I ran out of time last night getting the blog posted before the midnight deadline, and didn’t include the closing part of our meal at the Whitefish Lake Golf Course Restaurant… The night was going quite well until our server brought out a beautiful mud pie with a birthday sparkler on top. Mud pie is one of my favorite desserts, and Greedy Girl tried to corner the whole thing. Fortunately, I was able to distract her long enough to get my half (okay, maybe 2/3) safely inhaled. (She is commenting right now that, “Well, it was MY birthday!” So what’s her point?)
I know many people think I robbed the cradle marrying My Lovely Bride, and perhaps this photo proves their point. She and Olive are tossing the ball back and forth, and I swear Suzanne was having even more fun than her great-niece! The only thing that kept Corvette Chick from playing on the swing set and jungle gym was the “4 foot height maximum” sign prominently posted there… I think she had adopted the lyrics in Taylor Swift’s song, “I never want to grow up!”
While standing sentry duty, little Gretchen spied this doe nosing around Suzanne’s playground equipment. Rudy soon joined her, and it was amazing that neither of them barked once at the doe or her fawns. They apparently live close by, because the yard had lots of what we euphemistically call “deer sign”. (And they aren’t displayed in large letters on poster board!)
On a visit to Glacier National Park, we walked on the beach at Lake McDonald. The largest lake in the park, it is over 10 miles long, a mile wide, and up to 472 feet deep. These cairns just off the beach are stacks of glacial rocks worn smooth over the years by rivers of ice and rushing streams fed by those glaciers. The kayakers are enjoying a “mellow paddle” on a beautiful 75F sunny day. (Two days later it was raining, 55F and windy.)
The lake is surrounded by forests of spruce, fir, and larch that abound with mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bears. The mountains in the background include Mt. Jackson, Blackfoot Mt., Gunsight Mt., Citadel Mt., Mt. Cannon, and Going-to-the-Sun Mt. Shawn has climbed most of these, and is a veritable font of knowledge about Glacier National Park. He is also a fabulous photographer. You should check out his web site at www.glacierhikers.com.
This tree was washed off a stream bank near the lake, probably during the Spring snowmelt when small creeks roar with 10 times their normal volume. We used one of its big branches to keep our feet dry while crossing the stream.
Suzanne got these beautiful photos, the first of some wildflowers along the trail, the second a closeup of the rock cairns in Lake McDonald, and the third of a log in the stream we crossed . She has a great “eye” for photography, and I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of her photos in this blog!
Suzanne also took this photo of Shawn tenderly holding his granddaughter Ruth. A bit later, she grabbed his beard with both hands, pulled hard and wouldn’t let go (Ruthie, not Suzanne). Shawn was less than amused, but what’s a grandpa to do except suck it up? “Hey, you’re a Mountain Man! Don’t whine!”
While walking our puppies in downtown Whitefish, Montana, we came across this priceless advertisement for a local pub’s favorite gastronomic delight. The three of us were very thirsty, but did we get to go in and sample the soup? What do you think? (Right, My Lovely Bride reminded me that both Rudy and Gretchen are under age… sigh.)
Our last event in Whitefish was a pizza party in The Coach on Friday night. Joining us were Eleanor, Matthew and Jenny, a marathoner who is marketing director for Matthew’s race timing company, www.competitivetiming.com. We had some terrific pizza, a private showing of the Messages of Hope documentary, talked a lot, and didn’t want to look forward to leaving beautiful Montana and Glacier National Park tomorrow. But we will be moving on to Banff and Lake Louise on Saturday… “Hey, Suzanne, where did you put those passports? And are you sure Canadian Customs won’t confiscate those six bottles of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay?”