Saturday, December 8, 2018

Mosaic Monday #6 - We Interrupt This Programming

I'm looking outside at the snow-capped mountains, and I just sealed the envelope on the last of my Christmas cards.  17 days until the red-suited man comes down our chimney, and I probably should be writing a Christmas-themed post.  But the sun is bright, and the skies are blue, and it puts me in the mood to return to summer material.  So here's Chapter 6 of my summer series (Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5).

The scene is the south and east sides of Glacier National Park.  The time is mid-July 2018.  The players are Spousal Unit, his parents and me.  To facilitate access to the Park, we are staying two nights in one of the cabooses on the grounds of the Izaak Walton Inn.

(Let's be real -we also chose this lodging 'cause it's just so darn cool.  Who wouldn't want to sleep in a caboose?  When we first arrived in Montana, a friend of ours clued us in about this unique feature of the Inn, and we began to look for an excuse to stay there!  When my brother and his wife visited us in October 2017, they helped us complete our reconnaissance, and the deal was sealed!)

Caboose interior - do you see the black handle in the upper left of 
the picture on the left?  It is positioned next to a narrow set of
steps/shelves - this is how Spousal Unit and I reached the bed
in the cupola of the caboose!  Watch your head!!!

In Marias Pass - yellow penstemon
Our first night in the caboose, we enjoyed beverages on the deck while Cedar Waxwings twittered overhead.  As twilight deepened, we devoured the curry Spousal Unit had cooked up at home - what is it about being outside that increases your appetite?  The next morning, a simple breakfast in the caboose was followed by a day trip to St. Mary's Lake.  Along the way, Highway 2 threads through Marias Pass, which was charted by John Frank Stevens, principal engineer of the Great Northern Railway, in December 1889.  The location of the pass had been rumored for several years beforehand, but it took Stevens and a Flathead Indian guide named Coonsah to discover it.  The pass proved ideal for a railroad, with a valley ranging from one to six miles wide, and at a gentle grade that would not require extensive excavation or rockwork.  When you look at it now, it is hard to imagine that the Pass was so hard to find - it is broad and flat and seems obvious.
Mountains on north edge of Marias Pass

The approach to the St. Mary's Lake entrance to the Park is diametrically different to the topography on the west side of the Park: the land is flat and then is suddenly interrupted by a thrusting mountain range.  This means you can see the mountains from quite a distance.  The wildflowers dance in the space between your car and the peaks, and an occasional fence arcing into the distance appears to point the way.

Trees finally begin to crowd the road and block most sights from view until you reach the edge of St. Mary's Lake.  It was our lucky day to snag a parking spot at the launching point for trails to Baring Falls and Sun Point.

It's odd now to recall that it was a hot day, and it was tempting to dip our toes in the rushing torrent of the falls.  Clouds were piling up on the mountains like a bunch of neglected dust bunnies, but they did not flow into the valley or drop any precipitation.
Left: Man with Hat on the trail to Baring Falls
Middle: Fireweed       Right: Baring Falls

We picnicked near our parking spot, and then a different return route dropped us into a construction zone, where we waited 10 - 15 minutes for a pilot car.  It was a blessing in disguise - right next to us was a rolling meadow with bountiful wildflowers (and some trash - funny how you don't see these things when you are taking a picture).

Can you see the yellow cup in the lower right hand picture?

A hot summer day is not complete without ice cream, so we took advantage of the little shop in East Glacier for some refreshment.  My mother-in-law asked for two scoops, and was shocked at the amount the staffer put in her bowl - almost flowing over (but not more than she could eat)!!!

On our second (last) night at the Inn, we had a beverage in the Flagstop Bar, a classic bar environment on the lower level of the Inn, chock-a-block with historic memorabilia.  Dinner followed on the veranda of the restaurant.  We had a ring-side seat for the flowers in the garden, as well as the Empire Builder Amtrak passenger train, if only it was running on time …  Unfortunately, on this day, the train was significantly delayed and no-one was willing to stay there and wait for it, especially in the dark.  It just means we have to go again!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.


  1. amazing series of photos.
    Awesome waterfall.
    have a great weekend

  2. Beautiful photos and what a wonderful time away...awesome to stay in a caboose!! Love that saucer in the bottom picture.

  3. How fun to stay in a caboose! Did your in-laws stay in the same caboose or did they have another one? Your photos are so pretty and make it look like a great trip.

  4. Hi Angie wonderful post,great pics of a wonderful time ,how exciting that you got to stay in a caboose.
    That ice cream sure looks yummy,thankyou for sharing your wonderful time with us.

  5. Enjoyed seeing your beautiful summer pictures this morning. What a fun place to stay and that ice cream looks delicious.

  6. what a lovely place, beautiful scenery and waxwings too

  7. Such terrific photos and we totally love that caboose too!

  8. If I didn't live in a float cabin I think I would like to live in a converted caboose. Too bad you can live on a sideline and hook up to a train to see the country. Now that would be fun. - Margy

  9. A fun trip and such gorgeous scenery. It's quite depressing that folks find it so easy to litter such a beautiful landscape. I see trash everywhere I go and it makes me crazy.

