Spring is working on coming to our part of Montana, but the mountains will remain a winter wonderland for quite some time.
These ice falls up Kootenai were our destination for today's hike. With no movement or sound, the stillness of the frozen water on the rock creates the feeling of a moment frozen in time.
While we always look forward to our destination, we also enjoy the journey along the way. This afternoon's snowy hike gave us numerous reasons to stop and observe our surroundings, which extended the time it took to get to where we were going.
We spotted a mink's slide path down the opposing hillside and into the creek below, as well as various tracks of critters that had been pretty busy going to and fro.
We stepped over moose droppings in the trail from a cow moose we had seen in the area on last week's hiking/snowshoe trek. (At first it had appeared that she was lying down, but it quickly became evident that she was instead standing in snow up to her belly.)
We observed a waterfall on the canyon wall created by snow melt, which is a common sight and sound this time of year.
And we hiked over extra snow and debris deposited on the trail from an avalanche that had slid from above, over the trail, and continued down the other side of the steep slope until it finished settling into the bottom of the creek. (This had occurred quite recently - sometime since last week's trip in Kootenai.)
Today was a beautiful day with blue sky and sunshine, and as the day warmed up, the trail continued to get worse. The farther we went, the more we were post-holing through the deep snow. But as usual, we enjoyed the opportunity to get out for a hike in our beautiful mountains.
And to our surprise, there were no cars at the trailhead when we arrived (which is very unusual for Kootenai), so we enjoyed the solitude of having the trail completely to ourselves going in.