Sunday, September 4, 2011


Back to the USA! An easy border crossing (it seems more mellow out west than when we crossed back east). Nice to be back and to have access to good grocery stores and reasonable prices on things like chicken (as expensive as prime-cut steak), diesel fuel ($5/gallon) and adult beverages (your soul). We drove through the valleys along the Rocky Mountains, arriving at our destination of Columbia Falls, Montana. Purple mountain majesties; amber waves of grain...

Here we would meet in person, at long last, Brent and Christine of Horton's Travels. We've been corresponding and following each other's travel blogs since February, and have been alternately chasing each other around the western half of these United States. Finally our itineraries overlapped!

Here are The Whale and The Elephant (Horton) side by side:

And the four of us enjoying chips, salsa,margaritas, and each other's company:

The days flew by, filled with all of the usual manner of activities. Bike rides:

Taking dogs for walks:

And wondering at the mountain views in Glacier National Park:

Reminder: these photos get bigger when you click on 'em.

Had our lunch on a rushing snow-melt river with moose:

Brent and I hiked in to Avalanche Lake:

The Highway to the Sun road through the park featured stunning views, sheer dropoffs, low guard rails, narrow lanes, no shoulders, and towering rock walls at curbside. Gigantor measured right at the limit of allowed vehicle size (21' long x 8' wide). It was almost renamed "Highway to the Body Shop". Nancy spent much of the drive with her eyes closed - it's a good thing she wasn't behind the wheel!:

At Logan's pass hoary marmots scampered about, and lay basking in both praise and in the late summer sun, big puddles of fat and fur:

Here a marmot surveys his magnificent kingdom:

Great hikes, scenery, food, drink and camaraderie. Chicken curry, rum & sprite, ice cream drizzled with Godiva liqueur and/or maple syrup, hail storms, chili, fresh bread, Menage a Trois (the wine!), closed trails and snow squalls, chicken tacos, Days to remember always.

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