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Posts Tagged ‘Bowman Lake’

It started out as a piecemeal operation with a slew of texts. I was going on the PNT and thought I might be out alone for a bit. Then, I heard Karma was going, but slightly later. Then, Crosby decided that working was lame two and a half weeks before I wanted to leave. Then, ED got wind of this and put in her two weeks, booking a plane ticket for the 23rd. We started making a plan from there. When we weren’t leaving until later, Karma joined and booked a bus ticket for the 24th. After Crosby’s sisters wedding on the 26th, we would depart on the 27th.
Crosby and I picked up ED at the airport, then found The Darkness’s hide a key and started making dinner in her apartment. The next day, we meandered around Seattle until Karma’s bus got in. When it did, we grabbed him, went to REI, and caught the ferry over to my Mom’s house. Stumbling Norwegian and Honey Bee caught the same ferry to come over for dinner and let us pick their PNT brains since they had just hiked it in 2014.

After dinner and a bonfire, we had packed our brains full of pertinent information.

We had two more bonfires, helped Jane celebrate her birthday, went to Game of Thrones trivia, and left at 5:15am in Glen, my van. First stop was to pick up my Mom’s cousin Babs who was heading out with is to help my Mom get Glen back to her house.

Glen, the van.

All of us settled into the van, taking naps, listening to cassette tapes, Babs’ camp songs, eating, and taking to the road. Glenn drove pretty well and had plenty of space. He also had plenty of electric plug ins to continually charge phones which allowed me to finish keeping up with my blog.

Eventually we made it to Glacier where we took a out stop at the CDT at Marias Pass to say hi to the trail. East Glacier was only a ten minute drive away so we were at Serranos/Backpackers Inn quickly.

There we found Laugh Track, Anchor, Top Shelf, and Bard, some fresh CDT sobos. We chatted with them, got our packs together and went to bed for an early morning at the Two Medicine Ranger Station.

The bottom of our permit.

We dutifully got there before it opened and got the exact permits we wanted. However, our permit said “itinerary not recommended” on out due to snow fields and a “water hazard”‘and the ranger using the permit continually twisted that we were a month early.

Mom and Babs dropped us off at Chief Mountain Trailhead and we began hiking after the requisite pictures. The trail wound down toward a river snaking through lush fields of wildflowers.

We took several breaks to enjoy the river, some shade, or flowers until we reached a sign that said “waterfall.” Taking the short trail down, we found a beautiful waterfall emptying into a crystal clear blue swimming hole. We only hesitated long enough to take a picture before wading into its cold depths. It was definitely cold. Right as we got out, Laugh Track, Anchor, Bard, and Top Shelf walked up and we all realized we were set to camp at the same site that night.

Chilling with some CDT sobos.

When we finally moved on, we did reach the campsite in decent time and found Coyote. We set up tents and tarps, then headed down to eat. Coyote was also hiking the PNT and we had been told to keep an eye out for her from Stumbling Norwegian and Honey Bee.

The four CDT sobos came not long after and we all had a blast hanging out and sharing a few things.

Anchor: Man, you guys packed out and are sharing beer and whiskey and we didn’t think to bring anything out.

Karma: I remember my first hike…

In the morning, we got a decent start waking up, eating, and leaving before the CDTers even woke up. Coyote came with us and we began going up Stony Indian Pass. The trail was so well graded that out made for a good first big climb. We passed lakes, wildflowers, and were grateful for switchbacks. 

We took a nice long break on top of the pass examining the snow we were about to go through. There was some, but not a shit ton.

Almost instantly, we crossed snow and put on micro spikes. It was a bit of bushwhacking mixed with trail bits. Part way down, we had to cross a neat little snow patch on the corner of the lake.

The lake was so awesome, we took another long break before descending down to the valley bottom. 

The CDT monument visit #2.

We encountered pesky mosquitoes, flustered border patrol agents, and a few boost tourists at goat haunt looking at us in a peculiar fashion. Coyote stayed there that night while Karma, ED, Crosby and I went to visit the CDT northern terminus. It was an extra 6.2 miles, but it was worth it to see it again. We saw a boat there with scuba divers and we tried to scheme our way into a ride. It unfortunately didn’t pan out.

Crosby: How’s it going?

Boat dude: Great!

Karma: Find anything?

Boat dude: Some beer cans…

We walked back and all crammed into one campsite again at Waterton River. Coyote found us the next morning as she headed toward the monument and Canada. We headed off toward Brown Pass.

Right beforehand, however, we found the perfect spot. A glacial lake with a jumping rock hurting out with nothing underneath. We scanned around. We could see the bottom just fine with no ledges or oddly placed rocks. We saw two ways out back up the bank nearby. Jump!!!

Jump!

After quite a few jumps and brains seemingly turning into slushies, we hit the top of the pass in no time and took another side trip up to see Hole In The Wall. It was an extra two miles one way, but it too was worth it. The trail climbed at ghee pretext grade and we walked up to find a good spot to sit and admire the wall of waterfalls. We saw no one and could not count the number of waterfalls-there were too many to count.

On the way back down, we began seeing a few other people, two of which admired our umbrellas. We hit the campground by Bowman Lake, found a spot, and sat down to cook. We met some peyote from Boston and one from Mississippi who we later learned had hiked the AT, named Porch.

After an amazing star viewing night on the crystal clear lake, we trotted down toward Polebridge, Montana.

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