Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blowing in the Wind, Sept. 29, 2009

With the glooming forecast for this part of the country being rain/snow we knew it was time to leave northern Montana (50 miles from Canada) and head south.  We drove back to Deer Lodge, MT where we were last Wednesday morning.  The storm is to arrive tonight, so that means WIND today, blowing the storm in.  Bob did a great job driving the coach, it is heavy so doesn’t blow around too much, not like our Class C we used to have.

We chose a different route back.  Since we were on the east side of Glacier NP at St Mary, we drove north about 8 miles to Rt 464 to Browning, Rt 89 to Choteau, 287 to I-15, Rt 12 to I-90, then on into Deer Lodge.  Good roads all the way except for a 5 mile section with this sign.  002

The road was gone, and this late into the season, I don’t think it will be done this year—but who knows?



008Then we came upon this moving road block.  The herd was crossing the road going to a pasture across the road—we did not see anyone on two feet in charge??

013Know how pesky a fly can be inside the coach when you are driving, landing on your hand, then the window. 


Well, see that black dot (they fly is alive), it is not a splattered bug on the outside, it is a fly who paid the ultimate price! (Bob whapped it – yes while driving.)

023 We saw several of these hay stacks along the road, they use this triangular apparatus called a beaver slide hay stacker to lift the hay up and make this hay stack for winter.  I think they just remove sections of the fence and the cattle can eat when the snow becomes feet thick. (OR, another thought…the snow gets so deep the fence makes no difference and the cattle just walk on top of the snow to eat the stacked hay.)  The photo above was taken near Avon, MT, where the link references his photos as well.

We may have snow here tomorrow, but we are planning on going nowhere.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Glacier, Day 5, Sept 28, 2009

We decided to stay an extra day here at Glacier as the storm is forecast to arrive tomorrow and is suppose to be only rain and no snow. 

This joke was on our Rules at the Johnsons of St Mary RV Park and thought it worthy of posting.

005 We took it easy today to rest up from our hiking yesterday.  We drove up to Logan Pass (Continental Divide).  This is where the road ends currently due to road repair.018Even if the Going to the Sun Road were open, this tunnel would be a stopper for big rigs.  They say no vehicle over 10’ and/or 21’long can travel this road between Avalanche Creek and Logan Pass-currently closed.



These two Mountain Goats were way up on the side of this mountain.  I’ll post a non zoomed photo next, you can barely see them, just about centered in the photo.

032 Back to the coach for the rest of the afternoon.050


Our sunset view out of the front windshield from a few days ago.  This spot wins for the best views from the coach!

Glacier – Day 4, Sept 27, 2009

Not sure if I am losing it or not, but I agreed to hike to the Grinnell Glacier today, 12 miles (25,847 steps) round trip with an elevation change of 1600 ft. Since we are in Glacier National Park, we wanted to see up close a glacier.

Here are some views going up.

012 089 015Then we saw a Big Horn Sheep, he had been munching on some leaves from a bush.

038 His friend was eating in a different area. They were bigger than I thought, their backs probably my waist high.045Look at that lake’s color. The milky turquoise blue means glacier melt.

023 The further we went up the trail the harder and harder it got. Here I am recovering…tying to catch my breath and letting my heart rate return to somewhere near normal. The altitude is around 6,000!

093 Finally after about 3 hours of walking, climbing, we arrive at the view we were waiting for, the Grinnell Glacier. All Bob could say was Oh My, Oh My, Wow!!

057 These are icebergs floating in the water they have created from melting.

060 This is looking towards the left from the photo with Bob in it. This is the glacier, or what is left of it.

078 080

I took photos of a display showing the changes in the glacier, the first photo was taken in 1938, the next one in 2005. The glacier is melting, and will probably soon be gone.

112 We enjoyed lunch on a smoothed rock almost at the lake level.

072 Bob just had to touch an iceberg, this is zoomed as he was down there a ways.

070 This is what he took, up close of the iceberg.

116 It is time to head back down that trail, just couldn’t pass up this sight, the sun was just right to bring out the reds. Notice Bob's shirt is partially pulled off his right shoulder, well I was using his shirt to hang onto to help me down over the rock steps in places along the path.

