Montana is as parched as a bone right now. Montana has been like a dry sauna - I go to sing in church and am croaking like a frog. So, it is almost incomprehensible that, as recently as 12 weeks ago, mounds of snow thwarted our hiking plans for Clayton Creek - the access gate was closed. So, bringing to mind a recommendation from our waitress earlier in the week, we carried on to Graves Creek trailhead, only to find THAT road also closed short of the trailhead. Not ones to be left empty-footed, we nevertheless hiked up that road to the trailhead (about 2 miles) and then returned by the same route. The picture above shows why the road was still closed! Presumably, a similar challenge caused the Clayton Creek road closure.
Not all was lost - on the road to both of these trails, we experienced stunning views across the Hungry Horse reservoir to the mountains of Glacier National Park. As you can see, plentiful snowcaps on the peaks provided a sharp contrast with the blue skies.
Once on the trail, we were quickly reminded that all that snow also brings the blessing of abundant cascades, big and small.
And a smattering of brave spring wildflowers.
Here are my hiking companions (Number 1 Son on the left and Spousal Unit on the right - no Man with Hat this day), sporting fashion headgear and looking for wildlife on the distant hillsides.
At the end of our hike, we enjoyed our picnic lunch at a primitive camp site near Handkerchief Lake.
Linking to Outdoor Wednesday