Perfect Evening for Ladies to Experience Crown Butte for First Time
We were prepared for snakes and kept an eye out, but we weren't prepared for all the hoppers, which were jumping right and left and all over us as we approached the butte. Luckily, they weren't on top,
But we mastered all the potential blips in our paths and made it to eat our quick dinners on the rim of the butte facing Simms and Highway 200 on a gorgeous evening with a slight breeze. Everyone was amazed that the butte wasn't flat on top. The undulating hills and valleys really could cause a person to get lost if she didn't orient off Birdtail Butte to find her way back. We didn't have enough time to make it to the Nature Conservancy plaque as the days are getting shorter and we wanted to get back home before dark.
Everyone marveled at the interesting rocks: the shonkinte of the butte with the black augite crystals; the sandstone outcroppings among the volcanic and the feeder tubes or dykes still visible from which the magma traveled. Read more about lacoliths
The biggest issue was going back down the steep incline; Desirae decided after falling that sliding down the last bit was easier than walking. Brenda said she fell three times; however, no one got hurt. And tall Noreen had a bit of an issue with the scambling section through the rocks just before summiting.
As we descended and arrived back on the flat and into the hoppers, the sun started coloring the hills, so we skeddaddled back to the cars, got out our cold drinks and then enjoyed the sunset all the way back to Great Falls, arriving around 9:15 p.m. We didn't quite make it back before dark. We had left town at 4 p.m., so just over five hours total.
Who went: Carol, Paula O, Brenda, Desirae, Noreen, Katie