Buns at Mannix General Store But No Skinny Dippers at Devil's Glen
BUNS!! Those Sluice Box hikers didn’t have anything over on us. We saw BUNS too!!! Our first stop was at the General Store in Augusta where Shelley and Viki joined Noreen, Bonnie J, Maria and Carol. Oh, how delicious their home made cinnamon BUNS looked! We decided that wasn’t the best thing for our diets prior to hiking, so there weren’t any purchasers, but the idea sparked our conversation several times on the hike to compare our “buns” experience with the “buns” sighting at the Sluice Boxes!!
Upon arrival at the trailhead, we were met with a 63 degree temperature reading. The scents of fall and some remaining color greeted us with an anxious invitation to head out on a perfect fall hike. With Carol as leader and Maria as sweeper, we headed out being very careful to stay on the trail and not get out on that private road that was parallel to the trail as we had been told in the web site directions. We were also warned by signage that violators would face a fine.
The first part of the trail took us through the yellow leaf covered forest floor under the aspens which still had some remaining leaves. After we crossed the Dearborn via a bridge, we tackled the steepest stretch of the hike. As we went on above the river, we were afforded wonderful views and photo opportunities of the mountains of the Scapegoat Wilderness and the river below.
Most of us had not done this hike previously; a couple had, but it had been a number of years ago. So, we weren’t really sure exactly where the actual Devil’s Glen was. When we first approached the meadow, we thought we needed to go further to the glen, so we continued on the trail. We came to rocky area, and everyone agreed that this would be as far as we go. We were at 4.5 miles. We stopped where each one found a perfect rock to sit upon to enjoy lunch, absorbing the warmth of the sun shining on us and beautiful scenes around us. Heading back, we agreed that it was a great day to be out and perfect for hiking. Now, we just needed to know exactly where this glen was.
Upon returning to the meadow, we headed toward the river. Then it was obvious the Devil’s Glen was right there. The rocks are stately, the pools of blue-green water pristine, and the river above sparkled in the sunshine. All were so glad that we actually reached our intended destination, and we were pleased that we had gotten even more exercise than had been originally planned. Just before we got back to the trailhead we encountered two young ladies on horseback. One horse was agitated, so we all stepped back off the trail to allow them to go through with the gal on the first horse leading the second one. We weren’t sure if the rider or the horse was inexperienced – maybe both. Good conversation, fresh air, blue skies, very little wind, safe hiking – all made for a rewarding day! AND, nobody stopped back at the General Store to take home any BUNS!
Participants: Noreen, Maria, Shelley, Viki, Bonnie J, Carol
No Wind Along the Rocky Mountain Front Surprises Gals
Warm Winds, the River and Hoodoos Turn Autumn Day Magical
The breezes grew to gale forces as the morning wore on, but we still had a grand time wandering among the hoodoos of Rock City on a fall day.
We left Great Falls at 8 a.m. and arrived around 9:45 a.m., put on wind breakers and hit the trail that leads down to the Two Medicine River. We marveled at the colors of the ground cover as well as the aqua glacier till reflecting in the water. In this place, Birch Creek merges with the Two Medicine River right before it joins the Marias.
Fall Colors Dot the Rocky Mountain Front on Yeager Flats Hike
Fall was still in the air and the leaves were changing in Great Falls. We hoped it would be even more spectacular on the Rocky Mountain Front.
The Great Falls gals met at 7:00 am at Lippi’s and headed to Choteau to meet up with Viki by 8:00. Then we all caravanned to the Ear Mountain trailhead, where we met Cathy Balasky, who championed protections for the outstanding natural area several years ago. She told us some about the history of the trail and what to look for as we made our way up. She also had encouraged us to wear orange or bright colors, as bow hunting was taking place nearby.
It was so windy at the trailhead that we were concerned that we would be blown away as we hiked, but amazingly, the wind stopped as soon as we began up the trail! It turned into a beautiful, clear fall day with wide views and vivid colors. Cathy’s description of the trail was accurate, so we felt confident as we came to each marker that she mentioned. The trail was well marked with plastic and wood posts along the way and arrows pointing the direction. One solitary hare bell was seen along the trail. Ear Mountain stood out in the sunlight as we rounded one turn, and the colors of the evergreens and aspen formed a patchwork quilt in the distance.
We hiked to the end of the Yeager Flat trail where there was a sign, and then backtracked a little to a perfect picnic spot with a great view. After lunch, we began to hike back to the cars, all the while exclaiming about what a perfect day this had been. We arrived at our vehicles at about 1:30 pm and drove home.
Who went—Brenda, Viki, Carol, Desirae and Sara.
Girls in Glacier and Katie Kotynski