[cdt-l] Off the Rez Again --

Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 6 22:08:50 CDT 2007

The Blackfeet reservation, that is – in East Glacier Park, MT.

After leaving Dubois, WY, we went to Grand Teton NP.  The magnificent peaks 
were shrouded with smoke from three nearby fires, but it was still 
beautiful.  We thought there’d still be a lot of snow in the high country, 
so we intended to get in a couple dayhikes, take some photos and then leave. 
  But we were surprised to find that the Teton Crest Trail was at least 
partially open.  A few places would require ice axe use, and we weren’t 
carrying one, but we could do a 40 mile loop with little or no snow and 
avoid the difficult passes.

We hiked the loop up Cascade Canyon, across the divide into the Alaska Basin 
and then across the Death Canyon Shelf to Death Canyon.  It was beautiful 
country, with steep rocky canyons, white streaked peaks, and meadows full of 
wildflowers of all sorts.  While we were on the Bench we saw a brown bear 
across the canyon – much too far for good photos, but close enough to see 
that it definitely wasn’t a black bear.  For the rest of the hike down Death 
Canyon and back to the truck past three beautiful aquamarine lakes, we saw 
moose, elk, deer, a lot of fearless marmots and a gaggle of people.

After a shower, a good night’s sleep, and some food (and ice cream), we 
headed north through Yellowstone NP.  This was at least our fourth trip 
through the Park so this time we took some roads we hadn’t taken before.

For Skeeter – the Park is just as much a zoo as it was when we were there 
several years ago.

But there was also a LOT of wildlife – elk, deer, bald eagles, a coyote 
running along the road, a weasel that crossed the road in front of the 
truck, and several hundred bison.

Then for two days we drove north and prepared for the next stage of the 
journey – Canada. It takes a little time to prep for a 5 or 6 week hike.

Yesterday we drove north from Augusta, and got groceries in Browning.  When 
we went into the store, the sky was clear – an hour or so later we left 
Browning and got photos of the massive smoke cloud over the Bob Marshall.  
In less than 5 hours, the Fool Creek wildfire exploded from 50 acres to 2000 
acres.  The fire is close to, if not right on, the CDT in the north Sun 
River drainage near Sun River Pass.  The Forest Service is rerouting hikers, 
campers and fishermen through the area.

Then we got to East Glacier – and found Merlin and Hawkeye in town.  Seems 
Sly is about 4 days ahead of Hawkeye and nobody has seen Dan and Gail yet.  
We had dinner with Hawkeye and Merlin – and then found Daybreak on the front 
porch of Serranos.  We had breakfast with the 3 of them this morning.  And 
then on the road out of town we found another southbound CDT hiker, Nick, 
hitching north – so we took him to St Mary’s.

Once  again, our thanks to Mark Howser for his support.  He continues to 
make East Glacier a good place for us.  The huckleberry shakes at the Two 
Medicine Grille are still the best on the CDT.  <g>

Today we’re in Canada taking care of some preliminaries before starting the 
Great Divide Trail next Wed.  Once we start the GDT, we may or may not have 
email access for the next 5 or 6 weeks.  We’ll try to put out a final update 
after we get back to the States and before next Wed.



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