Our daylight is decreasing quickly this time of year. We got in a little over an hour and a half of hiking up Big Creek after supper tonight, coming out the last bit just past the official "last light" time. I shot these photos before it got too dark for pictures. The one above represents the mysterious atmosphere of the lower portion of Big Creek Canyon quite well. I've had two different women, at two different times, tell me they have driven to the trailhead to hike here during daylight, only to turn around and leave without hiking because they didn't like the eerie feeling they got. The growing darkness only magnifies the feeling of Big Creek, but it's a wonderful place to hike. :)
The water is quite low this time of year, but always fascinating.
Megan and I had some things to do in Missoula last week, so afterwards we stopped to visit some ducks at a pond. She enjoyed feeding them, while I kept busy taking photos.
Since this was a spontaneous stop and I didn't have my camera with me, I had to make do with my cell phone and its "artistic" touch. Turned out kind of fun, nonetheless. :)
We stopped by the pond again a couple days later on another required trip to the city.
A flock of geese joined us the second time. -- Word must've got out that we had food. :)
Those pics to come in another post...
Tin Cup Creek - Bitterroot Mountains
10 Mile Day Hike - Late August 2021
(Be sure to watch the video clips in full screen mode. You'll feel like you're there.)
The hike to Bailey Lake is a pretty short hike at about 1-1/2 miles in. The trail starts out in the trees, keeping the views hidden as you hike through thick vegetation encroaching onto the trail. When you arrive at the upper portion of the trail, the views suddenly appear before your eyes. What a contrast it is between the two sections! The view around the lake is not especially scenic, but it's a nice place to enjoy a bit of serenity. :)
Another fun mountain adventure! :)
(Emily came along on this hike too, but she generally prefers that I leave her out of my photos for my blog. It's not easy, but every now and then I'm able to convince her to let me use one or two.)
We got out for another evening hike up Kootenai tonight. Kind of the usual going in. Another squirrel photo, but I love the sunshine on him with the green background.
And another spectacular view of the sun setting ahead of us on the trail as we continued hiking farther in. Par for the course so far. Then we came across another hiker on his way out, who asked us how far we were going. He then told us he had seen a billy goat (male mountain goat) near the wilderness boundary. I hadn't originally intended on getting that far in our time frame (planning to be out by dark to avoid the need for headlamps), but decided for the chance of seeing the mountain goat (and getting a couple photos), we would pick up our pace and then trail run part of the way out to still get back out by last light at 9:17. So the quest was on. We got to the wilderness boundary, but never saw the mountain goat. Oh well, it was worth a shot.
It was growing darker as we were coming out quickly, and things darted off the trail here and there to avoid getting stepped on. When I leapt over a little dark lump in the trail without even thinking about what it was (there are lots of obstacles all along the way), it suddenly moved in an unfamiliar way beneath my airborne feet. I stopped and looked back to see what it was and to my surprise it was still on the trail. Yes, it's a bat! It had had its wings closed in, and then suddenly sprung them open as I jumped over it, but it didn't leave the trail. Jamie thought maybe it was a little stunned after hitting something?? Don't know. I snapped a quick pic (using flash due to the darkness), and then kept moving. We hit the trailhead at last light, after having bats swooping at us the rest of the way out. One went right between me and Emily, and another between Emily and Jamie. So crazy!! They definitely kept us moving! LOL!
Time in the mountains is always some kind of an adventure for us! :)
Got out for a little off-trail hiking and mountain wandering on St. Mary's with my husband this afternoon. No trail = no people. The smoke blocked our long-range views (quite common during fire season), but overall it wasn't too bad. We discovered a cool old lichen-covered tree trunk, and came across some rock outcrops for a little break. :)
We came across a ton of tiny little toads on the trail up Kootenai last night. So many, we quickly lost count!
Hopping across the trail and up or down the sloped sides. Most of them ranging in size between a quarter and a fifty-cent piece when they were just sitting on the trail with their legs tucked in close. This one was a tad bit bigger and a little greener than most of them. They were so quick and small, we had to be extra careful not to step on them!
Such cute little guys... and so amusing to watch darting to and fro!! :)
Smoky skies are a normal part of wildfire season here in western Montana. It really changes our views (and air quality), but this is a good day, when we can still see some of the mountains. We did go home to increasing smoke and floating ash later in the evening. And although our fire season did start extra early this year, we've experienced much worse in past years. Time will tell what the rest of fire season has in store for us.
This was our view looking further west in the Lost Horse area a couple of days ago. The views were quite diminished from what we usually see here, but still incredibly awesome. Along with the smoky skies, we also had some fierce wind at the overlook. We certainly didn't hang out waiting for a tree to blow down on us! It was time to scoot.
The smoke and clouds shrouding the morning sun gave us a beautiful view on our drive to Bass Creek trailhead earlier this week. Bitterroot Valley, Montana.
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Let me help you get "out here", too. I will soon be offering a hiking related fitness group with coaching and support for getting in shape and getting out in the outdoors more. Stay tuned. :)