18 October 2014

Hiking Red Canyon-Gallatin National Forest Montana

So, Kinsey unfurled her monster map, (see my previous post by clicking here) of the Gallatin NF and plotted a plan to hike the Red Canyon trail. Seriously, there was no room for me in the RV when she had that map open.

Next morning we headed on out to the Red Canyon. When we got to the trailhead there were a bunch of bow hunters from Texas encamped. Here in Montana the bow hunters get the first shot, no pun intended, at the game before the rifle season starts. Naturally, Kinsey stood around and talked to the guys for like eons. She practically got their life story. She always does that and I have to stand around cooling my paws. Phooey!

F-i-n-a-l-l-y we started off up the trail. The first part of the trail goes along a pretty little creek, not surprisingly called, Red Canyon Creek. The creek was made even more beautiful by my exceptional presence!

Red Canyon Creek
The vegetation was starting to change color and, I think, must have made the trail even more scenic. It wasn't long before the trail started heading uphill.

Red Canyon Trail
As usual, our forward progress was forever impeded by Kinsey stopping every five seconds to take a picture of something or other. She is so silly. When nature doesn't give her precisely what she's looking for she tries to stage it. The below photo is a perfect example. She picked a maple leaf and put it on a fir bough. She calls these pictures "still life in nature". It's all I can do not to bark!

Mountain Maple
The trail heads up to a ridge. About half way Kinsey started to feel a blister starting. Normally, she puts duct tape on her heels before a hike. Silly girl forgot to this day. It wasn't long before we were stopped again whilst she put on blister bandages but it was already too late to do much good. While we were stopped we could hear the bull elks bugling all around us. The bugling is the elk equivalent of a lovers serenade. If you've never heard their song you've missed something. Seems a unfair that they are hunted just when are paying the least attention to their survival.

I have to say I wonder why they call this Red Canyon. It's true there are some red walls but, really, just a dab. Oh, don't get me started on what I think about the crazy names humans give things.

Just shy of the ridge Kinsey was gimping along so bad, with her blisters, she threw in the towel. So near yet so far. I hate it when that happens. So, does she. There was a pretty nice view of Hebgen Lake from up there. But, we really wanted to see it from the ridge. And, we really wanted to see what was on the other side. It was not to be.

Hebgen Lake as Seen from the Red Canyon  Trail

On our way back down we saw our first bit of bear sign in the form of a track.  It most likely was the track of a black bear. It's spooky how these prints look so much like a humans. We saw a really creepy on at Chief Mountain this spring.

Bear Track on the Red Canyon Trail

It really was a bummer to cut our hike short because dingy girl forgot her duct tape. But, what can you do? Kinsey is 66 in January but I know her mind is good. She does that Luminosity thing practically everyday and scores highest in the memory category.  Her father used to tell her "For heaven's sake use your head for something besides a hat rack". I'm not sure she always does. Oh, I'm gonna get smacked if she reads this!

If I were the betting sort I would bet we will give this trail another go at another time. If you're in the W. Yellowstone or Hebgen Lake area and want to give the trail a try you'll find the road to the trailhead off highway 287 about four or five miles west of highway 191. It's well marked and the road to the trail is a good one.

This past week Kinsey got the bright idea to load some of her open stock photos onto the Fine Art America site. She's only got a few images up so far but she's got a gazillion so stay tuned. The trick is finding the time. Below is a sample.

Photography Prints

Ciao for now,
Molly Montana, Australian Shepard Extraordinaire

©Kinsey Barnard


judyb said...

Molly, you have some pretty great adventures - that is a beautiful trail. Those bear tracks, though - pretty scary! Love your posts & those photos Kinsey takes!

Kinsey Barnard said...

Judy B.

We ain't scared of no bears! Course I'm planning on hiding behind Kinsey if we ever get charged!

Glad you like my stories. We do have lots of fun.