I’m Back! Art & Hiking in the Wild West – Part 1

Hello! I recently returned from a trip out west! I visited Montana,  took a quick stop in California, & ended in Nevada. My trip was centered around great friends, nature, & art-making. I had a wonderful time. I want to share pictures from my travels but in two parts, cause I have so many pics! Here is Part 1 :-)

For the first few days of my trip I stayed in Polebridge at the North Fork Hostel click here to visit the website. It was a great place and I had a comfortable stay with a lot of great company. I met new friends and ventured out to Bowman Lake several times. (pictures below from the website)

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Sitting on the porch chatting with new friends, and we were visited by a deer and her baby.

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Bowman Lake was where I took my watercolors to paint. It is located in the North Fork area of Glacier and not commonly visited by most visitors to the park.

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Below is a picture I took off the web of The Mercantile “The Merc” click here to visit The Merc website. I could walk from the hostel to the Merc and pick up coffee and a bear claw – this place is known for the pastries. It was also a gathering place where everyone stopped before heading out on their adventures.

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One of my new friends named Rick had asked me how I had found the hostel. I said I had found it on the web and it looked very inviting. He said, “Well you found a gem, I have been coming here for 32 years with my sons, and now my grandson.”

A group of us went to visit Rick’s friend, Joseph C. Moore, an artist that lives right outside of Polebridge in his artist’s studio cabin. When we arrived we saw that he left a note on his door that he was out running an errand (he doesn’t have cell service, so he leaves notes lol). We walked around his property and I got to look into the windows of his studio to see some of his work. On the outside of his home he displays these faces that he makes with cement:

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I later got to meet Joseph that same evening but didn’t have my camera on me to take a picture with him. He had a gray beard and rosy cheeks. His personality was bubbly and friendly, he leaned in when he spoke to me, and asked me several questions about my art and travels.  He doesn’t have a website and his studio can be visited only through word of mouth. So unless you talk to the people in Polebridge and ask about him, you’d never know he was there. He invited me to revisit that next week so he could give me a tour but I had to say no cause I was leaving the following day.

The North Fork Hostel does exhibit a few of his paintings in the common area.

I wanted to share the picture I took of his view from the backside of his studio… ahhh-mazing:

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My last evening at the hostel I shared pizza and beers at the Northern Lights Saloon about a mile walk from the hostel. There Rick’s son played the blues while his grandson break-danced:

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The National Bison Range in Dixon, Montana, is about a 1.5 hour drive from Kalispell. The NBR is one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States. I saw bears, antelope, an eagle, deer, mountain goats, and of course the bison herd…all on a 19 mile loop. Seriously this place was freakin’ cool. So much to see!

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I was longing to hike in Glacier National Park. I didn’t have a hiking partner so I asked around for what trails were most populated and was told The Highline Trail. When in bear country I especially do not want to hike alone.

I got up early one morning and headed for the trail head but first stopped at the Apgar visitor’s center. I talked to a park ranger who suggested the Highline Trail was best for hiking alone and she made sure I had bear spray…yes I sure did lol!

I left and while heading for my car a young woman named Lisa approached me and asked if I would like a hiking buddy? She said, “I overheard you say you were hiking Highline, I am too, and I would rather not hike it by myself” HOW COOL IS THAT?! I was so grateful that Lisa joined me… here are pictures of our hike. In the one with my hands in the air, I am standing in front of the Grinnell Glacier!

BTW this same trail was closed a week after our hike due to bear activity! yikes!

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Lake McDonald is a great hang out spot for relaxing or several water activities. And Amy and I visited the local farmer’s market in Colombia Falls – Beers, food, art, and bluegrass music!
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More to come! Thank you for taking a look at Part 1… Part 2 coming soon!

Xo

Rebecca

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