Glorious, Glittery Hike along Jefferson Creek with Snow Rollers
Finally! Finally! We had a nice weather: it wasn't below zero, nor cloudy. The sun was shining (but the wind tossed the car a bit) as we headed out of Great Falls for a quick four-mile snowshoe along Jefferson Creek. The roads weren't even very bad except the last two miles or so out of Neihart.
We noticed that the trail was well used, despite the weather we had had the last few weeks, with both snowshoe and ski tracks. We did run into one skier along the way. Unfortunately, there is no designated trail for dual use, so the snowshoe tracks obliterated the ski grooves. We thought a sign pointing out for snowshoers to stay to one side while skiers to the other would help educate recreators not to snowshoe on the ski tracks.
On our mostly flat, fairly easy snowshoe, we took many stops to take pictures of the wonderful ice formations in the creek and to analyze all of the wildlife tracks too (and some dog tracks). We saw mouse, chipmunk, squirrel, rabbit, elk, deer, maybe moose, various birds and some little critter tracks we didn't recognize. The easy grade helped Camille, who had recent knee surgery and Doris, who had been traveling for many weeks and was just coming from flat elevation.
But what caught our attention most was the "snow rollers," which looked like giant icy cinnamon rolls.
After our hike, we had lunch at Bob's bar in Neihart. When we returned home the wind was howling just like when we left and the temperatures about 10 degrees colder than in Neihart. We were sure glad we decided to get out to enjoy a nice day outdoors. We were amazed that we got back to Great Falls so soon, before 3 p.m.
Who went: Randi, Doris, Camille, Katie