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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

POST 642: 05/28/12: EAST GLACIER PARK - ESSEX, MONTANA

Please say HELLO to Karen.

Karen, living in East Glacier Park, travels to Browning each day, teaching High School in the Blackfeet town. Graduation of the Senior Class is this week, with about 200 graduating students; rating the school as Class A in the State of Montana.


The overcast lifted a bit in the early morning.

Leaving SPIA in East Glacier Park, I walked West on US 2 for 5 hours toward the "Summit".

US 2 loops around the South border of the Glacier National Park mountains; the Eastern end anchored by the town of East Glacier Park, with the West end anchored by the town of West Glacier, some 60 miles distant. The Summit is 12 miles from East Glacier Park, making West Glacier about 48 miles West of the Summit. In between lies the small village of Essex, which is a major railroad switching yard...also the home of Bill and Ginger, whom we will visit tomorrow.



The above monument is repeated at the Gorge just outside of the town of Cut Bank, Montana...between the two monuments lies the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.


Following are some of over 100 images I gathered on my camera walking out to the Summit from East Glacier Park.


Above image is a magnificent BEAVER DAM...the fur of which was one of the major objectives of early White Man's migration to the West over 200 years ago.





The above image shows in detail, the dramatic UPLIFT during the formation of the Rocky Mountains some 45 million years - or so - ago.



The Eastern side of the Summit is a gradual climb - hardly noticeable in a vehicle - to the elevation of 5,261 feet.

The West side of the Summit is another story all together...precipitous steep mountain slopes with resulting steep climbs and drops of US 2.


From US 2, looking North into Glacier National Park.

I have been cautioned that the area along US 2 is loaded with Grizzly Bears...so far, none to be seen by this trekker.


Please click click. History of the achievement of the Great Northern Railroad crossing the Continental Divide - at the Summit - in 1890 or so.


John Stevens...the man responsible for the achievement.

Returning to SPIA in East Glacier Park, we drove over the Summit - during which the "Summit" photographs were taken -, to the town of Essex, Montana.

We telephoned Bill and Ginger before leaving East Glacier Park, only to discover they were just walking out their door - in Essex - to return tomorrow evening. We agreed that SPIA would park in / near Essex until their return, when we would spend some time visiting. In the interim, I would walk BACK East, up US 2 toward the Summit from the West. After which, we would spend the night...which we have done, parked in a pleasant parking area along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.




The following images are of our afternoon walk BACK toward the Summit from Essex.












As can be seen, the mountains on the West side of the Summit are REAL mountains, causing some serious steep hills...which I climbed and descended without problem.

The above bridge is over the Middle Fork, Flathead River, where SPIA and I parked for the night.

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