Memorial Day Weekend Wanderlust Means Let’s Head For Montana

image of Montana lakes

Memorial Day Weekend Wanderlust Means Let’s Head For Montana

It was Memorial Day weekend and I had the wanderlust pretty bad so that means let’s head for Montana, right?? . Glacier National Park had been on our radar screen for some time so I asked The Husband how he felt about a trip to Montana for a few days. “Sure,” he said and the plan was put in place.

We decided to take multiple days and make multiple stops enroute to Glacier. Saturday was a perfect travel day! Sunshine and mid-70’s. It just doesn’t get much better than that. I-90 would have been our fastest route to MT but fast wasn’t our goal on this trip. We opted for Highway 2 which would take us through Troy, MT, a town I’ve heard about since I was a child.

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My mother was born there and lived there until the age of 2. My grandfather worked as a logroller (also known as a pond monkey) in the lumber mills of Troy. Logrolling is now done only as a competitive sport but in the 1920’s when my mother was a child, it was a viable occupation. Definitely not a very safe one, especially for my grandfather who had never learned to swim.

Troy As A Destination?

So that’s how Troy became one of our destination points on this trip. Before we even reached Troy we were both swept away by the beauty of the Northern Idaho forests and lakes. First Sandpoint, Idaho where Lake Pend Orielle provides beauty as well as recreation. Next we caught a few pictures of the Moyie River Hydroelectric Project (a dam owned and operated by the City of Bonners Ferry) and the 1223 ft long steel truss bridge that spans the Moyie River Canyon.

image of Moyie River Hydroelectric Project Dam memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for montana
92 ft high concrete dam completed in 1949 – Moyie River Hydroelectric Project
image of bridge spanning the Moyie River Canyon memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for Montana
1223 ft long steel truss bridge spanning the Moyie River Canyon

We spotted the Kootenai River numerous times as we wound our way through the forested mountains on our way out of Idaho and on to Troy, MT.

Lakes And More Lakes!! Scenic Montana!

I am a true water lover and crossing the border into Montana put me in a new kind of bliss. There were lakes everywhere!! Not little ponds either, these were good sized, beautiful lakes!! Some with residential development, some not. Almost as fast as I could jot down the name of one we would come upon another. We passed Rainbow Lake, Bootjack Lake, Upper Thompson Lake, Middle Thompson Lake, Lower Thompson Lake, McGregor Lake and Smith Lake. All within a mere 24 mile stretch. Imagine seeing all these lakes in a distance of only 24 miles!! #lakeseverywhere #montanalakes… Click To Tweet

Kootenai Falls

We spotted a parking lot full of vehicles and signs advertising Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge shortly before we were due to reach Troy. Knowing that it might be a while before we were back this way again, we decided to stop. A short hike of about 1 mile down the hill and through the forest led us to the Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge.

image of Kootenai Falls memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for Montana
Kootenai Falls
image of The Husband photographing the falls memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for montana
See The Husband in there? He ventures closer to the edge than me!!
image of snow capped mountains Montana memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for montana
Snow capped mountains against a blue spring sky

Tiny Troy Montana

And then we were at Troy! Population 941 in the 2014 census. Although some locals told us Troy was considerably larger in the 1920’s when mining, logging and railroad construction were in full swing, the actual census figures don’t support that claim.

Located on the banks of the Kootenai River, my mother related that my grandparents had to fence their yard to keep my aunt and my mother from drowning in the river or getting out onto the railroad tracks. It would have been fun to look up the house where my mother lived as a child but too many years have passed, the address is no longer known, if it ever even had an actual address all those years ago. Seeing the town of her birthplace will have to suffice.

Troy advertises itself as “Lowest in Elevation, Highest in Recreation.” Recreational opportunities abound for the winter sports enthusiast, the fisherman, hunter, mountain biker, hiker and more.

Next Up On Our List For The Day? Whitefish!

Whitefish, MT was another town on my list of “want to see” places. Another town I’d heard about all my life. Our day was more than half over so we left Troy and headed to Whitefish. With a 2014 population of 6864 Whitefish was originally known as Stumptown because of the amount of timber that had to be removed to enable the building of the town and the railroad. Whitefish is a mere 33 miles from Glacier National Park and is home to Whitefish Lake.

Whitefish Has A Thriving Art Community

As we cruised through a few of the local shops we came upon The Purple Pomegranate, a shop of eclectic handcrafted artware. A beautiful assortment of artworks featuring the work of over 150 artists will delight the senses from the minute you cross the threshold. The Purple Pomegranate is one of 11 local galleries to be found in Whitefish.

image of interior of The Purple Pomegranate Whitefish MT memorial day weekend means lets head for Montana
The Purple Pomegranate – Whitefish MT
image of storefront Whitefish MT memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for montana
Storefronts in downtown Whitefish MT
image of clock tower Whitefish MT memorial day weekend wanderlust means lets head for montana
Cool clock tower that caught The Husband’s eye – Whitefish MT

Friday’s blog we’ll take you along with us to Glacier National Park. I hope you’ll join us. What are some of the places on your travel bucket list? We would love to hear about them. They might be ones we haven’t heard of yet and want to add to our list also.

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