Friday, September 10, 2010

Shoshone Lake

It was a very windy day last Sunday when we made our trip to what's called the largest backcountry lake in the United States. It's a three mile hike in from the road, and the Continental Divide Trail passes on the side opposite where I was. I really only got to see one cove, not the length of it, and hope to revisit it someday.

While in the bus, we had some close views of bison sauntering in the road, a coyote just beside the road, and several more distant views of sandhill cranes in meadows.

Here are a few lodgepole pine forest and trail views on the way to the lake. In places, the trail reminded me a bit of my old favorite Pinkerton Trail in the Porkies--some grassy areas, some planks over sometime wet areas.

You can see the many downed trees. The wind was swaying those still standing with frequent groans and creaks and snaps from the ones which were somewhere between vertical and horizontal. This is grizzly bear country, and we found a big pile of day old scat in the middle of the trail, but we were watching for falling trees as much as for bears.

At times, the trail ventured out of the woods for more open views.

And eventually out to the big water I've been missing here.

We headed back into the woods to get out of the wind to have lunch and listen to tales from our knowledgeable trip leader about bear reproduction and hibernation, and raven and wolf relationships. Later, on the return hike she identified pine marten scat and found a rodent tooth in it.

No major plans for this weekend, just some short local hikes on my own. I've got a growing list of bits and pieces and updates and news and links which I'll share with you sometime in the next couple days.

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