GiG Visits Three Major Falls on Combined Trip with Canadians
We donned our gear, including ponchos for impending rainy skies, then the 16 of us headed down the trail to Sunpoint. We briefly enjoyed the panoramic views of Lake St. Mary (quite windy) before heading down the trail, under a canopy of trees, along the lake towards Baring Falls. Although there had been bears on the trail the previous week, the ranger reported that there had been no recent sightings of bear!! Yeah!
We stopped on the footbridge just before the falls came into view for a group picture. The Baring Falls continue to be a site to behold as one never tires of seeing it spill down over the rocky ridge for at least 25 feet. We continued our journey along the lake toward St Mary Falls enjoying glimpses of Virginia Falls from a distance. At one point, Kuntz stopped and pointed to a big black “thing” standing at the end of the lake along the shore remarking “ Is that a moose??”. None of us had binoculars so couldn’t really tell for sure.
On the way back along the lake , the big black thing was gone!! It must have been a moose!! We enjoyed a number of Wild Flowers along the way including: Mariposa Lily, Arnica, Wood’s rose, Indian Paint Brush, Glacier Lily, and Beargrass , to name a few. As St. Mary’s falls came into view, we were impressed with the beauty of the aqua green water pooling down below the falls and downstream of the bridge. Not too far before arriving at St, Mary Falls, Sue took a tumble ,having tripped over a tree root, but was able to land in such a way as to protect her finger that is healing in a splint!! Thanks to the ladies that supported her with wet wipes and bandaids.
We took a short break on the new bridge to enjoy the majesty of St Mary’s falls cascading down so powerfully. We headed up the trail to Virginia falls stopping briefly at the flat rocks that overlook the stream. Sue, Laura and Lavern recounted our first introduction of GIG and the Canadians . Laura and Lavern approached Sue at that very spot a few years ago and struck up a conversation ending in an introduction to Katie, our leader and the GIG. And… the rest is history of our collaborative hiking quests!!
We headed up the trail, enjoying un named cascading falls long the way until we reached Virginia Falls- a sight to see with its powerful 50 foot drop and sprays of water at the base like pouring rain- ponchos required unless one desires a shower!! We headed back down the trail to the flat rocks to enjoy some lunch together and a candy bar treat from the Canadians-delish!! We completed our hike back to the Sunpoint parking lot in the rain( around 3 pm) , said our goodbyes to the Canadians and headed out to Two Dog Flats Restaurant at Rising Sun camp area, for a late lunch.
During lunch there was a bear carousing outside the window near our table- it was a young bear cub that employees were corralling and moving away from the campground, across the road towards the lake. During our meal, we enjoyed the panoramic views of the peaks viewed from our table but alas, without Katie to assist, just couldn’t name those peaks! After more shopping, we headed home for Great Falls!! .
Who attended: Sue Michels, Sooz (Sue Oleary), Kuntz, Karen Spencer, Anita Gazerro.