  10. A wonderful Post... it’s a fantastic landscape. Thank you for hosting.
    Happy MosaicMonday!

  11. ...a nice interruption! It sure beaks looking out at ny frozen yard.

  12. I have always thought it would be lovely to stay in a railway carriage. Thankyou so much for the summery tour and the magnificent views today. The icecream - is it blueberry? - looks delicious. It is heating up here in Australia. Have a fabulous week.

  13. Wow...that's a very nice interruption. Love going on tours with you. I'm going to have to figure our what program to use to make mosaics now that my old computer is caput and so I have to say goodbye to Picasa the only program I've used for editing and making collages, etc. Ugh. Hope you have a Merry and Bright week ahead!

  14. What a beautiful summery interruption as the skies drip down here in the dark. When we drive through the Rockies (and other mountains) I am often reminded of the fortitude and vision those explorers had to imagine a railway going through some of the passes.
    Staying in a caboose would be so much fun, although the climb up to the upper level looks a little precarious.
    Have a merry week, Angie!

  15. What a fun trip. I have been to Glacier before and it was July too.
    Love the Peonies too.

  16. Dear Angie - When the highest temperature is less than 10 degrees C (50 F) , this scenic walk on a beautiful summer day has brought me the warmth. The caboose looks so attractive both the interior and outside appearance. Climbing up to the bed reminds me of a bit of playful spirit. The bowl-full ice-cream looks so yummy though I wonder if I can eat up.

    Thanks for offering this nice community of blogging. The next time I link up will be the next year. Wish you a wonderful holiday season


  17. Hello, I think staying in the caboose would be fun. It is a cute place, almost like a tiny house. I love the view of the park and lake. I would like to re-visit Glacier, we only visited the highlights in the park. I would like to hike more and see more of the park. The waterfalls and wildflowers are beautiful. Thanks for hosting. Have a happy day and new week ahead.

  18. Beautiful area and fantastic photos, Angie. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

  19. I would love to hike there in the summer months! Beauty in every direction! And it would be fun to stay in that caboose! Happy MM! Hugs, Diane

  20. I loved to read your summer post in these fabulous sceneries. The mountains look stunning. We don’t have any mountains in Finland, only some hills in Lapland - yet we do downhill skiing and snowboarding. Some youngsters are even on the international top - Enni Rukaj√§rvi, Roope Tonteri, Peetu Piiroimnen etc.

  21. Dearest Angie; What a wonderful Chapter 6 of your summer adventure♡♡♡ I truly enjoyed Eastern Scenery with mountain which looked a bit different from ours with pine trees and so on.
    Reading your first phrase "just sealed the envelope on the last of my Christmas cards" Reminded me of I have to write New Year Card soon ;-) I think it's great tradition even though time consuming job ;-)
    Thank you SO much for hosting.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  22. Wow - these scenes are just stunning!

  23. The countryside are superb, those mountains, lovely Angie.

  24. Dear Angie
    What a wonderful stay in the caboose!I really enjoyed those series of fantastic photos and of course you Chapter from 1 to 4 too!
    I like that plate in your last mosaic. So delicate!!
    Happy weekend to you.

  25. Hi Angie. I'd forgotten all about the caboose, a word I learnt as a student of black and white Western movies. How romantic to stay in a real live one and maybe play some old films starring Jon Wayne or Tom Mix? Pnce agin your landscapes are fantastic to look at.

    The ice cream is pretty awesome too.

  26. Lovely series of photos and beautiful mosaic presentation ~ ^_^ Yummy ice cream ~ LOL

    Happy day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  27. Enjoyed the memories! Yours and mine that the post brought back. We camped in Glacier once but with our small kids, so hiking was limited. Now of course any of them ..or their kids ... could hike rings around us. Years later the two of us went through on that Amtrak.... we took a trip across country on it. Wish I’d been blogging back then (didn’t even have a digital camera). Your photos are beautiful and I wish we could go back!

  28. Wow Angie, what a lovely little holiday break you had. The scenery is gorgeous and the little caboose looks so charming as long as you didn't bump your head too much :-). I see now that I've missed several of your posts. I'm wondering why as I thought I added you to my reading list so that I would get updated on when you post.

  29. Absolutely gorgeous landscape. What a great time you had, I love the caboose you stayed in, how unique that must have been.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  30. The landscapes are utterly magnificent. What a legacy this is and one we must be sure is passed on to succeeding generations unspoiled. I have stayed in a restored Pullman car but not in a caboose. I guess I had the high end digs!

  31. So beautiful! yes, you invite people over to a party. they can even bring some of the treats. each person brings an ornament. then you put numbers in a bowl and select a number. then each person selects a gift bag or they it can steal from someone who went before them until you get to the end. It is rather fun!

  32. You had quite a trip. The trip up the ladder to caboose before bed would be fun. If I had to get up in the middle of the night I would hope I make it down safely.
    That ice cream looks great!!
    Have a great weekend.

  33. Grand scenery and I laughed about the ice-cream … two scoops but in a very small bowl. My warmest best wishes to you and yours during the holiday season!

  34. I wanna stay in a caboose!! That's so cool. I love the photos of those snow-capped mountain peaks and the natural beauty of the park. Wonderful post!

  35. Lovely photographs, and I like the mosaics.

    All the best Jan


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