Golden Larch, Hazy Day Provide Fall Colors on Apgar Lookout Climb
We did have some eye candy on the way up: the larch were golden, starting to turn orange, but still glowed despite the haze.We could see a few smoke pillars from slash burning and suspected that the summer fires hadn't quite quit simmering based on the smell and smog in the air, emanating from the Swan Valley and over McDonald Lake. Even so, we enjoyed the views from on top of Mount Stanton, Vaught, Brown and Cannon. And it was fun to look down on the town of West Glacier: the houses, the Flathead river running through it and the golf course that Gordon told us his family created, owned and operated for 20 years.
The weather was cool but not cold, and the sun started to come out on our way down, warming us up quickly, with no wind to speak of. We made it up the mountain in just under two hours and down in one hour and a half. (On trail at 9:45, on top at 11:35 and down at 2:15 after a nice break on top for lunch).
We ran into a deer on the trail, but no other animals and only saw some old bear scat.
On the way in, we came across a man standing next to a grader, who looked like he was getting ready to do some road work. On the way home, the grader had created a berm right in the center of the road. Katie had quite a time steering around it without getting into the brush on the sides that would have scratched the car. Driving on the berm itself scraped the bottom of the car and was so soft, it made the car a bit squirrelly. Then, as we saw some rather large rocks in the road, the grader came straight at us.Katie had to back up, while the operator took several attempts to get into the trees at the side of the road so that we could pass, almost knocking a few trees over in the process. Luckily, we did make it around the grader and back onto a smoother dirt road.It's always an adventure!
We left Great Falls at 6 a.m. and got home around 7:30 pm after dinner at Buffalo Joe's in Dupuyer and a quick look-around thet Dupuyer Cache. Interestingly, we saw a sign on a book shelf that said "Tom Kotynski country" with his hiking guide on the shelf.
Who went: Camille, Susan C and Katie