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One of the nicest place I visited during this recent road trip was Kootenai Falls near Libby, MT. It was easily accessible, and the falls wild beauty was unmistakable. Parts of the movie The River Wild, a drama involving whitewater rafting, were filmed on the Kootenai River near the falls. Kootenai Falls drop 90 ft (27 m) in less than a mile, and their height is 30 ft (9 m), so rafting over the falls is not encouraged, but some kayakers have gone over them at their own peril.

Kootenai Falls.

Kootenai Falls.

As I walked along the falls, I saw something very appealing: Mountain Bluebells in a narrow crevice in the rocks.

Mountain Bluebells.

Mountain Bluebells.

In all the Western states we traveled through, the ubiquitous sagebrush grew along highways and everywhere else where most plants would not survive. I had to capture this sturdy icon of the West in the following shots.

Sagebrush growing at an overlook near the Columbia River.

Sagebrush growing at an overlook near the Columbia River.

Flowering sagebrush at a rest area in Washington state.

Flowering sagebrush at a rest area in Washington state.

Windmills too have sprouted in the wild, at places reputed to be windy, although I saw very few blades rotating when we passed by them.

Windmills in Washington state near Columbia River.

Windmills in Washington state near Columbia River.

A friend asked me whether I saw Mt Rainier and I said yes. However, on second thought, I never actually saw Mt Rainier because it was always shrouded in clouds both days we were there. I drove up twice to Paradise which was a mere 5,000 ft (1,500 m) from the summit, but it did not make any difference. All I saw were clouds.

Mt Rainier from 20 miles away, hiding behind clouds.

Mt Rainier from 20 miles away, hiding behind clouds.

However, the drive passed by Reflection Lakes, which made for wonderful photography. Here’s one of the lakes you can see from the road.

Reflection Lake with Mt Rainier behind clouds in the background.

Reflection Lake with Mt Rainier behind clouds in the background.

Another look at Reflection Lake, from a different angle.

Another view of Reflection Lake.

Another view of Reflection Lake. 

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