morning of our departure.
A couple of times, we went up the North Fork Road to the Canadian border...only 2 miles from their house – and a visit to Moose City, a retreat that Joe owns with 20 other folks. Some of them have planes, so there’s a 5,000 foot grass runway. Cabins dot the area, available for members to use for visits. The property has lots of frontage on the North Fork of the Flathead River and there’s a put-in for rafts and kayaks, too. Each cabin has its own modern outhouse and plenty of wood for the stove.
Border shots…some sneaking across…
Moose City’s sightings…
Cabins and local “farm implement art” strewn about the grounds.
We encounter a high-end town at Whitefish, Montana…just north of Kalispell and including many galleries, plenty of eating/drinking spots, a ski mountain and a scenic lake. One of the galleries is the Dick Idol…and, his son, Colt Idol, is an accomplished artist at 25…he’s getting national attention. Colt did a commissioned painting for the Franchinis and just delivered it before our visit. He was in the gallery, when we stopped today and I asked for a photo to show Joe and Linda that we were there.
Our evening will be at the Hilton Garden Inn and on to the Glacier Park International Airport for flights on Friday….Butch & Louise to Denver and on to Steamboat and the Boyds and Roachs through Chicago and landing in Philadelphia at 9PM.
Let’s recap the past few days’ highlights.
We have talked about Grizzly Bears this whole trip…there have been many sightings and some attacks in the Glacier National Park. We bought our cans of Bear Spray. Joe has the spray as well as some firearms in his holster. We saw two bears when we were at St. Mary’s Lake…one eating berries near the lake and one when we took the boat ride on Swiftcurrent Lake from Many Glacier Lodge.
Grizzlies and Black Bears are crazy about Huckleberries…and, so are all the residents of Montana, who treat them as a state treasure.
Bear Spray rules the world here.
Some more incidentals:
Here’s Joe’s cap…his constant companion this week and a reminder of his time as a “smoke-eating” forest fire volunteer. He spent many years working with the Forest Service in wilderness areas in Montana….mostly the Bob Marshall. He volunteered on fires in the Glacier Park area and he lost an earlier home to a fire a few years back. His Safety Award (a belt and buckle) from the Forest Service is one that makes him most proud.
Our boat ride on Swiftcurrent Lake (then a hike) and Lake Josephine gave us the most thrills…the bears and a couple of mountain goats, too.
Our 50-mile drive day on the Going to the Sun Road gave us a chance to stop and pose at some of the steepest mountains at Logan Pass (6,680 feet high).
We drove officially one thousand-six-hundred and sixty-six miles from the Rapid City Airport to the Glacier Park International Airport. Kia Sedona was procured by our driver, Mr. Boyd, who drove every mile of the trip. The North Fork Road was dirt…and here it is, coating the car. Magnesium Chloride is used to keep the dust down on these back roads (just like in Steamboat Springs’ back roads)….and it facilitates the sticking of dirt to the paint. We did go to the car wash and clean this baby…it cost $9 at the Kalispell wash.
The town of Kalispell is where Linda Franchini keeps her home on the lake there. It is a country seat and home to some great throw-back stores. We had a malted milk lunch and gathered some fine penny-candy at Norm’s News, a 3rd generation Main Street store. It’s in the old Opera house which also houses the local, gigantic western-wear store.
Well, they called our plane – we fly from here to Chicago and change planes in an hour (travel gods willing).
So, there’s more to tell and some more photos I think you’ll like.
At least one more wrap-up to go. Thanks for following us on this marathon travel posting.