|Approaching Singleshot Mountain in Saint Mary Valley|
This site is as likely to take you to a mountain top in the Bob Marshall Wilderness as it is to a jazz concert held in an old mining camp.
Most Monday mornings I regale my Great Falls Tribune colleagues with stories of my weekend adventures. I hope this blog will share some of these stories with you.
The base of the adventures is Great Falls. The most likely destinations include Glacier National Park, the Rocky Mountain Front and Bob Marshall Wilderness, or one of cultural or social events in Great Falls or surrounding colorful (and historic) Montana small towns.
For example, last weekend I joined a Glacier (Park) Mountaineering Society climb of Singleshot Mountain above St. Mary's lake in the park. On this day I saw a black bear, several elk, and mountain sheep, as well as an Indian vision quest site beneath sacred Napi Peak. We reached the top before 2 p.m. on a route picked and led by Ralph Thornton of Choteau. There were 13 Montana climbers. The day was topped with a meal at the legendary Park Cafe, treating myself to a piece of the cafe's famous pie. The cafe is where climbers and hikers meet before their trips in the morning, and regather afterward to share their tales.
The following day I spent the afternoon in the Ryan Dam picnic area which was virtually empty. PPL, which runs the dam at the site of the Great Falls of the Missouri River, was allowing water to course full-blast over the falls. Afterward we headed for the River's Edge Trail parking area for that section of the trail between Ryan and Morony Dams. We were there to see the blooming ground cover, which included prickly pear cactus (not yet in bloom), fireweed (which was spectacular), and many other varieties of flowers which will send me to H. Wayne Phillips' wildflower book for guidance.
Come join me on Mondays for new posts --- or any time to check in.