Off the Grid

Glacier National Park and the surrounding area aren’t exactly packed with people to begin with, at least compared to some of the more famous parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone. But Glacier still gets its fair share of visitors. Not too many of those visitors choose to go up Inside North Fork Road (or Outside North Fork Road for that matter) to the tiny town of Polebridge, which is completely off the electric grid. Even fewer people seem to venture further north up the narrow, winding dirt road to Kintla Lake. That of course, is why I wanted to see these places! Heck, I had nothing better to do. So my brother Phil and I made our way to Polebridge, grabbed a teepee for the night, then took the drive up to Kintla Lake. At first I didn’t think the weather was good for photos, but I ended up being treated to a beautiful double rainbow, and some more beautiful sites on the drive back to the more populated parts of the area the next day.


See my other Glacier National Park photos here

Off the Grid

Beautiful site at Kintla Lake

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Off the Grid

You can see the solar panels in Polebridge - how else would they power their wifi routers?

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Off the Grid

The view along Outside North Fork Road on the way out

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Off the Grid

Need it? They might have it. If not you are out of luck!

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Glacier National Park

Honestly, I don’t think I’d ever heard of Glacier National Park until I became actively involved in the great community of photographers on Flickr. The combination of vibrant plant and animal life, plus snow capped mountains, is something I became infatuated with. My infatuation started at least a few months before I decided to take time away from the work world to travel, and that infatuation probably influenced the decision to travel for a long period of time. How else would I have time to spend a few days in the far northern reaches of the continental U.S.?

By the time I had made it out of Yellowstone in mid-August, I hadn’t seen anyone I knew for weeks, I had been camping a lot, and I was tired. My motivation to take photos was waning, as was my motivation to hike, and things like that. Luckily, my brother Phil flew into Bozeman, MT, and having him with me added to my motivation. We packed all of our stuff into my Jeep, and with little room to spare, headed north. We spent a night camping outside the park, then woke up in the morning to drive the famous Going to the Sun Road. After a few days of hiking and hanging out, a little scare while wading through some water, plus a few more nights camping, in a tent, and another structure you can see below, we headed out of the park. It was a great couple days, and well worth the time and effort.

I asked Phil for some words to add, and here’s what he had to say:

“These were the clearest lake waters I have ever seen! While very cold despite the August timeframe, they were great to both swim and to paddle, with surroundings you can see for yourself.”

Enjoy the photos.

Glacier National Park

Phil driving the Going to the Sun Road

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Glacier National Park

Goat feeding in front of the mountain at Logan Pass

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Glacier National Park

Goat at Logan Pass taking a breather from eating

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Glacier National Park

Red Rock Lake on a hike near Many Glacier Campground

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Glacier National Park

Panoramic view of Bowman Lake on a beautiful day

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Glacier National Park

Phil taking a cruise around McDonald Lake

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Glacier National Park

Our accomodations the last night, just outside the park at the Polebridge Hostel in Polebridge, MT.

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Northwestern US – Objects of the Past

Northwestern US   Objects of the Past

Truck sitting behind the Heritage Museum of Libby, Montana

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Northwestern US   Objects of the Past

Along the side of Washington State Highway 2 in the central part of the state

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Northwestern US   Objects of the Past

Back a bit further off the main road from the train car in the shot above

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Northwestern US   Objects of the Past

Highland School, along Washington State Highway 2

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The Yellowstone Area

I only ended up spending a couple days in Yellowstone National Park itself, but the entire area is beautiful and fascinating. (And cold at night and in the morning!) After I left the park, I drove over the Beartooth Pass, which Charles Kuralt called “the most beautiful drive in America”. I am not sure if I can agree with that judgment, but that’s mostly because visibility was low with a lot of rain in the lower altitudes, and yes, I got snowed on near the top…on August 14th. After the Beartooth Pass, my 100 miles on I-90 to Bozeman was actually the longest stretch of Interstate that I’ve driven on the entire trip. Luckily it was through the mountains and actually pretty nice!

The Yellowstone Area

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, seen from the crest of the lower falls.

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The Yellowstone Area

Yellowstone Park's North Twin Lake on a cold foggy morning.

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The Yellowstone Area

Fog slowly lifting, a bit further up the road from the previous photo

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The Yellowstone Area

One of the clearer weather moments on the Bear Tooth Pass

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The Yellowstone Area

Trains are still a frequent site in the Rockies (Taken along I-90 in Montana)

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