Friday, February 2, 2018

My Hiking Journal - Entry 8

Monday, May 29, 2017 - Echo Broken Leg Trail - 9 miles out and back

Yesterday morning, I was sipping my coffee and working up the motivation to get out of bed.  (Nothing bad - just nowhere particular to be, and my window offered a view onto the snow falling heavily outside.  So, why get up?)  My mind turned to my next blog post, and with amazement I considered that in 16 weeks, it will have been a year since we roamed this trail.

Wow.  That means Montana has been home for almost 8 months.

Starry False Solomon's Seal
That means we will soon be hiking again (without Traxx or snow shoes)!

That means spring flowers ARE under yesterday's snow, slumbering peacefully.

While we are waiting, let's pretend it's May, and go for a stroll.

In my hiking journal, this trail earned a couple of exclamation points. 

For the first time in the 2017 season, we saw bear grass in bloom!

Bear grass is an iconic symbol of Glacier National Park - you will find it on postcards, t-shirts and mugs everywhere.  A unique aspect of this plant is that its colonies typically only bloom every five to seven years.

Since you see bear grass every summer, it means that there are always colonies in bloom while others are 'resting.'  The plant is found mostly in western North America, from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming, in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains.  My heart exploded with joy when I saw the ethereal blooms along the path!

Payette Beardtongue - only found in Idaho, Montana
and Oregon
This trail was an easy trek, as it roughly winds along a hillside without gaining much elevation.  And the south-facing aspect delivered a proliferation of wildflowers relatively early for the time of year, hence another exclamation point!

Upper left - Western Meadow Rue (male); Upper right - Heartleaf Arnica and Oregon Grape
Lower left - Coreopsis; Lower right - Fernleaf Biscuitroot

We crossed three major streams along the way.  Given the spring run-off, we were grateful for bridges over each of them.  Here's a video near one of the crossings.  Don't you just love the sight and sound of running water?

The last half-mile of the trail, trees became sparser, opening vistas to the valley and even more wildflowers on the rock screes above and below the path.  I was beside myself with the variety and quantity of the flowers - I couldn't wait to get home and identify all of them. Man with Hat was very patient as I snapped away with my phone camera.  Can you see him waiting for me, ahead at the turn of the trail?

Middle - Yellow Violets; Lower left - Fernleaf Biscuitroot and Chokecherry
Lower right - Thimbleberry
The track continues over Wolf Creek; without a bridge, your choices are to
1) get your boots (and more) wet, 2) take off your boots and slip your way across mossy rocks while withstanding the bone-chilling water, or 3) attempt to use a fallen log for the crossing (only recommended if your last name is Wallenda).  Look how fast the water was running here ...

Left -  Biscuitroot and Larkspur; Upper right - Wood's Rose
Lower right - Foothill Death Camas
So we followed the spur above Wolf Creek, which led to a rocky outcropping, an ideal location for our picnic lunch.  Flattened plants and signs of a recent campfire let us know that someone had taken advantage of the spot for camping.  Come May 2018, that might be us!
Left - Arrowleaf Balsamroot; Right - False Solomon's Seal

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  1. would take me forever to hike through this 'flower garden,' too many photo ops.

  2. How wonderful to scroll through this hike while things look wet and gloomy outside my window. Wonderful. Thanks for all the names of the plants, too. Love that Bear Grass. Have a good weekend.

  3. Thanks for sharing your hike! There are some really gorgeous things to see. The flowers would surely slow me down!

  4. It was nice to relive a summer hike in Montana through your photos, Angie! One of my favorite memories ofvisiting Glacier National Park was all the amazing wildflowers in bloom, especially along the trail to the Hidden Lake area off Logan Pass. I blogged about that a couple years ago.
    We don't have bear grass here, but we do have many beautiful wildflowers in Colorado, and I love to hike and photograph them also. One of the first wildflowers to bloom in spring at our foothill altitude of 6,200 feet is the Star Lily.

  5. OMG I want to go with you! Hiking in temperate countries is very much different than in the tropics, I experienced it a bit in NZ. I love those stteams and of course the flowers. Did you see butterflies? You should see my trial hike last week, posted in my other blog.

  6. Hi Angie,
    those are wonderful photos of the beautiful nature around you. I like your friendly style.
    Best, Synnöve

  7. trying to give us a reason to hang on? Thanks! It is lovely, Spring will burst out soon. Your photos are so pretty, and I know spring flowers are often tiny and easily missed if you don't look for them.

