Mountain Views Make up for Post-holing; Susan C. Gets her 100-Miles
We left town at 7 a.m., meeting our sister group from Canada--the WoW (Women of Wonder/Waterton) at the East Glacier convenience store and gas station by 9:30. Then we continued to the trailhead where we met Laurie, who is from East Glacier. She had a rare day off from waitressing at the Two Med Grill. All told, we had 16 gals ready to snowshoe, with two (Desirae and Gail) taking a more leisurely pace and going four miles, while the rest of us signed up for the 7.5 miler.
The weather prediction was for a cloudy day bringing rain at night, but we had blue skies to start along with a bit of wind. As we headed out, we realized the snow wasn't very settled after our weird year of no snow through January and then tons of snow but below zero temperatures in February. With no chinooks, the snow never formed a solid base, hence those with smaller snowshoes were falling in all day. Even those with tails and larger shoes were sinking at times.
Luckily, it wasn't too many postholes or we may have given up. Had we done so, however, we would have missed the absolutely stunning views of Rising Wolf Mountain (the largest land mass, but not highest, mountain in Glacier Park). The surrounding mountains, though not as commanding, were also impressive: Scenic Point, Henry, Apistoki, Lone Walker, Sinopah, Rockwell, Never Laughs, Bisonhead, Painted Teepee, Red and Spot mountains, among others. Each round of the bend brought a different perspective and new peaks into view.
Along the trail, we saw many different tracks, some we thought might be wolverine, a small cat of some sort and a mountain lion.
We made it just over 3.5 miles in, past the seven-mile highway marker to the wide pull out in the road. This area, Laurie calls "Rising Wolf Curve," a fitting name since this handsome red mountain dominates the skyline.
Lower Two Med lake was still frozen but with areas starting to thaw. At our lunch spot, we could see the total white of Two Med Lake, not showing signs of any melt yet. As we stopped, we felt the chill and pulled on our caps and coats against the wind. But once we were back on trail, we warmed up quickly. As a side note, Katie started to pull out her water bottle and saw a Bud Light next to it. Actually, it was empty. Susan had found it on the road and decided we should pick up trash.
On the way back down, we spotted bear scat and many moose droppings, more than on our way up. As the snow softened, more gals took tumbles as the snow collapsed under them. Of course, those of us with cameras had to document the fall-ins.
We arrived at the cars at 3:30, while the other group finished at 1:30. They walked the Two Med road and chatted until we returned.
Then it was time to say goodbye to the Canadians and Laurie while the Great Falls group headed to Choteau for dinner at the Log Cabin. We were hungry and thought about stopping in Dupuyer at Buffalo Joe's, but we called and they said they were booked for the night with a wedding and other parties. We had to put off our appetites for another 40 minutes, but that put us closer to home.
We thought we might see some snowgeese and swans on the way past Freezeout lake. We did see a pond of swans near Fort Shaw but nothing else.
We arrived in GF at 7:30, a great day of exercise and camaraderie. And when Katie got home and added up the miles, she discovered that we welcome Susan C to the 100-miler Club! Congrats, Susan. Who went: GF--Gail, Desirae, Joanne, Paula, Susan W, Susan C, Viki, Sara, Mary S, Amber, Katie, EG: Laurie; Canada--Laura, Dina, Paula, Joan