holland lake in flathead national forest

Day 259 – In Flathead Indian Country -Part 2

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Day 259 of a Year Long Road Trip Along America’s Scenic Byways

Petey and I pulled into a campground at Seely Lake late last night and spent part of the morning chatting with the campground hosts who were from Huntsville, Texas.  They were staying through the Labor Day holiday weekend and then touring around the northwest before heading back to the hot south for the winter.

After catching up with my fellow Texans, Petey and I began our next scenic drive through Flathead National Forest along Route 83. We headed north on the Seeley Swan Scenic Drive to Holland Lake. Holland Lake covers 400 acres and includes several trails, a 41-site campground, and a day use area. The recreational area provides visitors a plethora of activities from hiking to waterskiing.

Invariably, we hiked the three mile trail along the edge of the lake to the imposing Holland Lake Falls. Cascading down tiers of granite, they were a sight to see. Thereafter, I coaxed Petey up the 750 foot elevation change to a rock outcropping that provided a lovely, panoramic view of the glassy lake to one.  Here, we just chilled out while taking in the beauty. Soon we descended and reached VANilla just before sprinkles fell.

holland lake falls in flathead national forest

Swan River National Wildlife Refuge

From Holland Lake we continued north through Flathead Country along the Swan River to Swan River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is supposed to be a prime place to spot wildlife. I suppose, however, arriving at midday thwarted any opportunity, as I saw more wildlife at Holland
Lake than here.

At Suenell and Norm’s

From the refuge we arrived at Bigfork to visit another one of my dad’s cousins, Suenell, who I hadn’t met. Suenell and Norm recently moved from southern California to Montana full time.  They have a fantastic house overlooking Flathead Lake. Additionally, my gracious hosts cooked a wonderful gourmet dinner for both me and my friend Melinda who I visited last week in Kalispell. I sure wish I liked to cook so I could replicate this savory plate of golden trout, rice with almonds and mushrooms, broccoli soup, and a pear, fig and cheese salad.  What a lovely evening! ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

2 thoughts on “Day 259 – In Flathead Indian Country -Part 2

  1. just thinking what a wonderful adventure you are on and all the wonderful memories you will have….thank you for taking us along

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