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Once upon a time, so long ago that it might be said that it has almost been lost in the mists of time, there was an EPIC meet-up of Kossacks in Glacier National Park. There were Kossacks from Delaware, from Oregon and Montana, from Colorado and Arizona, from Illinois and, of course, from California. It was so epic you might never hear the end of it. In fact, there could be 8 million stories told (so I exaggerate) about this meet-up. This is just one of them.

On Saturday morning the able-bodied Kossacks just couldn’t wait to head off on the four-and-one-half mile trail to Avalanche Lake. That left jakedog42 and me, figbash, with our pitifully under-perfoming spinal colums to strike out on our own. Wait…. what?  This looks like a good idea and since the wise and beautiful State of Confusion recommended it, we couldn’t wait to check it out.  Trail of the Cedars sounds awfully good to me and it's a boardwalk... with benches. We can do this

trail of cedars sign 049

DISCLAIMER:  If you are expecting magnificent mountain vistas, this is not the diary for that. This is more like the park saying  "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

jakedog and his running buddy Wally and I headed out early enough to miss the crowds. Right after I took this pic, the aptly named Wall-y decided to scare the snot out of me by jumping up on the stone wall.  There’s nothing behind it but down……… carl and wally 012

There was a fine place to pull off on the side of the road to take in a little fresh air and get a proper gander at McDonald Falls. (If I am incorrect in naming these roadside falls, I hope some will let me know.)
rushing waters 002

The cedar for which the trail is named and more of nature that asked me politely to take photos. Yes, I do like fallen timbers.
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geoloogy 026

forest trail of the cedars 024

geology 027

mossy logs 018


regeneration 017

remarkable bark 029


sun thru trees 042

The few trail markers were done in this style. This one was the only haiku.
glacier haiku 035.

tumbling water 036 - Copy

avalanche creeek

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A little installation art that must appear in more photos taken on this trail than just about anything else.
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It's a wonder I got out alive!
I was also thinking about the scene in Lord of the Rings where Old Man Willow gobbled up the Hobbits.-JDog  
tree hugger 039

So, by now the crowds were starting to appear and so was my appetite. Now, when i get hungry it is always for something in particular. That day I could think of nothing more pleasing than a nice, spicy Bloody Mary, some scrambled eggs with lox and onions and a nice toasted bagel with cream cheese and a tomato slice. Maybe that was asking a little too much of Coram, Montana but not a lot too much.

We found this marvelous institution, about which a 75-year old Harley rider I met who was staying in the same cabin/motel place as I was waxed eloquent. If nothing else, I knew I could have my Bloody Mary and so it was. The young lady tending bar knew how to do it! Oh, boy, did she ever. It was quite a production; one that I was too enthralled watching to think to take a pic. We were too late for breakfast but by now I didn't miss it in the least. My favorite part was her dancing on the bar. Made the Marys even better.- JDog
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Even the cars at Packers Roost were cool....
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Typical MT. beater -JDog
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This is my kind of truck. - JDog

sky blue mark V

.... to say nothing of Tawna Sue and her sister Shawna who came busting in just about as our Bloody Marys were set down in front of us. These two Montana wild women announced themselves with great authority as the bellied up to the bar to order their first shots before attacking the pool table with the most joyful abandon I have ever seen. I loved them both. They wrote their names on a bar napkin for me which is now part of my most treasured Glacier memorabilia.
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Tawna Sue
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shawna 055
You meet the most interesting people in these dive bars in the middle of knowhere.- JDog
All good things must end and so it was that we would finish our day at Hungry Horse dam, just south of Coram which itself is just south of the park's western entrance. Wally was happy to be able to poke around in the stream.
stream bed rocks 029

hungry horse flowers 072

mtns from hungry horse 077

rock at hungry horse dam 070

little falls at hungry horse 063


We liked the dam, engineering and all that, but this diary can't end with a photo of a dam, so here's one of the gorgeous Lake McDonald all dressed up for evening, instead. More of this kind to come. Soon come....

reflections apgar 047

            photos by Jdog and figbash.
EDITOR'S NOTE:  I just realized I had a very important name wrong so I just fixed it. It is me who is in a sea of confusion..... no surprise there.

Originally posted to Rag Taggers on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 05:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and J Town.

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