077YES, we both were exhausted when we got back, had been hiking for 7 hours 20 minutes, a little over 12 miles, up and down 1600’ of elevation changes. This is the longest hike we have taken since we walked to see the Model T in the Painted Desert at the Petrified Forest in AZ-that was 17 miles, about 1-1/2 years ago.

Glacier–Day 3-Drive Day, Sept 26, 2009

Today is the day we drove around the park from the west side to the east side via the south side. 023

The two lane road was good and the scenery nice.

031 037 There was also evidence of fire in this area.

We are staying at Johnson’s of St Mary RV Park (in Saint Mary, MT) for their off-season rate of $38.52/night! I guess they only have a few months to make their money, so they try.

Below is a view outside our window. Very Nice.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Email from Ed…Sept 25, 2009

We received this email this morning from our son-in-law regarding our granddaughter, Lindsey. We are so proud of you Lindsey and LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!!!

Ed’s email….


Ok…I couldn’t sit on this anymore…I have to share it.

Last year soon after the 2008 Finch Camp, Lindsey wrote this essay (see bottom of this email) for school. As she’s always inspired to support her, my wife Jenny took the letter and forwarded it on to the Director of Communications of the International Softball Federation (ISF). Who had a very nice reply (see below). Well…this week received a letter back from Don Porter – he’s the ISF President. And…the best of all at the end below is a scanned copy of a letter from a member of the International Olympic Committee – it actually mentions Lindsey by name. Please take a moment and let these soak in. It’s a good reminder of how one little essay can make a piercing difference.

And…I can’t forget here’s Lindsey with Jennie Finch (yes that’s from tonight’s dinner).

I hope you enjoy this light read,

Coach Ed

lindsey_Jennie finch

FYI--Jennie Finch is one of the greatest softball players and Lindsey sat with her at the banquet preceding the Softball camp in Folsom, CA.

Jenny’s email about Lindsey’s essay…

Hi Mr. Wawrzyniak,

I am writing to you to share with you what an impact softball has been on my 11 year old child. She has been playing competitive softball for 1 year. She has always been an average student and an average athlete. She was always sincere in her relationships with others, but lacked a genuine spark that compelled her to try harder. This is a report she wrote for school last year. Please consider how the decisions that are made for the future of softball have lasting repercussions for the young student athletes just beginning to realize their dreams. Please consider this when the vote for allowing softball back into the Olympic games is considered. Thank you. See report below:

Please feel free to forward this to the appropriate person, if needed.

Sincerely,Jennifer Fenton

Here is Lindsey’s essay…

My Dream Come True

By Lindsey Fenton


My heart wants to be an Olympian, not any Olympian, a softball Olympian. I have put many hours into softball; it takes a ton of commitment. If I could have the chance to win a gold medal, it would be a dream come true. Because of softball I’ve learned to try really hard at things like studying.

I have put time and effort into softball. From learning new things or reviewing old things, I do my best. I take hitting and catching lessons, also I play year round softball. I’ve put at least 350 hours into practicing and playing softball. I wouldn’t be able to live without softball, I love it!

Winning a gold medal is something I could only dream of. Being up on the podium with your teammates getting gold medals together, it would be outstanding. I would use the medal and my stories to inspire young children to follow their dreams.

Softball has taught me to try hard in school and on the field. I have great grades and I try my best in all things that I can. I know that you need good grades and a good attitude to make it through college and to make it on the Olympic team. I know one day my grades will count.

I hope one day I will be able to succeed in my dream. I know that you have to put in effort and time to succeed. I want to know what it feels like to win a gold medal with my teammates. I know that if I do well in school, that I will have the outstanding ability to be able to play on the field without worrying about school because of all the discipline I will have already developed on and off the field.

From: Bruce Wawrzyniak Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7:34 AM
To: ejfenton

Subject: RE: Future of softball

Dear Jennifer:

Please accept my sincere apologies. You sent the email below one month ago and it was brought to my attention today that no one ever responded to you.

