Heading into the Yaak

Flathead Valley Bridge Club
Flathead Valley Bridge Club

We’re still up in the north end Flathead Valley. Rain again after a couple of partly cloudy days. Our Mexican tans are fading but our leisure time activities continue. This week we played Bridge twice and took a couple more hikes. Today, while Burt lends a hand helping build a place with his daughter’s boyfriend, I did the taxes. Better late than never. Actually, we had a perfectly legal extension. I could do them on time from Mexico because all the information I seek is on-line somewhere but I prefer waiting until I have paper in hand and the mail doesn’t reach Mexico. Usually. This year Sue brought it down in May but today was the first suitably rainy day with Burt out of the house. As usual I did my best to get them right but being self-employed makes for some bewildering tax questions.

This week’s hike idea came courtesy of Jen. Jen formerly guided backpacking trips in Glacier National Park but since the park forbids canine companions we have to hike on the perimeter. Stanton Lake is just across Hwy 2 from the boundary and located in the Great Bear Wilderness area. Jen had never done it but heard it was a great walk for dogs with nice views. As usual we birded for a portion of the walk, ate snacks, and broke up a dog fight. Okay, the dog fight was not usual. Olive is a bit of a tyrant around smaller dogs on leashes. Normally we do not see many dogs smaller than Olive hiking in the wilderness on a leash. A couple of days ago Olive tried to kill a very small and insecure Chihuahua type dog. It wasn’t remotely funny. What an Ass-hat she can be. The other dog parents were very understanding and had hardly an evil word for us or Olive. Despite the nastiness and length of the altercation there was no sign of visible injuries to the kitten sized dog. Olive was leashed from that moment onward.

The hike culminates at the head of Stanton Like about 2 miles from the trailhead. You can see Great Northern Mountain to the south and a few peaks in Glacier National Park to the north. On the lake we spotted a pair of looms and a lone baby loon. Loons are not prolific reproducers. They lay one or three eggs a year so this was a happy spot. I also found a lovely white crab spider eating a fly. AT the head of the lake the brush along the trail became menacingly high and thick. You wouldn’t see bear in here until it was gnawing on your leg. Also not funny, last week a guy crashed into a bear near here on his mountain bike and was summarily dispatched by the bear. Species unknown. So the idea of crashing into a bear does not appeal. We took the heavy brush as a cue to turn back towards the car.

Dear reader Pat and friends and clients Bonnie and Rolf and Howard and Carol spent a week hiking here last year and almost every day was filled with view impairing and lung clogging smoke. At least the rain is preventing that this year.

Next up we’re heading into the Yaak. Notorious and remote the Yaak harbors weirdness and possibly Bigfoot. Transmission might be delayed. Late next week we’ll be back in Helena for doctor’s appointments and gigs.

Crab Spider
Crab Spider
Great Northern Mountain
Great Northern Mountain and the bear hiding vegetation.
Five bees.
Five bees. Well four.
Stanton Lake looking north towards Glacier National Park.
Stanton Lake looking north towards Glacier National Park.

5 thoughts on “Heading into the Yaak”

  1. beautiful! [funny spelling when your fingers are on the wrong keys!]

    Olive is all bark and no bite! I KNEW that.

  2. just saw this description of me, ha ha ha
    yes Stanton Lake is just beautiful. St. Mary Lake shorter hikes and access were closed but the lake was beautiful. We ended up at Many Glaciers area as that was clearer and open everywhere.

  3. Melissa, I’ve lost your email. I was hoping you are in Helena. Come see us at On Broadway on Wednesday the 27th.

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