Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Highline Trail to Haystack Butte Glacier National Park August 3, 2010

The Highline Trail starts just across the road from here.  A fellow road biking from Portland Oregon to New Jersey took this photo.  I thought I was being adventurous!  That pea soup affect was still taking place but I didn't care, at an elevation point of 2025 meters on the Continental Divide, I felt like I was on top of the world!
I will admit, along this portion of the trail, I held onto the garden hose which is secured to the mountain.  I could only see a few feet in any direction and it was the freakiest feeling.  I was feeling something.  It wasn't vertigo or fright or dizzy or scared!  Not sure what it was! 
Past that rocky section, it opened up and I could see further.  I still couldn't see mountains, even though I was on one, I couldn't see it.  There were a few other brave souls along the trail and we took turns taking photos of each other.
That is Haystack Butte, at least I could see it and made my way to the base of it.  That was about as far as it was safe to go without taking a chance of a bear encounter.  I stopped for a very late lunch with some other folks here.
After the late lunch, I worked my way up a portion of Haystack Butte.   It was easy to climb and was actually pretty up there.  It was very rocky and very green with lots of wild flowers.  This would be about as high as I got today, so placed a summit stone.  I hope whoever finds this stone, will feel joy!
There was lots of joy to be found today!  For those driving the Going-To-The-Sun-Road below me, the line up of cars wasn't all that bad.
The Highline Trail paralleles The Garden Wall and it lived up to its name with lots of pretty flowers.
Just in case, I did make lots of noise as I came to blind corners along the trail.  That didn't make any difference to this mountain goat, it was just going to continue on its merry way.  I wish it would have warned me so that I wouldn't have jumped when I came upon it.
Round trip for the hike to Haystack Butte was about 13km.  That added to the 8.5km along The Hidden Lake trail was enough for today.   I still had to drive back to St. Mary to get some groceries and then drive to the Swift Current Motor Inn where I was staying the night.  The construction delay at Siyeh Bend was longer on the return trip.  I also encountered two delays along the mile between the Many Glacier Hotel and the Swift Current Motor Inn, one was due to road paving and the other due to a mom grizzly and her two cubs crossing the road.  I was thankful to finally lay my head on the pillow for the night.  This was a packed full first day!

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