You'll be interested to learn what transpired with your email, however. Upon receiving it I'd immediately forwarded it to our president. I knew he would want to read such a touching email. In a box on his desk, he keeps all of these that we have gotten over the last few years, using it as his motivation to continue steering the efforts to get softball back into the Olympics. He, in turn, forwarded the email on to a number of people that have been involved with our BackSoftball campaign.

It is (keeping alive) the dreams of young girls like Lindsey that we are fighting for. And even though the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board last month put forth golf and rugby (and not softball or any of the other candidate sports) for the October vote on which sport(s) will be added to the 2016 Games, we still haven't given up our hope and our efforts to see our sport restored to its rightful place on the world's stage.

So thank you for having sent this to us and please know that we admire and appreciate your daughter's passion for softball.


Bruce R. Wawrzyniak, Director of Communications International Softball Federation (ISF)1900 So. Park Road Plant City, FL 33563USA


From: Don Porter Sent: Thursday, September 24, 2009 6:16 AM
To: ejfenton
Cc: Bruce Wawrzyniak
Subject: Lindsey's Letter

Dear Ed and Jennifer:

I am contacting you after having received yours’ and Lindsey’s memos, to first thank you for taking to write and for Lindsey’s expression about her “Olympic dream”. We have passed on Lindsey’s memo to members of the International Olympic Committee in our continuing efforts to bring the “Olympic dream” back to young athletes like Lindsey and others around the world.

I am forwarding to you one of the responses we received relative to the letters.

Personal regards.Don E. PorterISF President


Glacier – Day 2 – Sept. 25, 2009

Two hikes were agreed upon for today, to Howe Lake (4 miles RT) and then to Rocky Point (2.2 miles RT) for lunch.

Howe Lake’s trailhead was up a gravel road, so glad we did not meet anyone as it was narrow and at times on the edge!!

This area of Glacier had fires in 2003 so much of what we walked through was what you see after a fire.

007 003

Even though it had been burned, it created its own beauty. Plus we saw thousands of new trees growing, a new forest growing.

011 This is Howe Lake. Beautiful, isn’t it!

We were walking


in grizzly country, so I had to find a bell, you know “bear bells” and this tiny jingle bell was the only one I could find in the coach-think it was part of a candle gift we received. It MUST have worked!! As we are alive to write this post. yea!!! (Bob called this bell a 'cub' bell, wasn't big enough to qualify as a bear bell.)

014 I love taking photo’s up a tall objects, water towers, etc. This burned tree was very unique!!

016 Signs of fall – very pretty.


The trail sometimes has obstacles.

052 Lunch overlooking Lake McDonald.

019 We added a new state to our US map, Montana!!

Tomorrow we drive over 90 miles to Saint Mary’s to explore the eastern side of Glacier.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Glacier National Park - Day 1 - Sept 24, 2009

We are here.


We already knew Glacier’s Apgar Visitor Center had a web cam, so our first stop was to be photographed by it. We called Megan and she was able to capture us on the cam. Thanks for emailing the photo to us.

glacier_park 9-24-09 We spoke to a ranger inside about what hikes would be good for us-he gave us a list and map showing 15 hikes we can do from the West entrance. The Going-To-The-Sun road which takes you across the park, west to east, is closed from Avalanche Creek to Logan Pass for repairs. So to see the other side of the park we will need to drive around the southern part of the park, about 2 hours. We have decided to move the RV on Saturday closer to the east entrance to explore that side.

Today I chose the Avalanche Lake trail two miles (one way) with a 500’ elevation change.

I am being brave, see the smile, balancing (the key word-not my best skill) on this log.


106 A fellow hiker offered to take our photo.

108This backpacker disappeared over a year ago, he was a solo hiker. Still missing. Sort of brings back the potential grim reality of being this area and the wildlife. Wonder if he had bear bells?

This is Avalanche Lake, very pretty.

284 Some view along the hike.


The perfect posing spot.

Looking down into a gorge, see the log wedge in the crack.287 Bob along the stream. 121

Another trail is calling on us tomorrow, just not sure which one. I don’t do 7-8 mile hikes with 2000’ elevation change…so time will tell.

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