Saturday, June 22, 2024

East side report

Editor | May 22, 2024 9:20 AM

Went east of the divide about a week ago, so I feel like I should give some sort of report, even though the trip was largely uneventful. It was a Sunday and we didn’t even get going until 2:30 p.m., but the Looking Glass Highway was open so we went across to check out Will Hammerquist’s new store at Kiowa Junction.

It is a very nice place and looks completely familiar to anyone who has been to the Polebridge Mercantile, right down to the huckleberry bear claws.

(The ones we had were still warm and very good. We even met the baker by happenstance. Her name was Chris and she was from Michigan if memory serves me right. She was out walking her cat, which is not something you see in Kiowa Junction every day. I asked her if the cat enjoyed going on walks and she said yes, even asks to go. I can’t imagine putting a leash on our cat. She has a penchant for biting me through the skin if she can. Awful fast for a 13-year-old cat. But I digress…)

After the store visit we buzzed back to the Divide and did a favorite hike that can be either short, or fairly long, depending on where you decide to turn around. There was hardly any snow, which is concerning for stream health and just the general health of ecosystem. 

The day on the Divide was a gorgeous day, except for the wind. We did only a mile or so of the trail and then hiked up one of the many rolling hills. I saw a little lake I had forgotten about and while we saw some moose tracks we did not see any moose. The biggest thing we saw was a goose. I still haven’t seen a bear this year, by now I’ve usually at least run into a black bear.

But bears sightings can go in spurts. You’ll run into a family of them and then another one and it will seem like there’s a bear around every corner. 

I have seen fresh bear poop and bear tracks in Glacier, but no bears, yet, but we haven’t really done a long backcountry trip yet, or even a hike over 7 miles for that matter. 

The weather has been fairly miserable, however, the past few days, which is not that much fun to hike in, but as the saying goes in drought years, “We need the moisture, whether we like it or not.”

Looks like we could get even more this week, with snow at higher elevations on Thursday and possibly even lower terrain as well.

What would Memorial Day weekend be without a driving rain or the occasional snow shower?