Newbies Take to the Trail, Survive Snowshoeing on Sunny Day
No one slept in on this spring ahead day, as two newbies and a returning gal joined four more experienced GiG members for a fun day of snowshoeing. First, we stopped at the Inconvenience Store after our 8:30 start from Great Falls for a potty break and snacks. We had fun visiting with the new manager as he showed us how he rearranged the store, putting our preferred items in unexpected places.
Then it was off to Memorial Falls. Katie made the decision to ditch the snowshoes, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. At first, all was fine as we walked the third of a mile to the lower falls without incident, In fact, the normally icy spot was covered with snow, so we had no fear of slipping. so all was well so far and the falls very beautiful. However, when we headed to the upper falls, things got a bit deep, about a foot and a half deep to be precise. But everyone bucked it up and post-holed to the upper falls. This falls wasn't as pretty as it usually is due to too much snow covering the ice crystals and icicles.
Debra felt a bit queasy on this hike--maybe it was the uphill, maybe the post-holing, but luckily, she recovered by the time we started on Jefferson Creek.
We hiked three miles up and back to the Pack it In, Pack it Out Sign and had lunch on the bridge. We saw some fun snow-rollers, some thinking they looked like cinnamon rolls, others roses. But we didn't see the usual elk tracks or other signs of wildlife. The creek has some lovely snow formations in it, though, and it burbled up between the iced-over areas.
The sun shone on us the entire way with little wind, so most of us were down to shirt sleeves or shells. On the return, we practically raced the last mile, so we got back almost an hour earlier than expected.
After our hike, we stopped into Bob's and said hi to Janice the new owner and met two other new employees. Janice said the months were pretty good despite the bitter cold that kept many skiers at home. She also said it had really picked up this weekend with the warmer weather.
We arrived back in Great Falls before 2 p.m. The newbies all made the entire way and seemed to do well. We hope to see Desirae, Debra and Amber back on the trail soon. And many had new snowshoes that they had no trouble getting used to.
Who went: Susan W, Amber, Debra, Desirae, Viki, Judy and Katie