No, no, no. Not that DAFT Punk! (although I do love that song...) Dad's Annual Fishing Trip Punks! Duh.
My Daddio- joined by my Uncle Skip, & their friends Dan, Mack & Steve - graced Montana with his presence yet again this year on his annual fly fishing trip. I was able to hang out w/ them a bit at their first cabin up Rock Creek on Friday night before they headed west for Idaho for the second leg of their trip.
Their last night in Montana was spent w/ me in Missoula! We of course had to venture to HuHot for dinner & Big Dipper for ice cream after.
I love you Daddio & although we're never quite sure when our paths will cross again, I can't wait til they do!
Another one bit the dust today. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do once I finish the Seeley-Swan Day Hikes book, but it's my last hiking book in the area. Suggestions? After today I've only got 5 hikes left in the book. I've also been working on this one for quite some time & will have to do something special to finish it off, although I don't see that happening this hiking season.
Anywho, this morning my friend Bret & I took off for Hemlock Lake in the Mission Mountains. It's a moderate hike of 6.4 miles round trip to a small alpine lake nestles in the mountains. The trail takes you through an intense lightning caused burn area from 2003 providing a spectacular view of the Swan Mountain Range on the opposite end of the valley.
It's most certainly turning fall quickly in Montana and we caught the forest during a beautiful transition.
There was even a little snow near the lake. New snow that appeared w/in the last week, not old snow still waiting to melt.
Crypt Lake is frequently voted the #1 hike in the Canadian Rockies and has been at the top of my list since discovering this hike nearly two years ago. I wasn't sure when life would allow me to finally take on this hike, but this past weekend everything was set into place & my friends Debbie, Lydia, Tylor & myself set off to towards Canada.
When I initially started planning this hike, I began planning with the same mindset that I do for most adventures - thinking that even if it's just me, myself & I, there is still plenty of fun to be had. It just so happened to work out that three of my friends were not only able, but more than willing to set off on this adventure w/ me. So after getting out of work Friday night, we all piled into Lydia's truck, hiking gear in tow & set off for our camp site, located in St. Mary's (east end of Going to the Sun Road), for the weekend. It was well after midnight when we rolled into camp that evening. No one was happier than Tylor, who was subject to five hours of three rambunctious single girls singing every word to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack & even a little Savage Garden at times.
Once camp was set up we all crawled into our respective bags and crashed hard. Big things were coming in the morning.
After a quick breakfast and an even quicker change of clothes we were off towards the Canadian border. The Chief Mountain border crossing opened at 9 & we had to catch the ferry at Waterton by 10:30, so we made sure to be at the front of the line to cross the border.
The boat was packed with over 100 people whose destination was the same - Crypt Lake. The ride was short, nearly 20 minutes, and we were off at the trailhead. In order not to get bottlenecked at the beginning of the trail, we set off towards the front of the pack & maintained a steady lead over everyone for much of the day.
Crypt Lake is a stunning alpine lake nestled in horseshoe-shaped cliffs high mountains. The hike is 10.8 miles round-trip and gains 2,300 ft in the process.
Along the way you pass numerous waterfalls.
It involves a ladder.
That leads to a natural, 80 ft tunnel.
That dumped us off on a cliff that requires the use of a cable to make it up to the last leg of the hike.
It's all worth it though when I finally laid eyes on the crystal clear waters of our destination.
Once there we threw off our pack and relaxed to some much deserved snacks.
Which eventually led to everyone in our party taking a swim in the frigid waters. The crowd was cheering us on, but when asked why we didn't scream when submerging, the only thing you can say is that Crypt Lake takes your breath away. Literally.
Before long we had to set our signs back on the landing at Waterton in order to have enough time to make the ferry back.
After a short ferry ride back into town, we moseyed up and down the few streets as tourists before heading back across the border to the good 'ole U S of A. For hot dogs over a camp fire of course.
This was by far one of the best hikes I have ever done. Between the people, the sights, & the minor challenges, I highly recommend anyone that gets the opportunity to do this, to do it!