Calm-Before-the-Storm Morning Hike to Sulphur Springs
After yesterday's crazy snowshoe on the 747 trail, this lovely morning walk along the Missouri following in the Lewis and Clark expedition footsteps was a welcome stroll. Maria called it "day two of bootcamp," but it really was pleasant. With temperatures in the 40s, we shed our layers and enjoyed the warm breeze as we knew the thermometer would be dropping later in the day, bringing in below-zero weather.
The day started at 8 a.m. at Paris Gibson Square. Thirteen of us went despite not knowing how icy or muddy the trail would be.So we came prepared with snowshoes, yaktrax and old boots/shoes we didn't care too much about in case the gumbo piled onto them. Yet, we found the trail to be mostly dry. We had a few icy spots, especially in the shaded coulee areas (of course they were on the downhill/uphill sections) and a bit of mud too.
But we all enjoyed the views of the Missouri River Breaks, the unbroken plains that looked almost identical to what the expedition would have seen: no power poles, no structures, just river and waving grasses.
We marveled at where Belt Creek enters the Missouri as well as the rapids that can cause havoc with those floating the river, but we really enjoyed seeing the springs that supposedly healed Sacagawea after Clark's bloodletting failed to cure her from a major illness (Probably PID (pelvic inflammatory disorder caused by gonorrhea). Read more here. Most of us knelt down to touch the water, which is artificially dammed into a pool now. Beyond the pool, the water has coated all of the rocks with its minerals, giving them a gray cast with nothing else growing. The distinct sulphur smell emanated from the pool and stream, yet the water temperature isn't warm, but rather about room temperature. We all wondered how the sulphur smell bubbled up through the earth's crust and what causes it. Read more here.
We also discussed how the state tried to give the old homestead area plus $10,000 for a grant writer to the Little Shell Band of the Chippewa Tribe so that they wouldn't be homeless anymore. However, they declined as they felt they didn't have the money to restore it. Read more here And more
We ended the day at 11 a.m., a wonderful hike before our sub-zero days start.
Who went: Susan C., Susan W, Mary S, Sara, Jeanne, Jean, June, Viki, Carolyn, Sue, Kuntzie, Maria, Katie