Around Flathead Lake, Montana

LOCATION:  Ronan, Montana – near big Flathead Lake
CAMPGROUND:  Another Harvest Host site – Silver Knot Ranch and Wedding Venue
WEATHER:  Perfect for boondocking – cool overnight.  Pleasant days.  High 78
DRIVE:  One hour

We awoke to fairly cool/cold temps, and I even let George turn the propane furnace on for 10 minutes. 

We returned to Jewel Basin for another hike, but this time stayed at the bottom of the mountain, instead of driving that horrific 5-mile “road” up to the summit.  The map showed a 3-mile hike to a lake, which sounded good.  It was a beautiful hike.  The only sounds we heard were bumble bees buzzing and an occasional waterfall splashing.  There were a lot of trees blown down.  We heard that last winter was really bad with high winds. 

Some of the trees just snapped and blew over; some fell with their root ball.

After about 2 miles hiking, we encountered this sign…

We approached the logging area, and of course George started talking to them. (He talks to everyone!) The lumberjack guys were very friendly.  They explained the functions of the various huge machines. 

On our way back, we encountered one other hiker, an artsy-looking kind of guy with a guitar slung on his back.  He said he was on his way to the lake to get inspiration for a song.  We had to tell him that the logging had closed the trail. 

Back at the ranch, we watched the Skinners cut and stack firewood.  This has been their project while they have been staying here.

We took another short hike after lunch.  This one was full of blown-down trees, too.  It was interesting to see how the trail was maintained, cutting through the trees that block the trail.

We said a fond farewell to the Skinners and headed south.  The highway followed beautiful Flathead Lake that was glistening in the sun.  The route also took us through Flathead cherry orchards. There were many  kiosks selling them all along our way.

Then, we arrived at tonight’s Harvest Host site.  It is a cattle ranch and a venue for weddings, nestled under a mountain range with a small glacier remaining.

DINNER:  At Harvest Host sites, you are not supposed to put out your grills, so I needed to cook inside.  I cut up a bunch of vegetables and added them to a can of soup, resulting in a hearty chicken noodle soup dinner.  Just right!

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