11 July 2009


Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! My oldest and dearest friend and her husband came to call and we had a great time. If laughter is the best medicine (I believe it is) then I'll be in very good shape for quite some while.


I couldn't resist showing you this photo. The other day whilst I was out working in my forest I came upon this enormous old log that was just shredded. Bears tear up old logs and stumps mining for ants and grubs. The picture doesn't do justice to how impressively the bear ripped this log open. There is a grizzly working the area so I'm thinking that's whose handy work this was.


Spring and summer are such grand times to experience new life and it is everywhere, even in my rain gutters!


And, of course, the wildflowers continue to do there thing. Each month new entries become visible. The daisies are particularly lovely this year, planting themselves in perfect places to make it look as though I had been gardening.

For a very long time I have wanted to go to Polebridge. Can't say why really except that I thought it might be interesting. You can access this remote little place either through Ten Lakes Scenic Area or the west entrance of Glacier Park. The Ten Lakes way is a little rugged so we went down to the west entrance. The road to Polebridge is dirt most of the way but it is a beautiful if dusty drive. The funny thing is the drive was over a hundred miles to Polebridge but as the crow flies it is probably less than forty from where I live.


Looking at a map all these years I had thought that Polebridge and the two lakes up there, Kintla and Bowman, were outside the park which made them great candidates for exploration. The bad news was that whilst Polebridge is outside the park the lakes are not. There is a park entrance right at Polebridge.


We headed for Kintla Lake first as it was the furthest, some fifteen miles that takes well over an hour to negotiate. I had it so firmly entrenched in my mind that this lake was outside the park that when we got there I proceeded to strap on my .357 and get Koty ready to hike. Both of these things are highly illegal in the National Parks. It wasn't until I reached the trailhead and was brought up short by the info sign that I realized the error of my ways. My little sister Mona was with us on this trip and she thought I had taken leave of my senses.


So much for exploring Kintla or Bowman. By the time we got back down the road to the Bowman turnoff we decided to skip Bowman in favor of our stomachs. There is basically nothing in Polebridge except the Polebridge Mercantile. But, that's all we needed as the mercantile is also a bakery!


We both had a warm pork sandwich that was so, so. But, we also bought some pastries that were to die for. The one I chose had peanuts and hucklberries, two of my all time favorites. When I first moved to Montana I kept hearing people talk about huckleberries like they were manna from heaven. I thought "Yeah, yeah, huckleberries big deal." That was until I tasted them. They really are manna from heaven. Even Koty will eat them.

After lunch we headed north to the border crossing which is closed as you can see from the photo. It's about another 15-17 miles from Polebridge. This crossing is closed to entry but it is well patrolled and several new corrals suggest there is going to be mounted border patrolling this season. Over the years that I have lived here I have seen the guarding of the Canadian Border become stronger and stronger.


The section of road between Polebridge and the border is where I should have been. It's all National Forest and open to exploring with your best friend. I'll come back and do that one day.

It's been a great couple of weeks, as usual. We hope you've been enjoying your summer too!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography


Michelle B. Hendry said...

Sounds like a lovely day! I'll have to make a point of trying huckleberry if I ever get out in that neck of the woods...

Birds always amaze me where they choose to nest. Ours are long out now!

Obviously there are too many evil Canadian elements trying to cross the border? ;-)

futurexboy said...

The Photo of the lake is really awesome! Such a great blue color, I'm sure its cold but it looks so inviting. Mona looks very relaxed, I'm sure Montana does that for you. Thanks again Kinsey, I like the cabin with the wild flowers too...your friend, Charles.

Holly Days Closet said...

I love your pictures I want to jump into them and live.
Holly Days