23 October 2014

Taylor Creek - Gallatin National Forest

After consulting our mega map (see The Lake that Tilted) Kinsey ordained we should take the trail to Albino Lake in the Gallatin National Forest. As usual, I had no say in the matter. I make a to do about having no say but the truth is, I don't really care we go as long we go!

To get to the Albino Creek Trail you take Forest Service Road 134 which heads west off of highway 191. 191 is the highway that takes you to Bozeman. The road is pretty good once you get up the rise that drops down to the creek. Taylor Creek is a very picturesque creek made prettier by the fall colors.

Taylor Creek - Gallatin National Forest
We drove for what seemed like eons, in dog time it was. Finally, we got to what appeared to be the trailhead. It actually was the trailhead but this trail took you across Taylor Creek and Kinsey was without her water shoes. You may recall from our spring trip to St. Mary that Kinsey doesn't like to get her precious little feet wet (see Kinsey Dances). Consulting the map it looked like there was a bridge across the creek a couple of miles further up the road.

We might have missed it accept for there was a horse trailer, horses and three armed men getting ready to mount up. Oh, and there was also a packed mule. I scrabbled in excitement all over the window. Kinsey gave me a dirty look and got out to talk to the men. Turned out they were law enforcement, federal and state. And, here we go again blah, blah, blah, blah.

Turned out they were on their way up the Elderidge Trail on a secret mission. Secret because they told Kinsey they wished they could tell her because the public should be aware but they weren't allowed. What the heck is that supposed to mean?

One of the officers asked Kinsey if she had bear spray because the bears in the area were very active. She said yes she had bear spray and a .357. The officer then commenced to giver her the speech about how bear spray was much more effective than bullets. Kinsey agreed about the spray for bears but confided she was more concerned about two leggeds. The officer countered with the spray will stop a person too. So, Kinsey asks if he would be prepared to leave his gun in the truck and take only bear spray on his secret mission. End of discussion. I swear one of these days Kinsey is going to get us tossed in the hoosegow.

In fairness these guys were as nice as they could be even if they couldn't fault Kinsey's logic. They pointed us to the bridge and told us how to get connected back up with the Albino trail. We wished them well, what ever in the heck they were up to.

State & Federal Forest Law Enforcement
Once across the bridge Kinsey turned me loose and I took off like a rocket. Boy, how I love to run! My freedom didn't last too long before we  crested a hill and, before I could, Kinsey saw trail riders headed in our direction. Leashed up again we headed for the riders who had dismounted for lunch. When we were close enough Kinsey hollered "Inexperienced dog!" Turned out they were dude riders with a savvy wrangler. She got her riders and horses right off the trail. As we passed by they saw up close what an airhead I am around horses. Well, duh, inexperienced dog. This was the first time I was ever around horses up close!

Trail Riders on the Albino Lake Trail

When we'd clear another ridge further on I was off an running again. Yee haa! The view of the Madison Range from this trail is very beautiful, not that I care about such things but you might.

Madison Range

Unfortunately, it wasn't long before Kinsey started gimping again thanks to the blisters she had gotten the day before (see Red Canyon). She kept at it for about two hours but finally gave in. We never made it to Albino Lake. I still can't believe she managed to mess herself up on our very first hike!

Just over there. That lake is just over there!
So, after a little snack and water we turned back. I was so disappointed. I was afraid this was going to be the trip of unfinished hikes. The good news is I know Kinsey. She doesn't like to leave things unfinished. It'll make her want to come back and get the job done.

There are a lot of trails to explore in this canyon and we'll be wanting to explore some of those too. I can already see the wheels turning in Kinsey's little head thinking about making the Gallatin Forest a destination trip. We could spend a ten days here no problemo!

Taylor Creek
By the way, Kinsey has a new hobby. She's uploading some of her bazillion photographs, that aren't part of her fine art collection to Fine Art America. Some very pretty pictures have a look.

Ciao for now!
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

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