IT'S NOT EASY BEING A SOUTHERN BELLE-EVEN AFTER YEARS OF PRACTICE!













Friday, August 1, 2008

A PASS OVER THE MOUNTAINS

After falling in the bed exhausted from the first day's hike, I was amazed to wake up a long time before sunup. While waiting for everyone to wake up, I looked out the window and found a glorious sunrise reflected off the mountains behind the hotel. The mountains were reflected in the glassy lake with a low mist hovering just above the water. What a glorious way to start my day.

After another big breakfast, we all loaded in the van to ride to our trail head for the day. Riding on the "Going To The Sun Road", we marveled at the beautiful scenery before beginning our hike for the day. The trail head would lead us over the mountains to Piegan Pass and back to our hotel. Along the way we would pass, Morning Eagle Falls, Grinell Lake, & Josephine Lake. This proved to be a very strenuous trail with mostly going up and up for the first part of the trail. We ate lunch on the top of the pass while enjoying the glorious scenery around us and a view of both sides of the mountain.

After lunch we start down the mountain, and once down in the valley we found ourselves in deep bear country. The foliage and underbrush infringed upon the trail on both sides and you often felt like you were blazing a new trail. We saw LOTS of bear scat-which is very recognizable and no not by the bear bells in it. This proved to be a little unnerving, so we took turns yelling to alert the bears of our presence. This proved to be a long and hard walk through the valley and definitely in prime bear country.

We came to a junction in the trail where you could add a mile and walk by one of the lakes. We had to make a decision. I thought it best that we all stay together, since bears do not attack large groups. When we finally got to the lake, Jim wanted to take a little detour and look at the lake. By this time, I am just ready to be home. I told him-"Look over those bushes-THERE IS THE LAKE." We did go and stand by the lake, with mosquitoes swarming and then headed back down the trail.

To put the icing on the cake, at the end of the day, we came upon a "Bear Jam". We stopped and saw two grizzlies foraging for food by the river. A great ending to a great day. Today's hike was a measly 13.4 miles. Susan did not hike with us since she was suffering with her IT Bands-a common problem among us runners.

At the end of the hike, I decided on the name of my book, The Long Last Mile. We did not think we would ever get back, and when we finally spotted the roofs of the hotel property I could have jumped for joy.

A glorious sight to see first thing in the morning.

Looking back at the end of the day, this is the pass we had crossed.

Here we go-starting our trek. Note the up trail on the other side of the bridge.


An example of the many mountain streams that we crossed on every hike.



A meadow after a substantial climb through the trees. The pass is in front of us.




We are still climbing. Look on the left side of the picture and you will see the trail that we went up and over the mountains.




Look down the valley-at the bottom-that is the road where we got out of the car. A LONG WAY UP!!!!!!






We crossed NUMEROUS snowfields while hiking. Now this probably does not look like a big deal to you BUT they often are icy and slick. Some of the fields also have places that are hollow underneath. This could be pretty treacherous.


We are now higher. Look far down in the valley and you will once again see the road. We finally went out of sight of the road as we climbed high enough to cross the pass.


Here is Mr. Marmit. You see lots of these and they make a cute little noise.


On the way down, we could not resist stopping to put our tired feet in a snow melt stream. It was so cold that you could only stand about 5 seconds at a time.



We've made it all the way down and are now entering the valley where the bears love to stay.

All the way down-FINALLY, this is the view of where we had been with the lake directly behind us.

Here is one of the bears that proved to be a perfect ending to our day. Note the beautiful wildflowers.
Day two of Our Excellent Adventure proved to be wonderful. Believe it or not-this was my least favorite of all the hikes and I still loved it. The last few miles through the valley were not much fun and no magnificent scenery, so this took some of the wonder out of what we had seen on our way to the pass. Still the least favorite was a glorious day!














5 comments:

the Jennings secede from the South said...

Y'all look so hardcore, Mom! So granola..

Turn on your cell phone!

adrian seney said...

Again....beautiful pictures!

Hannah Lee said...

Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

sooo granola!!!
paint me green
no.2

Ann Miller said...

you people are BAD ASS!!!!!!