Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout

Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout
Showing posts with label Hiking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hiking. Show all posts

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Glacier Day Seven: Hiking to Gunsight Lake and Florence Falls

Our trip to Glacier was definitely winding down, but we still had to great adventures. Thankfully, the best was saved for last although not intentionally. The next to last day was pretty good also. 

When we had first started planning this trip, my good friend Roger told me about an epic day hike he had done in Glacier National Park. The Gunsight Pass Trail is around 20 miles from end to end and connects the east and west side of the park. That sounded like a worthwhile goal to aim for while we were there, but then COVID hit. With the shuttle system shut down, we needed to stick to the same or at least close trailheads. Thus, we chose to do Sperry Glacier which followed part of that original route from the west end. Late in our trip, we decided to head up to Gunsight Lake to do part of the other end. Sometime, eventually, we want to do the rest of this hike. I have some fishing I want to do right about in the middle.

The early start routine got us to the trailhead at a good time, but then I needed to take a pitstop. We headed down the hill to find a convenient place for my much needed "break," then quickly drove back up. Thankfully, there were still a few parking spots even with the detour. We were in luck. The plan was to hike out to Gunsight Lake, take a quick detour to Florence Falls, and back. The trail elevation profile looked manageable, and if we did everything, would be over 14 miles for the day. In other words, we had a good solid day of hiking ahead of us. At 14 miles, I figured there might be some time to fish. My Tenkara rod was stashed in my pack along with camera and a couple of lenses. Lunches were packed as well as water and a filter.

Starting Our Hike to Gunsight Lake

Even with the extra events and longer drive, we were still hiking well before 8:00 am. Soon, our pace slowed down significantly. Wildflowers were blooming everywhere. I wanted to document as many as possible although I wasn't taking the time to try and identify them on the spot for the most part. Cellphone pictures sufficed since we were still trying to move along at least a little. 

Streambank Globemallow on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Streambank Globemallow ©2020 David Knapp

Cow Parsnip on Gunsight Pass Trail
Cow Parsnip ©2020 David Knapp

Thimbleberry flowers on Gunsight Pass Trail
Thimbleberry ©2020 David Knapp


Down at the lowest elevation of the trail, we had to cross Reynolds Creek. Shortly before the crossing, Deadwood Falls provided our first real stop. We hadn't made it very far, but the scene was beautiful. Both my wife and myself wanted to document things with our "good" cameras instead of just cellphone pictures. 

Deadwood Falls on Gunsight Pass Trail
Deadwood Falls ©2020 David Knapp

Selfie at Deadwood Falls
Yep, we were there! ©2020 David Knapp

Deadwood Falls Panorama on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Cellphone Panorama of Deadwood Falls ©2020 David Knapp

Closer look at Deadwood Falls
Closeup of the falls ©2020 David Knapp

Finally, after a little water to drink and more pictures than necessary, we hit the trail again. Shortly after the falls, we crossed Reynolds Creek itself. This was a really nice suspension style swinging bridge that was super stable. It was one of the nicest bridges like this I've been on in fact. 

Reynolds Creek Bridge on Gunsight Pass Trail
The Bridge ©2020 David Knapp

Crossing Reynolds Creek on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Crossing Over ©2020 David Knapp

In the early morning sunlight, we found some other interesting details. Often, the details are what makes things interesting. When light is added, you get magic. Unless you have arachnophobia that is...

Spider Web on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Spider web on Gunsight Pass Trail ©2020 David Knapp

Scenery on the Gunsight Pass Trail

After crossing the creek, the trail wound through the woods but started trending slowly uphill. The keyword here is slowly. This trail is a long slow climb for the first few miles. In fact, you barely even notice that you are climbing. It really isn't much work. Occasional meadow views give glimpses of the high country ahead. The trail parallels the Saint Mary River. One particularly stunning view is at Mirror Pond, but great views become more and more prevalent as you trek ever higher. 

