Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

The Winter Time Machine

Hello all,

Is everyone enjoying their spring?

Or, does it feel more like summer there?

Where ever there is…

 

Summer is slow to arrive in the mountains of the Eastern Front of Montana.

It’s a strange phenomenon, to literally drive back to winter.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

No matter where my early spring has ever been spent, it’s always pretty nice by mid-May.

Spring in Missoula is absolute paradise!

There are Brew Fest’s, outdoor music, flip flops, bicycles, sun dresses and just a generally great vibe. 

May is by far my favorite month in the Garden City.

 

winter1                       

 

My home town of Cincinnati is essentially in summer by then.

Reds games, green lawns, driving with the windows down and road trips to Red River Gorge. 

 

winter 22

 

This winter was spent in Northern Wisconsin.

The town of Amery, to be exact.

 

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We had just survived the harshest winter they’ve had in years. 

And, it was even starting to green up in the land of PBR and all things dairy! 

 

Winter2 

Winter in the Northwoods was more intense than any I had ever experienced in my life.

We had well over 50 days this winter below zero.

 When it dropped way below freezing, my apartment windows would grow beautiful snowflake designs all over them. 

 

winter3

 

Just up the road, Duluth Minnesota broke a record.

23 days below zero in a row!

That is obviously a dubious record that no one was excited about breaking.

 

winter4

 

The snow on the side of our driveway rose to five feet at its most ridiculous!

It’s not that I’m not used to seeing that much snow, but not in a suburban front yard!

 

winter5

 

Since working in Antarctica, I now use my phone to keep track of temperatures at the South Pole.

There was a few nights this winter, which were colder than the thermometers at the end of the globe.

 

winter19

 

Negative 30 degrees before factoring in wind-chill, is a very serious thing to deal with.

Cars hardly start, the seat is hard as a rock and the whole vehicle feels like it’s made of granite.

It’s impressive, in a “trying to kill you” kind of way. 

 

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The great thing, is that you Northwoods folks just adapt.

 

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You grin and bear it, and continue on with what has grown to be a normal annual process.

 

winter7

 

So, when the spring finally broke, I believed it was over for the year.

Surely, an epic winter in Northern Wisconsin ends about the same time as the eastern slope of Glacier Park.

Right?

 

Not so much…

 

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After more than a month of flip flops, shorts and t-shirts, it was time to return to the park.

I had heard that the winter in Montana was robust.

But, I was not prepared to drive directly back into the thick of it.

It’s like some sort of bizarre seasonal time machine.

 

winter15

 

 

Facebook brought me photos of the first plowing of the Two Medicine Road.

A few friends had posted photos of them standing for scale in front of 12ft high vertical walls of snow.

 

winter10

 

There was snow literally encompassing our entire apartment building.

 

winter11

 

Conventional plows won’t make a dent in snow this deep. 

The park uses large trucks with heavy duty rotary snow blower mounted on the front.   

They eat vertical corridors through the packed white.

 But, after a while the once vertical walls slump and melt in the sun into something Dr Suess would imagine.

 

winter12

 

So, I’ve again driven back to winter in my time machine packed full of outdoor gear and groceries.

The gushing waterfalls and a watchful eye proves that it is indeed melting.

It’s tough to see the daily changes, until one day it’s obvious. 

Kind of like a watching a child grow or watching an adult age.  

 

winter13

 

Two Medicine Lake is finally starting to melt out, almost giving access to my kayak.

But, the loose chunks keep choking up the outlet giving the impression of an unending supply of sheet ice.

 

 

winter20 

 

The bighorn sheep climbed down from Scenic Point and ran amuck through the plowed parking lots.

More and more employees and visitors are showing up every day.

Glacier Lillies pop up over night where a foot of snow stood two days previous.

 

winter16

 

Winter ends slowly here and lingers for much of the calendar.

But, that makes summer that much more spectacular and special.

 

winter17

 

May you all be primed for a good Summer Solstice party.

And, please wear those flip flops for me.

I’m excited for my second round of spring to hit.

To Life!

4 comments
vacay
vacay

 like Curtis said I can't believe that any body can make $8668 in one month on the internet .


Open this >>>>>>>>>>>www.jobideas4.com


Ameryite
Ameryite

I just happened across this blog when I was doing some research to see if Glacier Park will be a trip our family should take in the future.  I was so surprised as I was reading and you mentioned staying in Amery WI. That is where we are from.  Thank you for wonderful pictures and story.

Randy Metzner
Randy Metzner

Once again you've created a great story, love the pics. It is espeacially good to have the Red River Gorge show up on your site, good to see that you haven't forgotten where you grew up. I can't place the creek and I thought I knew most all of the Gorge, e-mail it to me and I will have a new place to explore. You do tell a good story, hope to see more this summer.

Randy Metzner

mmggc3
mmggc3

I hope you are writing a book Mark!  You have the gift!

Your VA friend Mike.