By Alkali Springs Correspondent
There are few times that we drive over to Glacier Park and the Flathead country without seeing something to write about and to carry with us for a long, long time.
For instance, one time we were eating lunch in Avalanche picnic ground and all of a sudden an avalanche let loose (appropriate for there, don't you think?) Well, we were far, far from it and well out of harms way but the noise that avalanche made will be with us for as long as we are able to remember. It was so awesome as to make us feel like a very insignificant part of God's handiwork and plans.
Well, this last week when fighting roads to get back to Havre on a Saturday morning, we, once again, were in the paws of majesty, that is even now, while it is still fresh, very difficult to describe.
The roads from Lakeside to West Glacier that morning were just awful. There was freezing rain on top of snow and slush. There had been a spring storm and most of the snow removal equipment had been put away so roads were a mess. In fact often in that short space, we thought of turning back. Only the thought that roads going back might be worse than those ahead made us stay the course for another mile or so.
Then there was West Glacier and miracle of miracle, the road through town and even extending out east was plowed almost to the cement. What a relief for that meant that Marias Pass would be the same way.
So we cruised through town when what to our amazement, there was a whole herd of huge elk right in the middle of the highway. Unbelievable! Must have been twenty of them at least. No bulls we could see, but some of the biggest cow elk we have ever seen. And we saw them close enough so that we could roll the window down on our auto and reach out and pet them - which made our dog very upset that we would pet something other than him.
You know how it is. You can go for trip after trip and never see any wildlife. Then all of a sudden, there is the motherload right in front of you. That is how we felt that morning. It made our fight through dangerous roads really worthwhile.
So we trekked on over roads that were in very good winter time conditions. Those folks in that area who maintain roads, they really do a job in keeping them as bare and dry as they possibly can. Roses to that crew!
Now, gentle readers, you would think that the elk would be enough of spectacular for one trip, but even more awaited us. Up the pass we went. Past Nyack, past Stanton, past Pinnacle until we reached Essex. We crossed the river, entered Glacier Park and were driving along sort of in the area of the goat lick turnoff, when all of a sudden we saw a sight all around us, through every canyon and mountain that was just unbelievable. The whole forest, river and mountain after mountain was just bathed in a sort of rosy wash. That kept on with the color never changing until we reached Summit. We knew what we were looking at. It has a name. Alpanglow. It is described as a rosy glow around sunrise or sunset at the summits of mountains. For us it was coming out of the mists of snow and clouds and what a sight it was. Worth driving through the blizzard and bad roads to see? You bet! Do it again in even worse conditions now that you have finally seen it? In a heartbeat!
Get a chance to experience alpanglow, don't miss it. You will never be quite the same!