Spring Bloom

Spring Bloom
Spring Bloom

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Second Try to Hike Highline Trail

Highline Trail is supposed to be a wonderfully scenic trail that starts along a "wall" where there it is a narrow trail along a cliff with long views to other mountains and where one can often see mountain goats, big horned sheep, and bears. I made a special trip to see it last year, and found Logan Pass covered in a dense, wet fog. So I just turned around and went back to the refuge that let me have a room for a couple of days.

I was determined to do the trail this year.  But my left foot was hurting too badly to start a long hike, and I was tired- after all I was the oldest one there and had been running madly for a couple of weeks trying to finish my work and get ready to play.  So when the rest of the group went, I sat out. The following day, they planned to hike to Grinnell Glacier.  I had already hiked that,  so I got up early and caught the last of a marvelous sunrise coming up to paint the mountains across Swiftwater Lake. Then two ends of a rainbow appeared in the sun painting, causing me to stop several times to capture the amazing beauty.

Sunrise

Sun painting the mountains across the lake

Clouds and sun painting

One end of the rainbow

The light continued to be beautiful as I started up Going-to-the-Sun Highway.  But as I got to Logan's Pass,  the clouds started swirling back into their beds in the valley, and again, it was almost white-out conditions in the pass area. The temperatures had fallen, and the winds were howling.  I was not willing to try to hike in those conditions, so I took myself home and had to take a nap in the tent, because it was raining off and on.


I loved how the clouds added mystery to the mountains

I think this was Jackson glacier

The clouds left the valleys all colored while the top of the mountains went to black and white

The clouds swirling down to the tunnel that is just before Logan Pass

Close up detail of the rocky cliffs along the road

Oncoming clouds

I stopped to take a picture of this little waterfall and the amazing view of the stream making it

I also stopped along St. Mary's Lake on the way back

The Thompson fire had just burned through the east side of Going-to-the-Sun highway and was still active when I left for this trip but some shrubs are already resprouting. 

There are colors in the rock and also from niches of plant life

Another beautiful view

 I was blessed by the views and hardly missed the hike. And I'll be coming back to Montana  in a few years and that hike will still be on my bucket list.