Didn't think I'd have internet access, but we brought the laptop just in case, and voila! Wireless internet! So here I am!
I'm at Lakeside, Montana, quiet literally on the side of Flathead lake. It is a vast expanse of water, near Kalispell, in north-west Montana. I have photos already, but alas, forgot to bring my cable to plug in my camera to the computer. Will update this post once I get home to insert the photos.
I tell ya, this hanging by the lapping shores of a lake is rough! I wish you could all see what I see. We are on the west side of Flathead lake, with an eastern view of a long row of mountains (will have to look up the name), mostly fir-covered, some smooth and brown. No snow on them, that I can see. Perhaps they aren't tall enough? We certainly saw many snow-peaked mountains on the long drive from Calgary, Alberta (where we flew into) down across the US border and to Lakeside. Just north of the border, there were many rolling hills - grazing land for cattle, horses and bison. The weather was a mix of sun and cloud, and I could see the light and dark swatches sweeping across the grassy fields, which rippled with wind. Past these hills loomed a large stretch of mountains. The most prominent of these was a towering square-topped mountain, called "Chief", if I recall rightly. It is a Native reserve around that area, though I'm not sure on the particular tribe.
After the border, there was a very long stretch of open country, away from the mountains, that my father called "cowboy country". Lots of ranching there, and a road that stretched straight for many miles. I had to put on my podcasts at this point, as my family were all sleeping, and I needed company for the drive. We were following my father, as he was our guide, in his Jetta. Both vehicles had to go a bit slower, as he had two kayaks strapped to his car. My husband was mildly worried that one of the boats would break free and launch itself at our front windshield. Nothing untoward occurred, however.
Once through the ranching lands, we entered mountain and forest again, full-on. It was like being back in our coastal B.C., with fir trees and snow-capped peaks. I took rather a lot of photos during this time, as I was back to being a passenger. It reminded me of the drive near Port Alberni, with lots of looming mountains. There was a long stretch of train tracks as well, that followed the road for a good while, sometimes running along the steep sides of mountains.
The drive was long, but had some amazing scenery - such a variety of landscapes. And we get to take it again, next Monday. Hopefully it won't lose too much of it's charm on the return, as my impatience to get home to Victoria will likely be taking me over.....