Thursday, March 28, 2024

A sunrise, the birds, Glacier Two Med hike

Katie and me at Two Medicine Lake

Sawtooth Mountain in alpine glow at Freezout Lake

Walking through the Two Medicine entrance

Plowing the Scenic Point trailhead parking lot at Glacier

The camp store at Two Med Lake

We had a magical day beginning with a Rocky Mountain Front sunrise that lit up the mountains in alpine glow.

That was followed by a show of migrating snow geese, arctic and Tundra swans at Freezout Lake, and finally a snowy hike to Two Medicine Lake in Glacier Park.

The alpine glow along the Rocky Mountain Front is a regular event, but one that forgotten by many of us in urban Montana.  Yet, once experienced it is unforgettable.  It is out of sight and out of mind.

The annual late-March migration of the snow geese and swans is an amazing spectacle, also unforgettable, but when witnessed at Freezout Lake between Fairfield and Choteau, allows viewers to witness the sunrise on the Front.

It's a tremendous combination.

We were able to do this on our way to Glacier Park for a day of hiking (in the snow).

We're told there were 100,000 birds on Freezout on Wednesday, the day we went through.  It was our fourth trip to the lake to see an unusually high number of birds this year.  We also saw large numbers at Benton Lake just outside Great Falls.

At Glacier we brought our snowshoes, but didn't have to use them.

Plowing of the road to Two Med is underway, leaving an open road most of the way, and a road easy to navigate with our ice cleats.

The weather was unsettled, but that only made the scenery better.

Usually at this time of year the road is still snow covered and easy to ski.

But we didn't have that option because of the dry winter and reduced snowpack.

We were able to walk directly to the lake from where the road was blocked just before the Two Med park entrance.

Aside from Park snowplow work crews we saw only one other person, the Belly River Ranger, Matthew, who biked up the road on his fat-tire bike.

After the lake we did a side trip to Pray Lake.

The snowpack situation is scary for the summer ahead.  It is too late for much of a recovery.

We're expecting big fires this summer.



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