Leaving for this trip made me realize that I have not been out of town overnight since September 2012. I would say it was past time to take a trip!
Our stop at the Garden of the 1000 Buddhas was a great beginning to the trip. I made a resolution to return next summer with my knitting. There were some wonderful places I could sit, knit and think. Knitting settles me, so I can listen to a story, read or think.
The drive up was great. Flathead Lake was a favorite childhood destination. Driving that road for the first time in a few years stirred up all kinds of memories. I think having Bryan as a travel companion helped with the stirring. I had stories to share. Then there were the joint memories from when he was growing up. There are always changes, but there are also those things that stay the same. There are two impressive ‘reveals’ on that road. Picture driving along the highway with mountains all around. You are nearing a corner and……………….the Mission Mountains appear magically. The range is impressive-great craggy peaks. This time of year they are beginning to be snow covered. They are there to guide us through the valley. We drive through the small towns, pass by the Ninepipes Wildlife Refuge (Ninepipes Refuge)
The next reveal comes as you start down the hill toward Polson. Flathead Lake is right there! It is a large natural lake. Growing up, I thought ALL lakes were like Flathead. I learned they weren’t all as big as Flathead or as ‘inhabited’. Flathead Lake has a large summer population. A summer weekend finds the lake full of boats and the beaches full of people. There are many small lakes in Montana, some inhabited and some not.
Bethany lives in Whitefish. There is a lake that is part of the town. Whitefish Lake. It is a lovely lake, but much smaller. There are places on the lake, but they are more secluded. We stopped at City Beach. There were a few people there to catch the sunset. A pair of mergansers were enjoying an evening swim.
Dinner was at a local sports bar. Great soup and salad. We enjoyed the chance to sit and talk. When we got back to Bethany’s house, she showed us the back yard. I haven’t had a real garden in years. I was exploring the gardens and found several treasures. One of her housemates (and the new house owner) loves to garden, but hasn’t had much chance to explore. There was lavender growing and thyme. There were lots of great perennials there. I have been away from gardening long enough that I recognized some of the plants, but couldn’t name them. What a treat to be able to call up some of my gardening know how. My mother was an excellent gardener. She taught me some things, and learned some on my own. I loved growing herbs.
Soon it was time to head back, but we made plans to head up toward Glacier Park the next morning.