Wildlife Photos, Yes! … and Scenery!

Glacier – Part 7 (are you serious?)

Tuesday September 15 – Travel day…

Check-out time at the condo is noon… enough time to squeeze in one last nature walk. Especially since we just exit the front door of our condo, cross the street, go behind the opposite wing of the resort and we’re at the entrance to the wildlife reserve that is part of the Lodge at Whitefish Lake.

Bring the bear spray! Megan reminds us. She had done this walk with Aaron earlier in the week and seen the physical proof of the presence of bears.

Eric leads the way..

Eric David Ben and Rhonda

Eric David Ben and Rhonda

Ben is skeptical of seeing any wildlife, after all, we are in the middle of – traffic. Human and car. After about 10 minutes on the trail you curve away from the highway. The rest of us had already done this hike, about 5 times, since the whole loop from start to finish takes about 15 minutes. There are deer – we have proof! On my first trek in here with Aaron and Megan we captured some photos

Yes, those are deer

Yes, those are deer

It takes a watchful eye …

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A zoom …

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just the right lighting …

Aaron's photo wins the prize

Aaron’s photo wins the prize

and a perfectly posed deer (trained for the tourists? Is there a tip jar or something?)

You call this wildlife? I have deer in my back yard!

Yes, but do you have trees gouged with bear claw scratches?

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This plaque explains it:

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Terrifying! This is why you bring bear spray on this nature hike. (Okay so the scratches have been healed for like, 50 years?…)

Hiking back out now

Megan Aaron and Kelly

Megan Aaron and Kelly

What a bonus that you can access wireless internet on your phone through the whole hike!

Almost back out now…

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I make Adam and Meredith pose for one last photo:

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Time for goodbyes. Boy were they quick. The complimentary resort airport shuttle pulled up and the kids loaded on, Hey, wait for me!

Aaron is the last one on

Aaron is the last one on

I – quick! Hop up into the shuttle and snap this photo (much to their annoyance, by now, I’m sure)

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Goodbye Kiddies! To the Kalispel airport they go – to fly back to their far-flung lives in New York, Atlanta, and Boulder.

No worry though, I’ve a helicopter standing by so I can take off and hover over them all the way to the airport, you know, to make sure they make it there safely…

Uh, actually, David is in his truck, behind the wheel, with the engine running. Get in your car and let’s go, Jody. We’ve got a 7-hour drive back to Idaho Falls and we’d like to make it there sometime today.

So off we go – in our two vehicles, Megan and I in my car – following David and Eric in David’s truck. (Scott had left much earlier in his rig)… Dang! I’m driving! How can I take photos, then?

Well, I did snap a few photos of our trip home. This first one, behind David at a stoplight on US 93 through Whitefish.

Downtown Whitefish

Downtown Whitefish

We drive back the way we came…from US 93 south onto 83 … there’s wide open highway here and the mountains are beautiful…I grab my phone and quick – snap a photo!

wide open spaces!

wide open spaces!

Several miles later…

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We pull over at Seely Lake Town Pump to gas up and grab a quick bite. The four of us are crammed around a booth eating when Megan notices this sign between the windows above us:

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Haha! Parent’s worst nightmare… get back in your car with a jacked-up kid and a puppy…

Back on the road now. Hey Megan – I’m driving but look how scenic it is! I hand her the phone – take a photo Megan! and somehow switch the camera to video. She takes the phone….

Awwww…could have been a great video, Megan!

No, Mom. She is not interested in taking photos or videos on the journey home. She is interested in being home.

Well that’s about it with our trip to Glacier. I know I promised you photos of scenery so here’s a couple more from the drive home. I just grabbed the phone and held it up and shot – with my car on cruise control and David at a safe distance ahead.

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What? Since these were ‘Glacier’ Blogs, you were expecting photos of wildlife and scenery taken from, say, inside Glacier National Park? Well, to be honest, between the conflicts with college and NFL football games, crowds, parking problems, seasonal closures, flu, and downright logistics of planning activities for a herd of 11 people, I think I need a do-over on my trip to actually see Glacier National Park.

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