Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 17

Ever wonder why something costs so much more than seemingly similar items? After enjoying her raw bits twang twang, Linda tromped out to gather huckleberries with her camera, John and Fannie in tow.  John went along to shoot some macro shots of the huckleberries and some other flowers around the grounds. There were many more huck bushes than she estimated on yesterday's post. But, after picking for a while from the first two bushes, she brought Fannie (and John) back to help John process photos in the room. When the berries Linda had picked so far were put into a basket in the room, they barely covered the bottom – and it was a small basket! This time she took only her gathering bag since picking hucks requires using two hands at once (Fannie had not helped much since she was continually pulling on the leash to go towards more interesting-smelling paths). Ahh, progress! After about an hour's worth of gleaning, Linda had about three cups of huckleberries which were more than enough to fill the basket. And, she how understands why they are quite expensive at fruit stands (about $5 for a taster cup). But, oh, are they good! By then it was lunchtime so she was able to have huckleberries along with sliced apples, peanut butter and carrots. Yummers!

A clump of a few huckleberries before Linda got to them.

The Noxon Reservoir is really close to our motel and seems to be well-used by boaters, fisherpersons and swimmers. There is an access point with picnic/bbq areas, launch ramp and docks just outside the north end of Trout Creek. John  thinks that it would have been better if they had also named it after Mr. and/or Mrs. Wood so that it could have been the Noxon-Wood Reservoir. And Linda has the perfect tagline: “The Lake Where You Always Have Good Luck”.

We're sure you've heard of knotty pine, but have you ever heard of the KNOTTY Pine Saloon? There is probably one somewhere, but we went to the NAUGHTY Pine Saloon, which is one of about ten businesses in Trout Creek, Montana   (www.naughtypine.biz ). Oh, and as of the 2000 census, Trout Creek has a population of 261 people. John got a Bud Light and Linda ordered ginger ale but quickly changed her mind when she saw a sign for huckleberry slush. The buzzards had fun talking to some locals who advised them to go to Vermillion Falls and take a short walk to get to the Falls. They cheerfully provided directions. The lady to John's left said the trail was easy and that her mother has MS and had no trouble hiking to the falls. So the buzzards took their advice and set off on yet another adventure. Thus, did John end up picking the SONG O' THE DAY: “Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen” (an African-American Spiritual) from the Daily Ukelele Songbook. Only, as he sung it, he changed the word “Trouble” to “Bumpy Roads”. The  route he eventually took was as bumpy or bumpier than the Forest Road on the way to Heaven's Gate. Remember its name? The Seven Devils' Road! And, to add insult to the bumpiness, the old buzzards never did find Vermillion Falls OR the easy hike to get there. Those locals back at the Naughty Pine must still be laughing at the bumpy goose chase they sent the old buzzards on. But the bartender, Lorne, was very nice. He didn't even charge for Linda's huckleberry slush and he gave her a tank top from last year's annual Big Sky Blues Music Festival that the Naughty Pine Saloon puts on each year www.bigskyblues.com . PS: the old buzzards don't really think they were led astray on purpose. Both buzzards and their Fannie just seem to have a penchant for washboard roads. So far Wilma has held up fine, Noxon-Wood . . .

The Old Buzzards got their dinner from We Are the Branches right across Hwy 200 from the Trout Creek Motel and RV Park. There was outdoor or indoor service and they decided to roost indoors for their meal. Linda had a giant fresh fruit salad. It didn't come with dressing and it didn't need any dressing. There were cherries, watermelon, plums, nectarines, grapes and cantaloupe. John had a huckleberry milkshake and a "Carl's" Burger. The owners raise their own beef and it is Grade AAA+ certified at a USDA controlled packing plant. The very delicious Carl's burger comes with grilled jalapenos, Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, all the regular veggies, potato chips and is served on a homemade bun. The buzzards had the whole dining room to themselves which was nice since the chief cook and bottle washer was also the server and the salesperson for the antique store next door. She apologized for the service being slow but it was an interesting place with lots to see while waiting. And, the food was great and very inexpensive.

Linda went out and picked more huckleberries after dinner since she hardly made a dent on them this morning and there were several hours of daylight still left.

The photo gallery for today contains 34 images, none of which are of Linda picking huckleberries late into the evening. You can view the photo gallery by clicking here.

We are off to Wilbur, WA tomorrow for a night's stay at the Willow's Motel. Soon we'll be visiting Mt. Rainier National Park.

Happy trails.

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