Wednesday, September 24, 2014


It's hard to believe that in just fifteen more days, Dave and I are bound for the Mountainview Hideaway once more. We are driving straight through to Yellowstone and will spend a day there, seeing Charlie who will soon be wrapping up his work tenure. I am bringing up a cookie cake for him so we can celebrate his birthday that evening. The next morning, Dave and I will hit the road early and drive the last * four hundred miles to the house. Once Charlie and his friend Sean check out from Yellowstone, they will join us at the house. I plan on having them break down the fence I toppled over on our last visit so we can either haul it to the landfill or maybe have a bonfire one evening. We will have them do a bit of staining on the house as well.

From the very beginning when we knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had blessed us with our home, we wanted to use the house as a blessing to others. So much of the guest bedroom remodeling project was done with our future guests in mind. I have joked that we will be like a Bed and Breakfast, pampering visitors and playing tour guide. Dave's younger brother Trace and his wife Pam are joining us during our first week up at the Hideaway and we will play hosts as well as task masters since they are willing to help do a little work with us. It won't be all work, there will be some play time as well.

The new china hutch should arrive during the first few days at the house so I have been gathering a few special items to take up with us that I can store inside. We are driving our car and not the van so it's a much smaller load we'll be taking, unlike my April trips where the van is overflowing with boxes and smaller furniture items. We will take up the wood blinds I ordered for the library window and I might be able to bring up a box of books. Other projects besides staining the house will be cleaning and staining the back concrete patio off the french doors in the family room and possibly working on interior doors.

Our contractor just finished a structural project for us on the detached garage. It doesn't have the "WOW FACTOR" that room remodeling transformations do but it was something that needed to be addressed. This past winter with the heavier than normal snowfall caused ice dams near the garage's foundation, resulting in bulging and bowing. The last thing we want is to lose our garage when it could have been prevented. Once again the previous owners and their quirky way of doing things had to be corrected. Our contractor dug down next to the foundation and reinforced it with rebar and concrete.

He also added a drain tile to divert water away from the garage and reinforced the support posts for the stairs leading up to the workshop over the garage, this will eventually be my work studio.

We will also be applying new stain to these garage steps and supports in order to make them last as long as possible. We have already picked up the BEHR DECK OVER products we intend to use.

Our Contractor will start our next interior project this winter. We are having new hardwood floors laid in the upstairs master bedroom, adding trim work (baseboards and crown molding) and having a new door and frame installed. We have already painted the walls but we need to consult with him on my closet which is lacking doors and a practical layout for storage. The first step however is that he will lift the support beam downstairs in the kitchen/dining room which is directly underneath in order to level the bedroom floor.

(Painting the master bedroom, September 2013.)

(My unfinished closet.)

(Looking at Dave's closet from the doorway.)

(Looking towards the balcony room from the doorway.)

(From the master bedroom looking toward the smaller room which holds my closet.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


We enjoyed two other hikes while we were on our latest trip up to the Hideaway. Avalanche Lake is an easier hike, six miles round trip and is a popular spot. The trail begins at "The Trail Of The Cedars" which is a wheelchair accessible, self-guided nature trail and then branches off once the boardwalk ends.

Dave photographing Avalanche Gorge and spider webs.

The hike is mostly through wooded areas, then opens up into this bowl. We realized that the best time to photograph Avalanche Lake is later in the afternoon otherwise it gets bleached out.

As we approached the lake from the trail, there was a black bear nearby. Someone in the group ahead had discharged some bear spray because the effects were still lingering in the air when I saw the bear; suddenly my throat was burning and dry and my nose started running. I've never had to discharge my bear spray but we plan to practice, using our expired canisters. Now I know why that stuff is so effective!!Dave and I hiked down a little ways, past the people who were hanging near the trail

Hiking back out, past Avalanche Gorge, one of my favorite shots!

A couple of days later, we hiked to Rockwell Falls which is in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. Crossing the suspension bridge and photographing the vast amounts of wildflowers!.

The falls is a nice place to stop and soak in the quiet around you!

We left Rockwell Falls after an hour and made our way back. With only a mile left to hike, we ran across this gentleman...

How cool is that!?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


One of my favorite hikes inside Glacier National Park is the hike to Iceberg Lake which starts in the Many Glacier area. While the Mountainview Hideaway is only eleven miles from the West Entrance, it takes over 2.5 hours to drive the "Going To The Sun Road" to the East Entrance and up to the Trailhead in Many Glacier. We like to be out on the trails by 7 AM so that translates to the alarm clock going off way too EARLY for my taste! We made the decision to spend two nights at the Many Glacier Hotel, which has the most magnificent setting of all the National Park Lodges that we have stayed at! In 2015 the hotel will be celebrating its centennial and they completed all of their renovations within the last couple of years in preparation for it.

Moose in Swiftcurrent Lake looking towards the Many Glacier Hotel.

Amazing views, looking west from the Many Glacier Hotel!

Before getting an early start on the trail up to Iceberg Lake, almost a ten mile day hike, round trip, we spotted this Bull Moose feeding next to the hotel.

Grouse hen with her chick.

There are a lot of grizzly bears and black bears in the Many Glacier area and it's not unusual to see one fairly close to the trail; but seeing this young, brown-colored, black bear actually ON the trail, that was a first!!

The Iceberg Lake hike is a pretty popular one so we do tend to see other people but going really early in the morning, weeds out some of the people; they are hiking in as we are hiking out...

When we arrive at Iceberg Lake, which had the most ice we've ever seen in all of our hikes, we usually take a nice hour long break, soaking up the views, photographing, having a snack and enjoying the entertainment provided by other people!

Dave thought he could stand on the ice sheets as well but had to content himself with standing in the freezing cold lake!

After a long day of hiking, there's something about eating a big huckleberry ice cream cone and soaking in the tub. Then it's off to a nice dinner in the dining room and a little game of Yahtzee...

Watching the sun go down and saying goodbye to another day in paradise...

Friday, September 5, 2014


On our most recent trip to the Mountainview Hideaway, we maintained a nice balance of work and play. Dave gets cabin fever if he doesn't have ample time to get out and do some hiking and photography whereas, I don't mind the work; Dave feels like he's wasting photography opportunities and I am content to go with the flow. One day we decided to drive into the Park and hike to Hidden Lake at Logan Pass. The trail down to Hidden Lake itself was closed due to bear activity so we just hiked to the overlook. One of the things I always enjoy about this hike are the mountain goats that hang out on this trail. The "Going To The Sun Road" usually opens by mid-June and closes mid-September but the winter of 2013-14 dumped a larger amount of snow fall than normal, so the road opened later and there was still a lot of snow on the trail. Logan Pass is a very popular stop and by 10 AM the parking lot is full. Needless to say, we get there early!

(Behind me is the formation called "The Garden Wall" and the Highline Trail is visible on the side of the mountain. This trail leads to Granite Park Chalet and Swiftcurrent Pass)

We left Logan Pass and gave up our coveted parking space to one of the vultures circling the lot and went down to Lunch Creek where, you guessed it, we ate lunch!

The cascades and the numerous wildflowers make this a beautiful stop and Dave never tires of photographing here.

I love it when he does the slower shutter speed to get this effect on the water!

Beargrass is one of our favorite wildflowers in Glacier National Park and we saw a lot of it growing up the sides of the mountain.

To be continued...