This week we were out and about taking photos for a retirement journal RangerSir has asked me to make for one his employees. Our daytime adventures took us to some of our favorite places in our neck of the Montana. One of those places was an out of the way place on the Wise River. Once we got there I just had to get my feet wet. The river was low as it often is this time of the year. Even though it was low the water was cold, a true mountain river. It made it easy to imagine walking out into the river because there was a log on that someone had placed in the middle of the river. RangerSir was not interested in getting his feet wet so this was a solo adventure for me. My destination was to sit on the log, enjoy the water and sunshine.
I could have laid there for hours listening to the sounds and relaxing. Too bad it is a couple of hours from our house.
I laid out there quite awhile until RangerSir and Zip reminded me we had other places to visit before the day was out and the sun would set. I was totally relaxed listening to the water, the wind and the sounds of nature. I could smell the resins of the evergreens heating up in the afternoon sun. It was a little bit of paradise.
Once I had gotten back in the truck and and we were headed on to the next place we wanted to photograph I realized I think I am more water than mountain. I suppose that is easy to say since I have a mountain front and center in my picture window, and no water near by. As a kid I spent my summers on the lake with my grandparents and spent years living in the land of 10,000 lakes. Until I moved to Montana I was always walking distance to a lake or river. Now as we start to think about where we might move to next, I think water trumps mountain. Not 100% sure but something to think about when picking our destination. Water or mountain? Mountain or water?
This shot was taken of the Flathead River in Sanders County, looking toward Lake County. You will find this amazing overlook on the Little Bitterroot Road between Camas Prairie and Ronan, Montana. Most people would take the highway to travel from one town to the other, but my job took me via this gravel road, that opened up to this amazing overlook I would have never known existed. Lucky me.
On New Year’s Day I discovered a new favorite place. I have been looking for a place close to home to get away from it all, that works in the winter. In the summer I would walk across the neighbor’s pasture and head out on to the big ranch and open spaces behind us. In the winter, we get too much snow to make that walk easy, but not enough snow to cover the bunch grasses, sage and rocks for cross country skis or snow shoes.
This discovery is a state park that is closed for the season. It is not so close that I can go there, without getting in the car unfortunately On the other hand it is a paved road the whole way there so it is not a difficult place to get to in the winter. You park at the entry parking lot and walk around the closed gate, like so many others before me have done. The grade is pretty gentle which is not always easy to find in Montana. When it is open there is a road that runs through the park. In the winter this road is closed and covered by snow. It has been traveled on foot, with snow shoes and my favorite on cross country skis. There is a creek that has not yet frozen over is running through the park. There are three bridges that cross the creek and you can hear the sound of the water flowing over rocks and under ice. I walked only a couple of miles in the park this first time, but I came out recharged; ready to face world again. I will be back bringing my cross country skis next time. Next time won’t be too long in the future.