Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Camping Trip.

Windy Forest Trail

This past weekend, we decided to go on the first camping trip of the season.  I am pretty sore and exhausted today – but I had a blast the last few days.  The only part of the park that is remotely dry and almost completely uncovered from snow is the northern edge. 

We started out at the Hellroaring Creek trailheaded.  Our friend, Jesse, walked with us to the suspension bridge, but then stopped to hang up his hammock and relax for the afternoon. 

 We continued on to the Hellroaring Creek, where you have the option to ford or to walk an extra 3.6 miles to a footbridge and then back (to where you can see the sign explaining this about 100 yards on the other side of the bank).  We didn’t think about it being springtime, so we had to take the extra detour because of the melting snow swelling all the rivers and streams.

Goose and her Gosling.
By the time we got around the river, the sun was starting to set over the valley that we were meandering through.  The valley is pretty marshy with raging streams coming down from the mountain runoff that we had to navigate through.  The almost full moon rose up behind a hill that was being grazed by a small gang of bison.

About the time we were starting to turn on our headlamps and rely heavily on the light from the moon, we herd a strange noise.  Graham, who was about 20 feet ahead of Adam and me, came back to us with a terrified look on his face.   Suddenly two grouse flew out of the trees to our left and across the trail.  We were glad that it was just a couple of birds – and we were almost to our campsite.

The next morning, we headed back to the road via Blacktail Canyon.  It was beautiful, prime bear country – although, I think the grouse were the scariest thing we saw on the whole trip.  At first, I was a little sad to see winter leaving, but now I am excited that summer is getting started. 

Running Summer Mileage:  36 miles

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