Despite our longing to be out in the woods again this weekend (& the perfect camping spot that involved canoeing to already picked out) Bryce & I opted to stay in Missoula this weekend rather than go camping.
So Saturday morning w/ biked down to market w/ Bosco & walked around all morning enjoying the sights & smells of the River City Market as well as running into a few friends.
But as the temperatures warmed & the skies showed no signs of soaking us anytime soon, our desire to be out in the wild began to overtake us. So we packed up some snacks, filled out Camelbaks, & took off for a low lying trail a few miles outside of Missoula. Before we even made it to the trailhead we began seeing wildlife. A bald eagle, grouse, & even a herd of big horn sheep greeted us on our travels through Rock Creek.
The Welcome Creek trailhead is located 21 miles outside of Missoula in Rock Creek, MT. After exiting off the highway you drive another 10 or so miles down a half paved road to the trailhead.
The trail begins at a suspension bridge that takes you over the Rock Creek & into the forest.
After a short walk along the Rock Creek we crossed a log bridge over Welcome Creek & headed into a canyon forest full of Douglas fir, spruce, & old growth pines. The trail continued to follow Welcome Creek upstream along this same forest as well as many boulder fields.
At 2.5 miles into the trail our path crossed yet another log bridge over the creek. This was not only our turn around spot but a perfect place to relax & have our snack we packed along w/ us.
From here we turned around and headed back out of the canyon towards the car. We were only a mile or so from the car when I almost stepped on what I thought was a giant earthworm from South America & screamed (kind of like a little girl). Bryce grabbed my shoulders asking what I was freaking out about when I pointed out the "giant earthworm" in the middle of our path. You see, in all [almost] four years that I have lived in Montana I have never seen a snake. Not once. Snakes are a common sighting in the summer months back in Pennsylvania, but not so much in Montana. I guess I had talked myself into believing that such things did not exist in Montana (but apparently it was alright for my mind to think that the giant earthworms of South America did?!). Bryce (a Montana native) assured me snakes did indeed exist in Montana & even showed me that this rubber boa was pretty harmless. But PLEASE, follow the link I have posted, even if you just read the first paragraph you'll understand why I am not SO crazy for thinking this creature was a worm!
The rest of our return hike was very relaxing as we strolled through the forest. Upon returning to Missoula we were relieve to see we had not missed the foretold rapture & returned to find mayhem. After a bike ride & a five mile hike today will be a relaxing day for us (and especially Bosco, he's pooped!) Today's adventure: a blanket fort in Bryce's livingroom! (maybe some pictures to follow)