Got out for a little midday hike up Kootenai with two of my girls and a friend back in June before the smoke moved in. (Our friend took the photo of me and the girls.) It was quite hot and sunny that day. It seems so strange looking at this photo right now, as this year's fire season got off to an early start and all the smoke has been filtering out some of our sunshine lately. It's nice to see a reminder of sunnier days. :)
Megan and I went up Kootenai for a quick morning hike before work last month. I love the tree roots sprawling across the rock along this section of the creek. So cool!
And like I always say, "I love the water!"
Mesmerizing and refreshing!
Just a quick little video of the mighty rushing water.
With all of the mountain snowmelt in June, it moves incredibly fast!
Most of the terrain on this hike has been burned quite some time ago, leaving a lot of silvery-gray, dead trees, both standing and fallen. (Not a good place to be on a very windy day.) For this hike, you must first climb up to a ridge that runs along the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness boundary, then drop down to a saddle, only to climb up again to reach the lakes that lie beyond. Hiking through the burned area can be quite hot on a sunny, summer day. It's a good idea to take plenty of water and a water filter to re-fill at the lakes. Because it was pretty hot on this hike, the lake sounded good for jumping in ... but as I expected for late June, it was cooler at the lakes with a breeze and lower temps due to higher elevation, along with very cold water from the snow melting directly into the lake ... so no swimming for us this time around. However, it was quite enjoyable hanging out at the lakes and exploring the terrain beyond. :)
We finished out this hike, and a little less than a week later we hiked up to St. Mary's Peak. From the peak, we headed off trail out on the ridge farther than we've gone in the past, and then down to the lower McCalla Lake to hang out by the water on another hot, summer day. Pics of that hike to come... hopefully soon. :)
And maybe someday I'll get around to doing a post of a snowshoe trip we took up here a few years back. So many hikes I have yet to share as I catch up sorting my pics. :)
See you in the next post...
We seem to have an influx of Northern alligator lizards up Kootenai Canyon this year. On our evening trail runs, they keep darting across the trail and up the steep sides. They sure move fast!
A nearby dairy farm with a beautiful row of trees and the Sapphire Mountains rising in the background. These trees always capture my attention no matter what season it is.
Here's a quick little video of a doe and her two fawns we watched at the refuge last night. I'm better at photography than I am at video, but here it is, short and sweet. :)
It was a bit crisp out there this October morning, but snow has a way of adding a special touch of beauty to our views. Since we don't get to choose our weather, we take what we get and enjoy it for what it is. :)
The gate on the way up to Little St. Joe Trailhead (aka Bass Creek Overlook) is closing today as it does every year, so I was hoping to get in one last hike up there this week. But the weather just didn't allow it. Jamie and I were planning to go even with the rain and snow and cold, but the extreme wind held us back for safety reasons. Steady winds in the 40's and gusts in the 60's is just not a good combination with so many standing dead trees around.
So we took a drive up to the trailhead to get a glimpse of the Bass Creek Crags with fresh snow before the gate shuts us out again. You can still walk the road and then hike the trail, but it adds quite a bit of mileage to the trip. So my next planned trip up Little Joe will be next year after the gate reopens.
It was getting dark and quite windy when we got up to our view of the crags. The snowy crags against the dark stormy sky was awesome, and the fresh snow made them look extra big and close in person, like we could almost reach out and touch them.
follow by email
follow on fb
fitness, hiking, + weight loss coach
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. :)