(the Falls on Avalanche Creek)
Stayed overnight in Missoula, MT. Up at 5:00. Very good breakfast in the hotel. Got gas, then on the road @ 7:45; 36°. There was a nice glow on some of the clouds – made me wish I was out somewhere that I could take advantage of it. The rain washed the truck pretty well yesterday, but the tailgate could be better. It had picked up a lot of dirt while driving the unpaved roads.
Very bleak countryside most of the way to Glacier Natl Park – was struggling to be optimistic about going. It was half-covered with snow, the other half was brown (in strips).
Saw the west side of the mountains at Yellowstone (I think), and had some second thoughts: that maybe I should stay in this area longer. But, I felt best about going to Glacier. The rain is supposed to end today, and the clearing of the storm may provide some good photos. There was some interesting cloud drama on the countryside.
I learned that this is Blackfoot Indian territory.
Had lunch at the Casino in Browning, Montana (did not know the cafe was in a casino until I got there). I had to wait over 20 min for a burger and fries that turned out not being very good.
There had been a big storm here last week that dumped up to 52″ of snow in parts of the Park, resulting in the close of Going to the Sun Road: a very scenic drive that I was looking forward to.
I was a bit disappointed in that news.
I knew parts of the Park were open, but not sure how much snow remained. As I drove into Glacier from Browning, there was not a trace of snow. There was a little fall color, but mostly conifers. About half were a very light green, looked more like spring than fall – was very pretty. I later learned that they are Tamarack trees on their way to yellow. Just looked it up and learned that they are part of the Larch family – the trees that I saw in Banff (Canada) that had turned gold. Everything was green and beautiful: a rain forest in the midst of glaciers and snow-covered mountains. I really wanted some photos of this part of the drive, but there was no place to pull over, so I shot a few thru the windshield without stopping:
Also got a glimpse of a large rainbow over the river, but no photos because there was still no place to pull off the road.
Could not have asked for better conditions at Avalanche creek: it was raining off and on.
Was anxious to find the falls on Avalanche Creek: it was not on the map and nobody could tell me, but I found it after a relatively short hike. I think I got some decent shots.
I have admired photos of this waterfall for so many years, and finally got to shoot some myself. The photo at the top of this page is taken from the most common spot. When I thought I was done, some passers-by pointed out that there was more upstream: a different view of the falls and I found some nice rapids just above that.
(taken with my ultra-wide angle lens).
Not as much water flow at the Falls as I have seen in some photos, but a woman told me the flow is heavier in the spring, and is heavier this afternoon than it was this morning because of the rain (and I know that snow melt increases in the afternoon sun). It was also sleeting off and on thru the afternoon and night.
Also shot some at McDonald Falls – here is one that I had shot in Jan, 2013:
McDonald Falls this afternoon – the sun peaked under a cloud layer just briefly:
Really wanted to camp, so I pulled into the Apgar grounds at about 6:00 – the only campground nearby that is open. I filled out the pay envelope: the normal price is $20, but half of that for Seniors. So I got a good deal. There were a lot of open spots, and I got one near the bathroom. No shower, but flushing toilets and cold water in the sinks. It’s also lighted at night.
One of my neighbors was fussing at another neighbor (this was before dark) for running his generator. I don’t know what happened, but I noticed awhile later that his RV was not longer there.
Elevation is 3189′, and it was 44°, but I don’t know how cold it will get tonight. I’m sure I’ll be fine.
I went to sleep with the sound of the wind in the tree-tops: very nice!!