Windy Point Produces No Rain or Wind; Multitude of Flowers
When we left Great Falls, a very dark ominous cloud was overhead and moving east toward the HIghwood Mountains, but we took a chance we could outrace it and get an hour or so of hiking in before it started raining.
Were we surprised when not a raindrop fell on us for the entire six-mile round-trip trek up to the saddle on Windy Point trail.
What did surprise us was the abundance of flowers--we counted 44--and the greens of the hillsides.
We had five or six stream crossings, all without incident; luckily, the water levels weren't high so we could skip across on a few strategically placed rocks without much trouble.
We climbed the 1,000 feet to the saddle in a couple hours and had a nice lunch on top, looking out over the Highwood mountains with a view of HIghwood Baldy and military communication and cell tower on top.
Besides the cow pies, we saw coyote and elk droppings, but no animals besides birds. And we didn't run into anyone else on the trail and heard no motorized vehicles, a bane of the Highwoods at times.
The temperatures were perfect for hiking, not too hot or cold, while the cloud cover was high enough to afford gorgeous views.
On our way home, we took a wrong turn so we had a scenic ride back home, completing a loop that took us on a high plateau of bright green wheat fields and quaint farm houses mixed in with new construction.
So what promised to be a very wet day turned out to be one of the best hiking days of the year so far.
Who went? Gail, Kathy M, Jeanne, Roni, Katie
Update: Katie and Kathy headed back up to the Highwoods, hubbies in tow on Sunday. We went up the North drainage and saw even more flowers. The husbands took a detour and saw calypso/fairy slippers on their sojourn, which disappointed the gals since they didn't see them.
Link to Katie's pics
Link to Kathy's picsLink to Kathy's pics Day 2
Flowers we saw