Open Winter Offers Hiking Opportunity at the Buffalo Jump
With no snow on the plains, we decided to head out for a short hike just out of Great Falls: the backside and rim of the Ulm Pishkun First People's Buffalo Jump.
We left town at 9:30 when Katie led the group the back way from West Central to McIver Road, a road some said they had not traveled before. In about 20 minutes, we arrived at the trailhead and did a loop along the back side of the pishkun butte. We saw two other men running their dogs, but no one else on this part of the trip. The loop is around two miles.
Then we drove to the buffalo-jump side of the butte and walked along the rim, marveling at how steep and long the drop off was, imagining stampeding behemoths tumbling to their deaths over the side, the bottom littered with jagged rocks.
A few of the prairie dogs stuck their heads up at us while the left-over mullein heads swayed in the wind as we traversed the high cliff, marveling at the buttes around us: Square (in our face--which three of us had climbed earlier this year), Crown, Shaw, Birdtail, Lionhead among others.
As we approached our cars, Suzi, Doreen, Noreen and Jo Ann decided to explore a bit more, while Katie (with a broken toe still) and KuntZ decided to head home.
The second group was fascinated by the lichens on the rocks and the left-over mullein flowers, towering toward the sky. We also found some old equipment, a pump, and cow--or buffalo? bones.
We were home by 12:30. Side note: We left late in the morning so that some could try to get a slot for the COVID vaccine, but not one was successful, even on this second try. The phone line was jammed up saying it wasn't a working number and the computer link wasn't working either. Sigh. When will this pandemic be over?
Who went Jan. 28: Suzi, Noreen, Doreen, Katie, KuntZ, Jo Ann Feb 4: Katie, Maria, Rose