June 30, 2023

Looking Back - A Christmas Carol

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

1938 The John C. Winston Company (first published in 1843)
Finished on January 2, 2002
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens. It was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. It tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

My Original Thoughts (2002):

OK. Nothing great since I've seen so many versions on TV. The illustrations are very good, though.

My Current Thoughts:

I'm sure I've read this more than once, but I have no desire to read it again.

June 29, 2023

Hidden Lake Hike (Part Two) - Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Road Trip (Fall 2022)
September 18, 2022
Hidden Lake Hike

What a great hike! It was a little chilly when we started out, but we warmed up quickly. I wish I had taken more specific notes about which mountains we saw; I'm relying on my memory and Wikipedia!

Clements Mountain

Bishops Cap (far left)

Karen & Warren

Mt. Oberlin (?)

Bearhat Mountain, Mount Brown, and Mount Stanton

Reynolds Mountain, Gunsight Mountain, and Bearhat Mountain

Sperry Glacier

Click here for a more detailed description of the trail and surrounding areas. 

June 27, 2023

Hidden Lake Hike (Part One) - Glacier, Montana

Glacier National Park Road Trip (Fall 2022)
September 18, 2022
Going to the Sun Road

We spent the previous day catching up on laundry, cleaning, and general RV maintenance, so I was ready for more adventures and decided to catch the shuttle from the Apgar Visitor Center and head back to Avalanche Lake. While on the shuttle, I met a very nice couple from Council Bluffs, Iowa and decided to join them on their hike to Hidden Lake. The shuttle took us on Going to the Sun Road, which was fantastic! The views were amazing and I was glad that I switched my plans to go to Logan Pass instead of back to Avalanche Lake.

Since I took so many photos on this single day, I'm dividing my posts into three separate entries. This first post is of the beautiful views from the shuttle and the final stats from the hike, which unfortunately I wasn't able to complete. When we reached the beginning of the descent to the lake, we realized we wouldn't have enough time to go down and back before the last shuttles departed. We lucked out and got on one of the very last shuttles of the season. Phew!

June 25, 2023

Columbia Falls RV Park - Columbia Falls, Montana

Glacier National Park Road Trip (Fall 2022)
September 16-19, 2022
St. Mary to Columbia Falls, Montana
Daily Mileage: 115 
Site: 35 (ideal sites 1, 11, 55)
Duration: 4 nights 
Cost: $60.50/night
Weather: Warm and sunny

We decided to take Highway 89 from St Mary back to Highway 2, hoping that the road construction wasn't too slow or muddy. It wasn't too bad, and the views of the nearby mountains were beautiful in spite of evidence of recent fires. 

We stopped at Marias Pass to check out the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Monument, which towers 60 feet high (and extends 19 feet below ground). 
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Monument

John F. Stevens Memorial

Middle Fork Flathead River

It was too early for us to check-in to our site at the RV park, so we drove into town (Columbia Falls) and picked up a few groceries and had a delicious lunch at Vaqueros.

Huge Servings!

Columbia Falls RV Park is conveniently located off of Highway 2 with plenty of trees and beautiful landscaping. We had full hookups, a level pad (gravel), picnic table, grass and shady trees. The park has a large laundry room, very clean showers, and a small convenience store.  We had a good signal for both T-Mobile and Verizon, in addition to the free WiFi.

View from our campsite

Lots of empty sites, as it was the end of the season.

June 23, 2023

Looking Back - All Quiet on the Western Front

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

1929 Little, Brown and Company
Finished on December 31, 2001
Rating: 1.5/5 (Meh)

Publisher's Blurb:

Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive.

My Original Thoughts (2001):

Disappointing. My husband told me it was a beautifully written anti-war novel, so I thought I'd read it since it's also a classic, and I'm trying to read more of those. I found it dull, boring and tedious. I perservered and read to the end, and some chapters were easier to stay focused on than others, but for the most part my mind wandered. I didn't feel any attachment to any of the characters. Depressing. Not a book I'd recommend, nor do I wish to read it a second time. Maybe it's one of those books that's best read for discussion in a classroom environment. 

My Current Thoughts: 

I have read many, many novels about World War II, but very few about the First World War. Losing Julia (Jonathan Hull) and The Absolutist (John Boyne) are much more engaging than All Quiet on the Western Front.

June 22, 2023

Many Glacier Hotel & Swift Current Lake - St. Mary, Montana (Part Two)

Glacier National Park Road Trip (Fall 2022)
September 14-15, 2022
Many Glacier Hotel & Swift Current Lake

After walking around the grounds of Many Glacier Hotel, we began our drive back to St. Mary, only to notice a group of people standing on the side of the road, looking up the mountain at something. I quickly pulled over, grabbed my camera, and ran toward the group. Yes! They were watching a grizzly! It took a while for me to spot it with my naked eye since it was pretty far away (I might have mistaken one or two boulders for a bear before I finally locked my gaze on the bear with a hump), but as soon as I did, I used my telephoto lens to get a closer look. He was busy munching on something (Weeds? Wildflowers? A small animal?) and never once glanced toward the gathering crowd on the roadside. I'm happy I was a safe distance from this guy, but I wish I could have gotten a few photos that show his face better than what I took.    

Practicing Safe Distancing!

Zoomed In

Once I had shot two or three dozen frames, and it was obvious the bear wasn't going to accommodate the paparazzi, I returned to the RV and we headed down the road. We decided to pull over and have our lunch along the banks of creek. It was absolutely gorgeous and very peaceful sitting in the sun, listening the flow of the water.

Happy Campers!