Friday, October 29, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

glacier goats, part III

Remember when we went to Glacier? We're finally picking that story up again...

We woke up at our campsite at Gunsight Lake to cloudy skies, but luckily it wasn't raining.

We'd met two other couples who were doing the same route as us, so the six of us took off towards Gunsight Pass, climbing and climbing...

This being Montana, it wasn't a surprise to find snow at the top, even though it was late August.

Looking back at Gunsight Lake.

We reached the top of the pass, and the shelter cabin, quicker than expected. This guy was there to greet us, and tried to extract a toll...or at least entry into the cabin. Sorry, he got neither.

Looking down towards Lake Ellen Wilson, our destination for night 2.

We hiked over, under, and through several waterfalls.

And then we finally reached camp.

First things first--hanging our food. This site had a unique feature, a bear POLE. It took a little practice, but Steve got our bags up there.

Each backcountry site in Glacier has a pit toliet. Normally said toliet would be like a rustic version of a port-o-pot. With walls. Not here.

The advantage of not having walls? This was the view...

After we set up the tent Steve hit the lake and fished until dark.

Monday, October 4, 2010

glacier goats, part II

On day 2, to drop our car off where our hiking trip would end up, we got up early enough to grab some breakfast and catch the sunrise at the appropriately named Rising Sun.

After a long drive over to the west side of the park, we grabbed a hikers' shuttle up to Logan Pass, where we grabbed a second shuttle to take us to our trailhead, which was only about 10 minutes from where we camped the night before.

While most of the hiking we have done in Glacier was along wide-open alpine trails, the Gunsight Lake trail featured more meadows, lush valleys and even a couple river crossings.

The hike was pretty uneventful, though we did meet a hiker that had heard there were some grizzlies in the area, and we saw lots of fresh bear scat that was full of fresh berries like the ones lining the trail. But we never saw a bear and after about 5 miles, we came to a clearing

and just around the bend we got our first glimpse of Gunsight Lake

and the waterfalls that keep it full of icy-cold water

Since we got there before a lot of the other campers, we got a prime campsite, just up the hill from the lake

Once we got our site nailed down, it was time to fish. Since I couldn't see any fish from the shore, I decided to do a little wet wading. It was tough going at first, mostly because of the wind, but once the gale subsided to a breeze, I started getting some hits. My first hook-up was with a real nice fish, but it broke off before I could get a look a him. After that I had a bunch more hits, and landed five trout from 10- to 14-inches, all rainbows.

We called it quits around sunset
and headed to the communal eating area where we got to know our fellow campers. Interestingly, everyone either seemed to be some sort of doctor or medical profession or from Seattle, sometimes both. We had a great time getting to know everyone, seeing what everyone else was eating (some dude had beer and pizza) and sharing stories, before we hit the sack right before it started to pour.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

We haven't posted in a while, which I know because my dad pointed this out to me yesterday. The past two weeks have been a little crazy--I just accepted a full-time, year-round job with the non-profit we moved out here to work for. Tomorrow I go back to a regular, M-F gig. We moved this week too, leaving behind our mountain view of Bunsen Peak for a new view of Mt. Everetts. On Thursday we moved into an apartment building, built in the 1930s, in Mammoth proper. We can now walk to the Visitor's Center, though we have to look both ways when we leave our apartment building to make sure there aren't any elk hanging out on our lawn.

Though it's October, we've had a heat wave here in the park for the past week. If it weren't for the changing colors, it would be easy to forget it's now fall. Here are a few recent shots, and we'll pick back up with the Glacier trip soon.