07 June 2009

UPPER WHITEFISH LAKE - MONTANA



I worked so hard this week with the chainsaw I have gotten sore callouses on both my hands. I decided we had to get out of our own forest and into another so we made an exploration of Upper Whitefish Lake in the Stillwater State Forest. The weather turned on us again and we went from beauty mid-seventies to the forties and fifties over night. It snowed at the higher elevations. We have certainly had the whacky weather this spring.

UPPER WHITEFISH ROAD

You can get to the Upper Whitefish two ways, out of Stryker on the Marston Lookout road or out of Olney. The Marston Lookout way is a little more rugged, the Olney route a pretty good and level dirt road. In fact it's quite a pleasant drive.

Wildflowers are beginning to appear and along this road I spied one of my favorites...

BEARGRASS

I've yet to run across the reason why it is called beargrass.

It's about thirteen and a half miles in to the lake. The road winds through beautiful meadows with distant views of the Whitefish Range. If one wanted to catch site of moose this swampy meadow is a moose's delight. Alpine meadows, you gotta love 'em.

STILLWATR FOREST & THE WHITEFISH RANGE

I love water and one of the great things about spring in the Rockies is that there is lots of water running every where when the snow begins to melt. I really enjoy trying to capture water in motion. It has so much mood and character. The below images were shot right along the road. Nothing still about this water.

STILLWATER STATE FOREST

STILLWATER STATE FOREST

STILLWATER STATE FOREST

There was quite a bit of evidence that the windstorm which had done so much damage to my forest had hit this area as well. There were downed trees everywhere. I am always expecting to get trapped one day, whilst traveling these back roads, by a tree which has fallen after me. I carry a hand saw but it wouldn't make a dent in some of the bruisers that fall across the road. All you can do when that happens is wait until someone with a bigger saw comes along. The forest service is pretty good about patrolling the roads to keep them clear.

FALLEN TREE ON UPPER WHITEFISH LAKE ROAD

By now you are probably wondering if I am ever going to show you a picture of the bloody lake.

UPPER WHITEFISH LAKE

According to the sign the lake is 100 acres and is at an altitude of approximately 4,400 ft. There are a number of campsites and it looked like a pretty popular spot for fishing, kayaking and canoeing. The road continues on past the lake and looked to b worthy of further exploration. But, the weather was beginning to close in again so we decide not to venture forth.

We had a great week and hope you did too!

Kinsey & Koty

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

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