After a week in and around my place, I was starting to feel cooped up, which is a sure signal to make a journey of the day and venture into the woods. So, I packed a daypack and booked it to the Granite Creek trailhead. There’s Nika ahead of me, all ready to go.
For the first time, Nika wore her doggy-pack, the Ruffwear Approach. There was some initial hesitation, but soon, she almost seemed excited by this cool new thing and pranced around with it on, like a bona-fide trail dog. Here she is again striking a characteristic trail pose.
Wildflower season is in full effect, and I felt like it would have been an insult to not admire them, so admire them I did, as well as ID ones I wasn’t familiar with. The top is a woods Rose (which I knew), the bottom a Mariposa Lilly (which I didn’t).
Here is an Aster among Arnica. Arnica, btw, have very tasty stalks if you peel them back, and they are also said to have many curative properties.
Before long the trail enters the Great Bear Wilderness, which was created in 1978 to provide a wildlife corridor between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
The wilderness seems to be doing its job quiet well, because right after entering it, I saw my first fresh bear sign of the season…a big ol’ pile of poopy. Also, some tracks and torn up stumps.
Seeing such sign certainly does elevate the senses. It actually feels good. I found myself almost wanting to see a griz towering over the underbrush. But I didn’t see one and strolled along affably, occasionally letting out a “hey oh,” in the same assertive tone I might use in front of 20 seniors who’ve all decided they’ve got somewhere better to be.
Anyway, beautiful rock formations in this canyon. Granite maybe..?
Six miles down the trail I reached Granite Creek’s confluence with the Middle Fork of the Flathead. Definitely some future camping spots down here.
I turned around at the Flathead, because I wanted to get back before dark. I had a steak to attend to, and I wanted to get in a game of pool at the local bar in East Glacier. It was Friday night afterall. So, I double timed it, and in my haste, accidently interrupted what looked like a courtship between two grouse. But the male grouse was a funny bird and hopped onto a branch in plain view, from which, he tufted himself up and strutted around like a model on display.
I told the grouse incident to my girlfriend and she said, “you found a kindred spirit.” And maybe, that is why we took so well to eachother. I thanked him for his kindness, made it to the trail head, and went along my way, but not before catching this selfie in my truck window, tufted up and feeling much finer after a lovely afternoon.