Two Medicine Lake, More Snow and Ice than Last Year
Only one spot of open water on Two-Medicine Lake shows how much more snow we have this year than last. In 2013, we visited on Cinco de Mayo, and the entire lake was ice free. Amazing difference year to year.We left Great Falls at 7:30 a.m. and hit the trail just over three hours later after stops in Conrad and Browning.
On the way into the park, we were treated to our first sightings of glacier lilies, those yellow beauties that have become our logo. We did stop on the way home to snap a photo or two.
A brief stop to hike into Running Eagle/Trick Falls found it was flowing over the top and through the cave, unlike last year that only had water coming from the cave. However, the bridge wasn't in and no logs presented themselves for easy crossing so we viewed the falls from afar.
At Two-Medicine Lake, we strapped on our snowshoes for a hike into Aster Falls and hopefully Aster Park. The views of Rising Wolf, Painted Teepee and Sinopah mountains were stunning. Aster Falls was mostly buried in snow, but the bottom section made an impressive splash.The American Dipper or Water Ouzel pair were making their distinctive dipping motions from on top of the snow, eyeing the moss-covered rocks that they nest in.
Although we only saw little critters (chipmunks and squirrels) and birds, we did see some cat tracks and scat and other unidentified scat.
We weren't able to make it to Aster Park as the snow was too steep and tree wells too deep, so it wasn't safe to continue after about a quarter mile.
On our way back to the boat dock, avalanches broke way on the side of Rising Wolf, creating quite a scene and a lot of noise.
We finished the day with dinner at Serrano's followed by fudge at the Two-Med Mercantile, always a great way to end a hike, but one last thing happened: We were treated to double rainbows for most of the way home. (we arrived home by 8:30)
Who went: Sara, Kathy M, Susan, Katie, Jeanne, Catherine, Toni
Kathy's Quinoa Salad Recipe
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
red pepper flakes if desired
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10-15 min. Set aside to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
Combine quinoa, tomatoes, beans, green onions, celery in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture, toss to coat. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.