It’s practically impossible to mention a winterkeeper’s position without thinking of The Shining, but aside from the wind sounding like people singing down the halls of the grand old hotel, David assures us it is far more grounded. Barely skipping a beat from his summer work, he had plenty to accomplish when the guests were gone.
With each mile gained in elevation, the oxygen deprivation distracts your driving as does the granite splendor you behold at every turn. Even in July the snow stays on the ground at this elevation and skiers, sunny skies, swaying wildflowers, and tourists alike indulge in this rugged high beauty and marvel at the ingenuity of the highway.
Montana is infamous for its extremes of terrain and weather. Snowstorms can howl across this state like packs of white wolves, screaming through the streets, burying cars and stranding drivers in white-out conditions. Roads become glazed with ice and ground blizzards destroy visibility.
Winter is a most elegant time in Glacier Park with a landscape that appears donned with feathers, furs and jewels. On a sunny day evergreen trees appear to be cloaked in white sequins and frost forms a delicate lace on bony branches.
The name Montana conjures up cowboys herding cattle on the open prairie, and gunfighters hiding out in canyons to hide from rope-swinging vigilantes. But does Montana summon images of the lone sheepherder tending his flock and enduring days of solitude, bitter cold and the intense summer heat?
Montana is known for her majestic mountains in the west, and the dusty prairies in the east. As the beautiful craggy cliffs give way, however, the mountains taper down until they are little more than undulating hills with the occasional rocky outcropping.
The blast is unthinkable, impossible to understand in human terms. Still, there are some who are far enough away that they have a moment to try. They can see a flash that overtakes the horizon, and then for a moment, they see a black streak rising into space. The scale of it is enormous beyond reckoning.
Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front lies to the west of Highways US 89 and 287 from the southern border of the Blackfeet Reservation to south of Augusta. It is where the northern Great Plains meet Rocky Mountains in a dramatic convergence of cliffs and rolling grassy hills.
Wild Horse Island is a real “jewel” that shines among Montana’s State Park system. It is the largest island in Montana’s beautiful, pristine Flathead Lake and lies within the boundaries of the Flathead Indian Reservation between Missoula and Kalispell.
With 9,000+ foot peaks surrounded this untamed area that’s home to countless elk, moose, a smattering of wolverines, black bears, mountain lions, and the rumored grizzly. For those seeking adventure or solitude, the Little Belts are the place to be.
Rappelling in, you arrive in a large room named the Cloak Room. It is here that you shed your climbing gear; it won’t be needed until you ascend back up the rope to your above-ground home. From here you have fourteen miles of known passages that twist, turn, split, dead-end, and squeeze under rocks to explore.