27 June 2011

A Little R&R in the Kootenai National Forest

Saturday Junse 25, 2011

Last week was packed with things to do and problems to solve regarding the solar energy plant I'm trying to build. Both Koty and I were more than ready for some quality time in the forest along with a good long aerobic exercise.

I chose Camp 32 as my launching point because I also wanted to see what Pinkham Creek was up to. It was running strong and looked like chocolate milk. The Camp 32 road was close so I'm guessing it was flooding. We headed up the mountain to see what we could find.

The wild primroses were out in strength. Normally, they have already bloomed but everything is behind this year due to the much colder than normal weather. The thing I love about these wild roses, well I love everything about them but my favorite thing is, they are so aromatic. They just fill the air around you with that marvelous rose fragrance. It is so awesome. I just stand around and literally fill up my senses.

Wild Primrose Image

Wild Primrose Photo

Wild Roses Photos
The hillsides were also covered in blue lupine which are also lovely wildflowers but they don't give off much of any kind of fragrance. They just stand there looking pretty.

Blue Lupine Photo
The path we took gave us a very good workout. The trail climbed the mountain until we got to a place where the vistas were just gorgeous. This first photo is looking eastward across the Tobacco Valley at the, still snow capped, Galton Range. Half of what you see to the North is actually British Columia, Canada.

Photo of the Galton Range Montana
This next photo was looking in a northerly direction. You can just see a bit of Lake Koocanusa. The lake has been rising in a wicked hurry with all the rain and snow melt. The lake was at a record low this spring in anticipation. You can see photos of what the lake looked like earlier this spring when it was drained to an inch of it's life. Record Lows at Lake Koocanusa. For those of us who live around here it was quite a site.

Lake Koocanusa Photo
It was a fairly cloudy day and I expected that it might rain at any time but we got lucky on that score and missed the afternoon storm. I just love looking at clouds and could not resist taking a photo or two of them. They are like live theater with their endlessly shifting and intriguing shapes.

Montana Sky Photo
 Didn't see a lot in the way of wildlife. Thought I might see a bear or two but didn't even see any scat. I did see quite a bit of elk pellets and tracks. Lots of cow and calf tracks. Elk and moose pellets are very similar in terms of shape but moose pellets are more like the size of walnuts. Didn't see any moose signs at all.

Elk Pellets Photo

And, we did scare up a wild turkey. She was pretty angry at us so I suspect she had chicks somewhere nearby.

Wild Turkey Photo

It was a lovely morning hike with an a very good aerobic exercise. And, as always, a hike in the Montana wilderness not only refreshes the body but it soothes the soul with it's endless beauty and picture perfect scenery.

©Kinsey Barnard

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