Last Friday, after a string of dreary, rainy days, we experienced spring at its finest in Montana! The weather was glorious! Sunny and in the low fifties, so I made a pot of lamb stew, packed it into a thermos, and out the front door we went.
We walked waayy up to the top of the rim of our draw. It is just over a mile, but it is seriously steep the entire way, and we were casually hunting for sheds, so it took two hours. Hunting sheds is a popular early spring activity in NW Montana. I am referring to the antlers that deer and elk shed in early winter. Often they are obscured by the snow until springtime, so the hunting starts as soon as the snow melts.
We did not see any antlers, but we saw bones in several locations. Now that our eyes are attuned, we see bones every time we walk in the woods.
Not to show pictures of poop, but this is one for the locals. This scat is huge! Twice the normal size for an elk. We heard a bull elk bugling last fall, and later, John accidentally jumped it. That big elk must have made it through hunting season! (In case you are wondering, I did not “stage” this photo. The limbs were already wrapped like that.)
Belle is so funny- there are only patches of snow on the ground, but every time we stopped, she’d plop down in a snowy spot. This dog LOVES snow!
The views at the top were worth the steep climb.
Can you see the snowy peaks on the far right, partially obscured by clouds? That’s Glacier National Park! And if you look to the far left, you can see the ski runs at Big Mountain.
We reached the top at about 6:00. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy dinner and look around. (It is light here until after 8:00!) The rim is 4700 feet above sea level, and our property sits at 4100 feet. Two hours to climb up, forty minutes to travel back to our pastures. We returned in time to take care of the goats and the birds before dark.
Our first hike without snowshoes is a sure sign that spring is coming!