Girls Miss the Storm Again: ROGERS PASS After Work, 6-3
While rain and hail pelted Great Falls, the GIG headed to Rogers Pass with nary a drop!
As we drove to the pass, we saw two storms brewing, one on each side of the road, which tossed our cars back and forth with competing winds, yet straight ahead toward the pass was sunny. Interestingly, when we arrived at the pass, another car was there and another pulled up as a group of gals from Seeley just finished a walk through along the trail and were retrieving their car.
After donning our gear, we stopped for a quick pic at the sign, then 10 of us made the 800-foot climb/three-mile hike to the top of Rogers Pass, and a few others continued along the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) another half mile or so to the top of another small peak.
Along the way, we went through several zones of wildflowers with arnica, holly/Oregon grape, and larkspur predominating at the beginning of the hike followed by glacier lilies, spring beauties and shooting stars in the snowy zone, followed by the alpine zone of alpine forget-me-nots, rock jasmine, yellowstone draba, pasque flowers and cous biscuitroot/lomatia
And oh, my, how glorious the flowers were on the top of the pass, opening up to a broad alpine, rocky slope littered with low-lying flowers. We continued on, passing through what Katie like to call pasque flower way, which didn't disappoint.
At a small outcropping of rocks that provided a bit of wind shelter just over the pass, we ate dinner and snacks while a few continued on. On the way down the trail, we saw a big pile of moose droppings that weren't there on the way up, but we didn't see him or any other critters on our hike; however, we did see much sign of grizzlies digging in the dirt and turning over rocks, and the meadow voles made their traditional network of surface tunnels under the snow cover, which had melted to reveal them.
Speaking of snow, we did have two small fields to cross and/or go around, but none of the GIG had any problems. Thank heavens for trekking poles.
On the way home, we were treated to beautiful views of the buttes in the sunset.
We left the DOB parking lot at 4:45 and arrived back at 9:40.
Who went: June, Kathy D, Sara, JoAnn, Beth, Shelly (with sister-in-law Chris), Susan, Katie, Sue
Right click on any photo to download it.
Link to Katie's pictures
Link to Beth's pics
Flowers we saw