- July 13, 2015
- Posted by Tim Moore; Corps member
Can mountains and lakes become like the people in your life? Can you get to know a place so well that it has its own personality? These are question that keep arising as our crew progresses through the season. The more hitches we go out on the more we learn about this new place called Montana.
Our first hitch was at Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a wetland, Palouse prairie and haven for a wide diversity of water fowl. When one thinks of NW Montana thoughts of alpine vistas and lakes tucked into mountain ranges come to mind. So it was a surprise to find our first hitch was a quaint strip of grassland hidden flanked by rolling hills. The project was to build a short gravel trail that overlooked the wetlands and provided prime bird watching real estate. It was a beautiful place and a unique project to start the season.
Next on our grand tour was the Glacier View Ranger District just west of Glacier National Park. With stunning views of the park and just a few mile from the Canadian-US border this hitch was more in line with what one thinks of when the picture NW Montana. Here we cleared downed trees from trails for the US Forest Service. The people of Montana are just as crucial to what makes this state great as the land itself so meeting the staff at the ranger district office was inspiring. It takes a lot of man power to make these places and the forest service has a lot on their plate.
From there we moved on to the east side of Glacier National Park (GNP) for fencing. The crew got a unique experience going from one beautiful location to another. In nine days we saw some of the best that east Glacier as to offer. We saw Chief Mountain, Two Medicine, and St.Mary all within that time period. The park staff was great and with their extensive knowledge acted as our tour guides for the hitch. We moved up and down the eastern border mending fence lines so needless to say this hitch gave us an off-trail glimpse of GNP that most never get to see.
The season is just under way and there is so much to do and see. It’s as if N.W. Montana is a new friend or acquaintance that we’re just starting to get to know. It’s exciting to learn its different facets and idiosyncrasies.
Hopefully by November we’ll be old friends.
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