Swan Song in Swan Lake, Final Trip for GiG Ends with Gail's Birthday
It started on a Wednesday with Gail, Jo Ann, Camille and Mike leaving Great Fawlls at 8:30 to go hiking to Glacier Lake, a gorgeous lake in the Mission Mountain Wilderness area. Tom and Katie were going to go as well; however, issues with the new fence kept them from leaving early. Plus, Tom's foot was injured, probably from his Mount Helena run, so he wasn't able to do much hiking. Sue H (aka Henney) and Jim met KuntZ and Jerry in Seeley for lunch and some shopping around town before all of us met up at 4 p.m. at the Laughing Horse Lodge.
When we arrived, KuntZ pulled out her bar and offered everyone a drink, with Jerry playing host. These two even brought ice and cups. So we all had fun talking and getting to know each other while KuntZ entertained us with showing all her shopping "deals," from sweatshirts to tissue containers made from Montana license plates. We all teased Jerry that he needed more "stuff" in the garage, poking fun at KuntZ, since her garage is still full of her aunt's and mother's items that she inherited.
Then we had a lovely dinner at the Laughing Horse after which we celebrated Gail's birthday with a cake that Maria had arranged and Camille and Mike had transported from Great Falls. It was really yummy, and very BIG, in fact tall with 4 layers of light lemon cake with a raspberry jam filling and mascarpone frosting with fresh berries on top. KuntZ had to have chocolate though, so she ordered the Muddy Laughing Horse as well.
The next morning, we had a nice breakfast of french toast with toasted sweet nuts on top before heading our separate ways again. Henney and Jim only could get one night, so they were going to the Double Arrow in Seeley for the second night with golf on tap for the day. Katie and Tom headed to Glacier, Tom in his crocs since his foot was still bad. He did manage to walk over two miles to Upper McDonald Falls and back. Camille and Mike had never been in the Jewel Basin, so they hiked to Birch Lake while the Kuntz's shopped in Big Fork and had lunch there. Gail and Jo Ann drove to Holland Lake and hiked the shore to the falls, getting one more toward 21 falls in 2021.
Again, we met up for drinks before dinner, but this evening, we drove a half mile up the road to the state park on the shores of Swan Lake. It was so warm and a gorgeous evening; in fact, it was so nice, Kathleen at the Laughing Horse set us up outside for dinner.
Again, the dinners were fab and included a bottle of wine, appetizer soup or salad and dessert. Some of the choices were lamb chops, ribs, cod, mushroom cream pasta, Everyone loved the Cambozola with organic fig jam and the caprese salad with beets added in addition to juicy ripe heirloom tomatoes.
The next morning, we had mushroom omelets (I'm sure KuntZ wasn't thrilled since she told us no fungi pass her lips), along with fruit and hearty grain toasts with strawberry jam.
Then we all went back to Great Falls with Camille and Mike hiking to Lower Cold Lake on the way (These two visited four lakes altogether: Birch, Swan, Lower Cold and Glacier, not to mention all those we drove by); Jo Ann, Gail and the Kuntzes stopping at the Sculpture Garden and Tom and Katie going back through Glacier Park with short hikes to Three Bear Lake at Marias Pass and the moose pond in Two Medicine.
The colors were fantastic, the friends so much fun, and the weather held. What a wonderful way to end the GiG.
Happy hiking to all from here on out.
Who went: Sue/Henney and Jim; Camille and Mike, Jerry and KuntZ, Katie and Tom, Gail and Jo Ann
Mary N had to cancel and Maria wanted to come but the Lodge personnel said they were full, yet they were wondering about Mary, so we think they forgot to cancel her and Maria could have come after all.