Tag Archives: Montana

Jake And Maggie


As we left Bozeman, Montana, on our way to Yellowstone National Park, we passed by a huge sign advertising an up close and personal experience with Grizzly Bears.

Fred’s typical response of “Do you want to stop?” was met with silence. I had images of cages of bears behind bars and expensive admission prices; it really wasn’t my cup of tea, as I don’t like seeing wild animals in confinement. But he pulled in and just as he started talking to the woman at the entrance booth, my phone rang and I was consumed with a conversation with our daughter, so really missed his entire conversation, and before I knew it, we were in the lot, parked, and walking around.

Meet Jake and Maggie.


IMG_4223 - Version 2




Somewhere between west Glacier and Bozeman, after becoming insatiated about Grizzlies, I picked up this book “In The Presence of Grizzlies” by Doug and Andrea  Peacock, which is an excellent book about the world of Grizzlies. Thanks to these folks, (an excellent highly recommend book by the way) I’ve learned just how complicated the Human / Grizzliy world is, politically, environmentally, and financially.




Without writing an entire essay on the subject, let’s just assume that Bozeman Grizzly Encounter is a pretty reputable place where they rescue grizzly bears from very unfortunate circumstances. These bears cannot be turned back into the wild, without getting themselves shot, so I guess this is a good solution. The bears are on display for short periods of time, well fed, have a reasonable environment to hang out in, and seem to have good spirits. (Yes I believe these intelligent animals do indeed have spirits.) The place is purely educational, costing $7.00 each, which goes for care and food.

Although I could have stayed for hours and hours watching these guys interact, we only met Jake and Maggie, as the other bears came out on a rotational basis, and we needed to get on the road before it got too late.


Jake Enjoying His Pond


Some Bear Yoga


Keeping Those Teeth Sharp


Oh Sweet Maggie


IMG_4295 - Version 2
Don’t Dare Me


I had another entire memory disk of photos of Jake and Maggie, actually standing up on hind legs, wrestling with each other, and displaying incredible bear posturing. That disk unfortunately became corrupted when the card reader got banged and fell out of the computer during transfer. At least I did switch cards while there, so Jake and Maggie still live on in my photo collection.


Lakes, Rain, And Gentle Souls


Time for a nice easy drive down the highway. We followed 83 south through Montana, winding down the mountain, spending a quiet, peaceful, and restful night at Swan Lake. In the morning it was just a jaunt across the road to the lake, where we strolled around the beautiful pedestrian pathway watching the glass smooth lake come alive.

Mid-day we drove a few more hours to Seeley Lake. On the way down, there was definite smoky haze in the air as we  we were heading straight for a fire area…But when we arrived, rain had started falling, the air was crisp and clean, and the campground was practically deserted. We set up our awning, sat on the van porch and watched the puddles form, until it became a downpour, at which time we came inside and cozied up for awhile with our books. A few hours later, the sun was out, and people everywhere exited their tents, trailers and vans to walk wherever they could walk. Life was fresh and renewed. The deer came out to graze and the birds and squirrels again took up their search for food.


River with reflection of trees and clouds in the sky
Clearwater River Near Seeley Lake


Seeley Lake was peaceful and quiet, so we decided to stay put for a few days. We were immersed in nature and beauty, and continued meeting interesting and inspiring people.

Paul, for instance touched our hearts. This gentle person with a huge soul kept us company, provided us with much valuable travel information, gave ups tips on which roads to take for the best experiences, and inflamed a torch that has been lit in us, about planning a trip next summer to Alaska and the Yukon! We shared thoughts on politics, the environment and most excitingly about the Absaroka Mountains, which we were soon to make our way over the top of.


Green marsh with river winding through it
Clearwater River Marsh


Pulling away from Seeley lake, after exploring a few back roads, we passed by the Bob Marshall Wilderness area.


Green meadows, miles of vast uncluttered land, and huge mountains in the background.
A Tiny Glimpse of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area


Thank you Bob, for being the visionary you were.


highway signage about the bob marshall wilderness area
Bob Marshall Wilderness Area


Butte, Deer Lodge, and Dillon. We camped in Boulder Creek Campground along a little used winding road. We followed some of Lewis and Clark’s trail, and saw rocks the Sacagawea played underneath as a young girl. There is much history in this area.

A Nice little rainstorm over the mountains to light our way and we landed in Bozeman for the evening.


Rain coming down from the clouds over mountains.
Driving Through The Rainstorms


Next post, we meet more unexpected acquaintances, of the four legged kind.           ❧