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Winter Wayfaring at -12 Degrees

It dropped to -22° last night, but with the crystal-clear blue sky this morning, the sun is warming up the landscape. At -12° and not a breath of wind, it’s time for a winter wayfaring experience near home. It is just so beautiful. The sparkling snow clings to everything it fell on over the last 24 hours. Be sure to dress warm though, it is still very cold outside and we don’t want any frostbite on fingers, toes, or nose. It is so nice to still have farmland within our city limits. Wintertime aspens, long piles of hay, and the Bridger Mountains that define our eastern edge, all covered in sparkling white.

Bridgers frame aspens

Wayfaring with me . . .

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Schwabacher Landing Beckons

Schwabacher Landing is an area along the Snake River that lets us wander through the Snake’s floodplain and along the braided meanderings of the river. This area can change dramatically depending on the time of year primarily due to the amount of precipitation and snow melt. Sagebrush dominates the view along the dirt road that leads us down to the Landing, but once there, the landscape is a wonder of plant and animal life, marshes and wetlands, all indicative of a rich floodplain. Best of all, it is autumn. Today we are walking below the Teton Range not long after sunrise on a sparkling blue-sky day (I have not modified that blue sky, in case you were wondering). The beauty just takes my breath away! Let’s explore.

Swabacher Landing

Continue exploring . . .

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Going-to-the-Sun Road–Western Travelogue

After our beautiful drive up the eastern side of Going-to-the-Sun Road, it is time to travel down the western side to Lake McDonald and West Glacier. We begin our journey at Logan Pass, mile 18.1 west of the East Entrance.

Mile 18.4–Oberlin Bend is a sharp turn that will begin our decent almost 3,500 feet to Lake McDonald near the West Entrance of Glacier National Park. Let’s park and walk up to the falls on Oberlin Creek. Well, the falls are just on the other side of the road, but as the clouds drop we can’t even see the falls. Everyone is leaving so let’s head to the car and wait to see if the clouds clear. Great! Five minutes and the clouds disappear. We now have the place to ourselves so let’s walk up and try for this picture again.

1-oberlin-creek-falls-5062

As we turn around . . . (click here)

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Going-to-the-Sun Road–Eastern Travelogue

After breakfast, with a great mountain view at St. Mary Lodge, it is time to head to Logan Pass for a short hike to Hidden Lake. It is 8am and looks a bit cloudy, but we’ll hope for the best as we drive just over 18 miles up Going-to-the-Sun Road from the eastern side of Glacier National Park. We’ll be climbing over 2,100 feet and the views will be gorgeous!

Mile 2.2–Singleshot Mountain rises above Two Dog Flats, where the prairie meets the mountains offering a rich and diverse ecosystem.

Two Dog Flats

Continue

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Early Spring at Trout Lake

Early spring in the Rocky Mountains is a roller coaster ride–nights below freezing then days in the 70’s followed by days in the 40’s. We start with a beautiful sunrise followed by rain, sleet, hail, then snow before we again watch the sun as it sets. A time when winter will not give up its grip but summer will not be denied. Snow is receding and green is winning the day, so let’s head to Trout Lake in the Northern Range of Yellowstone and search for signs that summer is on the way.

Trail to lake

Up to the lake we go . . .