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Flathead Valley Montana

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Wilson’s Blog

Today in Glacier National Park, in state of Montana, we went to places with word “horse” in name. First, we took boat on Flathead Lake to Wild Horse Island. See – horse! There we saw birds, swimmers, boaters, and horses! Lots of horse!

Ditch acted like wild horse. Not how a Junior Park Ranger should be acting. Plus, the horses did not like to see him act like them.

After Island we went to Hungry Horse Dam. See – another name with horse in it! Ditch and I said – ok, let’s just ride horses. So, us two gophers went to ranch and rode horses near the Lake.

Did you know the lake called Flathead Lake is one of the largest lakes in America with freshwater in it? You can boat on lake and swim, and go fishing!

Do you like to fish? Go to Flathead Lake – very fun to go fishing there! Ditch and I have fishing rods. We caught fish! Yup, us two gophers caught bass fish, and trout fish, the kind with a rainbow design on it. Rainbow trout, that’s their name!

After fishing, we ate food. What kind? Berries and cherries. A berry called “huckleberries” grow all over the place. We ate huckleberry muffins and pie. Ditch ate too much. His stomach started moaning like a sick ox playing the trumpet.

But he still found room in stomach to eat many cherries at the Cherry Festival, and cherry pie, cherry cake, cherry cobbler, cherry chicken salad, and cherry crisp.

Thank you Montana for fish, lakes, and cherry berries!

Apple Pie Picks

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the oldest National Parks in the United States. In 2010 the park will celebrate its 100th birthday. The park is named for its glacier-carved landscape and leftover glaciers from the ice ages. Glacier National Park is more than a million acres of forests, alpine meadows, lakes, mountains and valleys. Although Glacier is home to many animals, it contains the largest remaining grizzly bear populations in the United States. Visitors can ride one of Glacier’s antique Red Buses for a two hour narrated tour along the Going-to-the-Sun-Road to Logan Pass. Logan Pass is the highest point of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Here you will find a visitor center and an excellent place to see wildlife. Along the way to Logan Pass you will pass many landmarks, trails, waterfalls, lakes, geological wonders and hiking trails. On the trip back down from Logan Pass, you will drive right up against the wet Weeping Wall. The wall is a natural waterfall that seeps out from the side of the Garden Wall. If you drive too close with the windows down, you are sure to get wet! Don’t forget to become a Junior Ranger before leaving the park!

Flathead Lake State Park

Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake West of Mississippi. The lake is 28-miles long and up to 15-miles wide. The lake is more than 300 feet deep. It is one of the cleanest lakes of its size and type in the world. Temperature ranges from 36 to 68 degrees. Flathead Lake is a great spot for a picnic or camping on the shore. If you like the water you can go sailing, boating or fishing on the lake. More than 25 species of fish live in the lake! Bring or rent a fishing pole and try and catch one of the trophy-size trout fish.

Wild Horse Island

The southern half of Flathead Lake is part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. In this part of the lake you will find the 2163-acre wildlife sanctuary Wild Horse Island State Park. Wild Horse Island is one of the largest islands in North America. Many years ago local Native American tribes hid their horses on the island to keep them safe. Wild horses still roam free around the island. Wild Horse Island is also home to deer, bears, bighorn sheep and more than 75 types of birds. Visitors can hike around this island and enjoy a great view of the lake.

The National Bison Range

National Bison Range is an area in Moiese, Montana protected by National Wildlife Refuge System. The 18,500-acre range began as a way to protect the American bison. The range is over 100 years old and home to more than 350 bison. Elk, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear and coyote are other large animals found on the Range. Over 200 species of birds also call this home including eagles, hawks, meadowlarks, bluebirds, ducks, and geese. All tours of the range are done in your own car. Enjoy the beautiful grasslands and wildlife…but stay in you car!

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Local Chow


For something so small the huckleberry this little berry is a mighty fruit. Huckleberries are small and round and have 10 relatively large seeds. The colors range from red to dark purples and blue. The berries can taste sweet or tart depending on the color and ripeness.

They taste a little bit like a blueberry. The berries ripen in the summertime in western Montana at high altitudes. It is the favorite food of Grizzly Bears. Bears will travel from far away to eat the berries. Bears eat up to 30,000 berries a day. Huckleberry pickers should always be on the lookout for grizzly bears. Humans love huckleberries too! Huckleberries aren’t only great eaten fresh but also in jams, pancake syrup, muffin mixes, fudge, shakes and taffy. Wherever you go in western Montana be sure and get a taste of this special berry. In August, the town of Whitefish celebrates the berry with an arts festival called Huckleberry Days.

"Oh grizzly bears think they are so big and strong eating 30,000 huckleberries. I can eat 1,2,3, 40,000 a day!"

"Oh yea. Well grizzy bears can eat 50,000 Ditch's a day!"

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Digging History


Jasper Howse is sent by the Hudson Bay Company to set up a trading post at the north end of Flathead Lake.


The U.S. Grant steamboat begins hauling freight and passengers on Flathead Lake.


The Great Northern Railway arrives in the Flathead.


The City of Kalispell is incorporated.


Flathead County is created out of Missoula County.


The area now known as Glacier National Park is designated a Forest Reserve.


The City of Whitefish incorporated.


The Great Northern Railroad moves its main line to Whitefish.


The National Bison Range is established.


Columbia Falls is incorporated.


President Taft signs bill to establish Glacier National Park as the 10th National Park. City of Polson is incorporated.


The construction of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road begins.


The construction of Going-to-the-Sun Road is completed.


Going-to-the-Sun Road is dedicated at Logan Pass and officially opened for public use.


Kerr Dam is built at Polson and controls part of Flathead Lake.


Hungry Horse Dam in Hungry Horse is completed.


Logan Pass Visitor Center is dedicated.


Going-to-the-Sun Road celebrates its 50th birthday and is listed on the register of Historic Places.


Glacier National Park celebrates its 75th Anniversary.


Glacier National Park is named a World Heritage Site.


Flathead County becomes the third-largest county in Montana.

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