JEWEL BASIN, MONTANA

Wednesday, September 3, 1997

Yesterday, Sue and I had planned to hit the trail into Jewel Basin for an overnight backpacking trip. Unfortunately for me, I got sick as a dog and had trouble standing, let alone hiking. But today I felt much better so we headed out for a nice day hike.

We started from the ranger station and planned to hike to Picnic Lakes, Black Lake and around Blackfoot Lake. I overestimated our ability and ambition.

It's a steep hike to the ridge. We had to stop many times to get our breath and drink water. Along the way we saw lots of chipmunks, wildflowers and huckleberries. We also got great views down into the drainage with the good weather on the way up.

We got to the ridgetop in 1.5 hours and then it was just a short side trip to Picnic Lakes. There we a bite to eat and looked at the snow that still remained from winter.

We continued on our way down to Black Lake where I fished a little for little trout. I didn't catch any. Although I had lots of hits, they probably had a hard time getting the hooks into their mouths.

After a short time of enjoying the scenery we decided to head back to the car. It was a good thing because as we were leaving, dark, ominous clouds rolled over the ridgetop. At the ridge we watched these wispy clouds race into the drainage. A front was moving in fast. On the way back down the rain started and never let up. We were both pretty wet when we got back to the car.

We continued our Montana trip at the Wild Rose Bed and Breakfast. Our hosts, Joseph and Brenda, greeted us warmly and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay with them.

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