Wednesday, September 25, 2013

West Trip....Day 6

Welcome to Montana!
The home of cowboys, ranches and horses. This is "Big Sky Country" and it is beautiful! Although I personally wouldn't move to a part of the country that has even more winter than Ohio......shudder......I now understand what attracts people to move to Montana.
  Up until today, I have been in all the states we visited so far.  Montana is new territory for me.
Once again, this is mostly a driving day as we head north toward Glacier National Park from Gardiner to Kalispell, a distance of just over 400 miles. There were beautiful scenic views along the way, from rolling hills, prairie grasslands, rivers, and towering mountains. And as usual, photo opportunities are rather limited on these driving days so just a lot of random shots.
The one stop we made was the Smokejumpers Center in Missoula. This is the nation's largest base for highly trained specialists who parachute into remote area of national forests to fight the spread of wildfires. A tour through the base gives visitors a look at the preparation and skill required of men and women who work as smokejumpers.
Our last stop for the day is in St. Ignatius where we enjoyed a home cooked meal with an Amish family.
Well, since I live in an Amish community and I know how the Amish can cook, I knew we would be served a delicious meal and we certainly were but....... I was completely blown away when I got off the bus and stepped into a little piece of paradise on earth.

  I was like a kid in a candy store. I didn't know which way to go first. Of course the stream and waterfall caught my attention so that's where I headed first.  A shot up the stream......
then downstream.
The area around the waterfall.....

and a close-up of the waterfall.
This is the area beside the waterfall. Lets see where the steps lead to.
All I could say was Wow and Yes please......In. My. Backyard!

Back in the main garden, there are a lot of hostas. Everyone who has read my blog knows I'm a hosta fanatic. 
 Love the Russian Sage with the hosta's. I have one pathetic spindly stalk of Russian Sage. If I can ever get it to grow like this I will plant some with my hosta's. Very pretty combination!
This part of the garden is to the right of the steps that lead to the pond.
And it just keeps on going and going. And all of this has to be irrigated.
The Mission Mountains are the mountain range in the background.
I don't think I would ever get tired of a view like this from my back yard. It doesn't get much better than this.
 She called this Lavatera and it's in the Hollyhock and Hibiscus family.
I have a fascination for old weathered barns.  I'll take one of these too. Thank You.....
And eventually we found time from our garden meanderings to eat a delicious meal of salad, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, vegetable, and the best fresh peach cream pie I ever tasted.
 After dinner Simon shared the story of his dream as a young boy to live in Montana someday. I have to admire people who have the courage to step outside of their comfort zone and live their dreams!
Some of the Amish in St. Ignatius previously lived in our area here in Ohio.
We thought this was the perfect setting to do our group photo.
It was hard to leave this idyllic setting but the time came to get on board and head to Kalispell for the night. 
 Amish schoolhouse in the neighborhood.
Our hotel tonight was the Hampton Inn in Kalispell, Montana.
Gorgeous sunset in Kalispell.
Next......Glacier National Park


  1. I am in awe of some of these photos. You caught some beautiful settings. Well worth the trip just for these. Thanks for the tour.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Very beautiful photos. Love the Amish gardens and pond. and you are right OH the scenery is most gorgeous... You are having the most wonderful trip. Hugs Judy

  3. Stunning! I hope to visit someday. For a short period of time, my sister and her husband lived in Kalispell. I was always in awe of the photo's she would send home.