Saturday, September 28, 2013

Montana - Day 7

We went for a nice long hike again today.  The weather forecast was calling for a high of 17 C and sunny weather but it was only about 4 degrees when we started. Coulee was carrying t-shirts and toques - just in case.  We were wearing wool shirts and sweatshirts to start.  Turns out they were very wrong about the forecast - thank goodness we had warm clothes on. I never came close to even removing my sweatshirt. 

You'll notice it's mainly Coulee in these photos. That's because she does this posing on the trail thing all on her own.  She trots ahead and then as she gets to a corner, or the top of a little hill, she'll stop, turn around and wait for us.

Lacey on the other hand barely stops moving. She is bouncing around up and down the path and in the bushes, usually nose to the ground looking for squirrels or other fun things.

For once Coulee chose the right path at the fork.  :)

The first part of the hike was pretty open. There had been a forest fire in 1988 so the vegetation was still a little sparse.  Once we were out of that region in became quite a beautiful forest.

Lacey was still ever watchful.

To say that the trail was muddy would be an understatement.  There were barely any dry areas at all.  Our legs were tired just from being so tense as we were trying not to slip.  We often walked off the trail to avoid areas like this.  Coulee never minded.

The river crossing was a little tricky.  There was no bridge and in most areas we would have been at least knee high in water.  We found an area that with a giant leap and a little help from a tree on the other side, we could make it without getting too wet.

A tree pooped on Marlin.  ha!

The higher we got, the more snow we had to deal with.  It wasn't really helping our slippery footing.

We saw a Grizzly on the way to the trailhead while we were still driving.  I'm not sure who was more startled - us or him.  We also saw some tracks... we made lots and lots of noise the whole way!

 I took some really bad pictures of the lake at the end of the trail. By the time we got there, we were more than ready to turn around.  Poor Marlin. He'd been all set to fish, but it was way too cold and wet. Lacey's soaking wet because we are on our way down so she's romped all over the mountain side in the snow.

Coulee doing her waiting/modelling thing again. It gives you a good idea what the trail looks like.

Stopping to enjoy a view.  As usual, no one is enjoying the same view.

I love this picture of her gazing up at Marlin.

The trails look like they had maintenance done on them many years ago and nothing since. Some logs have been cut when they crossed the path, others are just left lying right across it and you are forced to try and find a better route. This "boardwalk" is literally falling apart.

 Just some more trail pictures.  :)

As we were driving back to the cabin, we saw this hawk fly up to the side of this cliff and I managed to take a picture just as he was taking off again.  It isn't crystal clear, but close enough for my needs.  :)

It would have been an absolutely beautiful hike if we hadn't been walking through mud and snow.  As it is, we are all happily exhausted so it was still a good day.  I think we'll be taking it a little easier tomorrow - maybe we'll head down to Yellowstone again.


WigglyZack said...

oh wow, what beautiful colours for all of your pictures. Looks like a wonderful trip you are on. Amazing photo of the hawk.

Hydro Blogger said...

love the shot of everyone looking at a different view!

manymuddypaws said...

awesome!!! I love the colors of the forest. looks like you are all having a great time!