  8. How lovely, a hiking journal! I usually turn our trips into a journal entry on the blog! There's something about putting pen to paper, though.

  9. Dearest Angie; GORGEOUS summer memories with your journal and lots of beautiful nature photographs♡♡♡ I love the white "bear grass" flower a lot♪ I wish I could enjoy the Hiking with that beautiful nature.
    Have a wonderful Sunday♧♧♧

    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  10. How refreshing in these drearier winter months. We had a surprise today - sunshine and almost 55 degrees. The clouds were built up around the mountains but they are to the east and out here on the coast we had sunshine - took a nice ride - got a bite to eat - it was nice to be out and about.

  11. What a beautiful hike that was. The bear grass is incredible ... that's so interesting about the growth (and that some patches are always in bloom). I don't envy your snow (even from your cozy bed with the beautiful view window) ... but those flowers underneath it that are getting ready to burst into bloom soon ... now *those* will make me envious. ( We don't really experience a typical spring here at all and there are times I miss it very much.)

  12. Soon we will be there again :)

  13. Hello, what a great hike. The wildflowers are beautiful. I remember seeing the bear grass in Glacier NP. Montana is a beautiful state. Great post and lovely photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week!

  14. A winter of snowy slumber certainly brings forth a beauty of spring. I'd love to hike that trail, a little more each day. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I think we are all ready for spring. I'm with Tom, I would never get through the whole trail --- too many lovely flowers! Happy Monday!

  16. Oh, so beautiful there where you live! Great to have these captures in your archives while it's snowing:)
    Although Yosemite Nat. park in California (about 3 1/2 hrs. away) looks similar. Never saw the bear grass, so pretty! Thank you much for sharing the beauty with All Seasons! Stay warm this week:)

  17. lol, beautiful place and wonderful flowers. I vivited Yellowstone a couple of months ago and could see a fraction of Montana too :)

  18. So beautiful photos! I really long for spring and summer now :)

  19. Your hike is yet another reason that I plan on heading West later this year...I've never been!!...:)JP

  20. A hike amongst the beautiful scenery of Montana was just what this girl in wet and sodden Normandy needed to see today, thank you. Beautiful wildflowers everywhere you look, I admire your patience when it comes to identifying them. Also, had to smile at the photo of your husband waiting for you ahead on the trail, glimpsing my husbands back as he strides away from me is a recurring event on our walks as I'm always stopping to take a snap!

  21. lovely images from the trail. I never tire of taking wildflower shots. Have a fabulous week and thank you for stopping by my blog last week.

  22. Your husband and mine are both so patient as we stop and take photos and ooh and aah. Gorgeous flower shots from along the trail. Soon we'll be out hiking again - that's an exciting thought!

  23. Nice to see you again,Angie,
    What a nice hiking journal! There are so many flowers and photo opportunities from the trail.The white bear grass is so pretty.
    The fall in the forest is refreshing.
    Greeting from Japan to you and beautiful Montana!

    Thank you for visiting. I am not fast in English.I have been learning English since my sons grew up as a hobby.
    Have a good day!

    1. Hi,again, Angie,I forgot to say,
      Yes,bamboo symbolizes prosperity. So bamboo is special plant for the Japanese! Your blog border is so so lovely!
      Have a good day!

  24. Montana is just beautiful, from Yellowstone to Glacier. Have missed our trips there! You are so lucky! Have a grand day and thank you for visiting.

  25. That was lovely. A sweet little may day walk...while I sit in my February house watching snow fall out my window.

  26. The middle of winter is a great time to look back at summer photos! All those lovely flowers blooming!
    Have a great day!

  27. Another beautiful post with beautiful pictures. Aren't wildflowers, native flowers beautiful. I have so many native plants and flowers in my garden. But, most people don't like native because they look wild! That wild look only gives them and nature and everything around such pleasure and beauty.

    I love water and its noise, and even its smell.

    Two questions for you: 1. If you didn't get out of the bed, then how did you get the coffee? 2. Do you remember all the dates of all the trekkings that you do? Otherwise, how could you realize about the anniversary you mentioned in the first week? (see, I read your blog thoroughly ;-)).

  28. Oh those videos took me back to the creek near my grandfather's cabin that my sister and I would visit as children...Spring will come soon I hope..Michelle