Monday, July 23, 2012

daisy pass to wolverine pass

Though Yellowstone is our backyard, it's not the only wilderness we have here.  The beauty of living where we live is that, in addition to the park, we are also surrounded by national forest land.  My goal this summer was to explore the Beartooths more, and so far we've made it out there twice already this summer.

We drove up above Cooke City and started the hike at Daisy Pass.  

There was still a fair bit of snow on the pass, and on the trail.

The hike begins with a steep downhill as you drop into the bowl,

and start hiking along the base of the mountains.

There were a ton of wildflowers along the trail.


And the scenery was pretty hard to beat.

And then, as it often does around here in the afternoon, a storm blew in. Suddenly there were dark clouds rolling in over the mountains.

And that nice drop into the bowl, to start the hike?  It seemed even steeper climbing out in the rain!

Monday, July 16, 2012

the mosquitoes are coming

After a week of sunshine and heat, we thought it was safe to plan a backpack trip into the Beartooths.  But of course, the weekend rolled around and the rain rolled in.  Because it rains every time we camp...

We met friends in Mammoth and headed towards Cooke City.  The skies continued to darken the further east we drove.  We killed some time in Cooke, and when the sun cleared (a wee bit) we decided to give it a try.

We hiked in from a trail about 3 miles east of Cooke. Our original destination was Fox Lake, but we decided, based on the weather, to do a shorter trip, and headed to Rock Island Lake instead.  That's the beauty of the Beartooths--there's a lake at every turn. 

The trail starts over the Clark's Fork River:

We reached Kersey Lake and the skies got a little darker.

And the climb got a little steeper.

And then the sun came out again.

And then we reached our destination, Rock Island Lake.

We set up home for the night just off the east side of the lake.

And then the boys took to the lake to fish,

while we got barked at by an angry pika who didn't appreciate us invading her space and her rocks.  

And then it rained. And rained. And rained. From around 8 a.m. until 8 a.m.  It rained.

Along with the rain? Come in closer, do you hear that? That buzzing? Because there were a million mosquitoes.  As we laid in our tent, we watched them converge between the rain tarp and the netting.  We swatted them away while we cooked, and sprayed on layer after layer of bug spray.  But I digress...

Finally, after 12+ hours of rain,  the sun broke through the clouds and we were finally able to get up and make breakfast.  We dried out our gear, and quickly hiked out to the car. The best thing about hikes in the Cooke City area is that they end with this:

Rain, or shine.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

on the way to dinner

You never know what you'll see...

Monday, July 9, 2012

family visit

My parents spent the last week of June visiting us, and we decided to head down to the Tetons for a few days.  

Sunset, our first night, at Leeks Marina.

The Tetons reflected in Jackson Lake:

With LC and my mom dropped into the picture:

The view of Grand from the top of Signal Mountain:  

Kayaking Jackson Lake:


Two of the six moose we saw while we were down there:


LC enjoying a cold one at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar:

We took the tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain:



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

slough creek evening hike

Last night, after work, we loaded up the car with water and fly rods, picked up friends, and hit the trail at Slough Creek.  It's been two years since I've hiked Slough; the last time Sarah and I hiked it we were surprised by a very large black bear that was munching grass 5 foot off the trail.

This past week it's been hot, well, hot for here.  No humidity, but 90 degrees in an alpine desert is still hot. Luckily last night a breeze kicked in as we set off on a 2 mile hike to the first meadow, where the boys fished and we took in the evening.

Slough Creek patrol cabins.

On the way back to the car we were looking at the wildflowers along the trail when we suddenly spotted two faces--one big, one small--peering at us in the tall grass.  We quickly backed up and detoured around them.

Luckily they were more interested in their evening feeding and took their time making their way to a ridge line.  The cub (one of this year's cubs) enjoyed running after mom and posing on rocks for us.