Day’s of Snow: 9 – Day’s of Rain: 43 – Days of Hail: 19
# of Zero days: 13
Gila Crossings Final Total: 221
Tick Count: 4 (4 more crawling on me)
Black Bear – SPOTTED
Beaver – SPOTTED
1) 618 Pronghorn*
2) 451 Elk*7
3) 409 Chipmunks *5
4) 203 Deer*2
5) 185 Squirrels *9
6) 155 Marmot*4
7) 120 Lizards*6
8) 116 Wild Horses
9) 77 Ground Squirrels*10
10) 71 Pika
11) 57 Cotton Tail Rabbits *8
12) 30 Prairie Dogs
13) 22 Horny Toads
14) 18 Jack Rabbit*3
15) 15 Moose
16) 10 Snakes
17) 7 Black Bears
18) 5 Coyotes
19) 5 Moles
20) 4 Porcupine
21) 3 Toads
22) 2 Mouse
23) 2 Fox
24) 2 Rattle Snakes
25) 1 Beaver
26) 1 Badger
27) 1 Skunk
28) 1 Weasel -Long Tail
*259 from car, *2 – 49 from car – 3 in town, *3 – 1 from car, *4 – 2 from car, *5 – 2 off trail, *6 – 1 off trail, *7 – 9 from car, *8 – 3 off trail *9 – 1 from car & 1- off trail , *10 – 6 off trail
I slept better last night. No stomach issues. It felt weird to be spending a third night in the same place. It’s only the third time all trip I’ve been in one place so long.
Lott and I got a hitch right a way. I believe it was the first car. They were two young guys that were in construction. They had the day off due to the 70 mph wind gusts. They dropped us off exactly where we needed to be.
The wind on the road was pretty bad. Luckily it was closer to four miles than the five we thought to St. Mary’s. We stopped at the store for a snack then it was off to the visitor center to see if the trails were open. If not we would have to walk to Many Glacier.
The trails were open but we still had to walk 12 miles or so on the Going to the Sun Road through the park. I watched the backcountry video and got my permit for Goat Haunt.
The road walk to Piegen Pass TH was very beautiful despite the recent fire. Seeing the roadside sign about Triple Divide Pass really made me wish we had hiked the southern part of the park. I’ll have to come back and do it some day.
With the rain last night the higher peaks all had a dusting of snow. It really made me glad I got there early in the season. The fires were one thing but to not finish due to snow would really suck.
The climb up to Piegen Pass was much easier than Guthook made it out to be. The only issue was the wind. It was unbelievable. It was hard to stay in the trail. The views on the way up and down were amazing. It made me wonder if Glacier was now the most beautiful place I’ve seen.
On the way down to Many Glacier I had to lead back into the wind and have my poles out in front of me our the wind would have blown me flat on my face. It was the worse wind of the trip.
It didn’t deter us from the views around us. The west side of the valley was a huge vertical wall that had a sawtooth ridge. At the base was a glacial blue lake. There even was a waterfall on the way down.
It was clear we were making good time and would not have to hike in the dark. We passed a huge hotel just before the road to Many Glacier CG. Once to the campground we just happen to find a ranger who informed us the store 200 yards away was open and served pizza. We bolted and had a large pizza. It was grand.
After pizza it was off to bed in the Hiker/Biker campsite. The wind was still howling it we lucked out finding two spots amount the trees.
All day it was in my mind I would no longer be hiking with Lott. It made me a little sad. I really enjoyed Lott and Bailey’s (Toast too) company over the past weeks.