Mountain views on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Mountain and Meadow Views ©2020 David Knapp

Gunsight Mountain and Mount Jackson
Reflection of Gunsight Mountain and Mount Jackson ©2020 David Knapp

By this point in the hike, a theme began to develop. We weren't spending very long on breaks because the mosquitoes and biting flies found us. Up until this point on our trip, the bugs had been present but generally manageable and bearable. This hike would seriously put us to the test, however.

Florence Falls Trail

Not too much farther up the valley, we came to a trail junction by a small bridge over a creek. The trail sign said Florence Falls. After a quick discussion, we agreed it made sense to run up there quickly. It really wasn't too far out of the way, but the thick growth almost made us turn back. This was an extremely lush area, and we were talking loudly and making plenty of noise. Thankfully, no bears surprised us nor we them, and we soon found ourselves enjoying a beautiful waterfall. 

Thick growth on the trail to Florence Falls
A brushy section of trail! ©2020 David Knapp


Florence Falls was larger than I expected and difficult to photograph completely from the rather close overlook. Finally, I resorted to taking a series of pictures that could later be stitched together in Photoshop. I think it turned out well!

Florence Falls Overlook
Florence Falls ©2020 David Knap


Back on the Gunsight Pass Trail to Gunsight Lake

We soon headed back down the trail and continued towards our main goal, Gunsight Lake. The trail began ascending through increasingly open terrain. Fire had burned much of the forest through this hike and the warm summer sun had us wishing for shade. We both had hats on by this point to protect our heads a little.  The views were getting better and better. This trip was just whetting our appetite for more Glacier National Park trips sometime in the future. Seriously, this was some of the best hiking I've ever enjoyed. The scenery and wildflowers were spectacular. I could have spent a lot more time on just the wildflowers, but at some point you have to keep walking. 

Red berries and Mount Jackson
Red Berries, Fireweed and Mount Jackson ©2020 David Knapp

Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail
Hiking the Gunsight Pass Trail ©2020 David Knapp

Fireweed and Mount Jackson
Fireweed ©2020 David Knapp

Larkspur on Gunsight Pass Trail
Larkspur, but which one? ©2020 David Knapp

The trail really began to climb, finally. We were making good headway towards the lake but this last ascent up to Gunsight Lake was narrow. The terrain was steep and brush both above and below. In other words, this was yet another good area to keep up the noise and let the bears know you were around. Finally, things began to open up and level off and we figured the lake was just over the next rise. That was more or less accurate. 
Taking Pictures on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Enjoying the Views ©2020 David Knapp

Wildflowers were all around, but at this point I was beginning to have a problem that kept me from going too crazy with the camera. Bugs. You see, the bugs were about as bad as anything on our trip. Okay, they actually were the worst of our whole trip, easily. The original plan was to enjoy our lunch on the shores of Gunsight Lake before adventuring around a little more, taking some pictures, and otherwise enjoying our time in this beautiful place. Unfortunately, the biting flies in particular as well as mosquitoes had other plans for us. We decided to basically look at the lake and turn around. I only shot a handful of pictures of this gorgeous scene. This is definitely one we'll be back to. I might actually take a bug head net with me though. 

Gunsight Lake Outlet Stream
Gunsight Lake Outlet ©2020 David Knapp


Gunsight Lake
Cellphone Picture of Gunsight Lake Outlet ©2020 David Knapp

On the last short approach to the lake, there had been some flowers that I found interesting. Clintonia uniflora or bride's bonnet was a new one for me, but I recognized it as Clintonia. We have Clintonia borealis here in the Smokies and the similarities were strong. 

Clintonia uniflora or bride's bonnet near Gunsight Lake

Heading Back to the Trailhead

After a quick picture, we hit the downhill trail hard. I was getting really hungry, but neither of us wanted to sit down long enough to eat our sandwiches in this fly infested environment. On the way back down the steep section, we met a pair of backpackers. It appeared to be a boy and his grandmother. The boy innocently asked if the bugs were bad at the campsite. I honestly replied that I didn't know because we hadn't gone there. However, I hate to think of how miserable it was at that campsite because it was close enough to the lake that it almost had to be bad. I would have been spending the afternoon, evening, night, and early morning all in my tent or kept on hiking. Seriously, it was some of the worst bugs I've ever experienced. Ah the price we pay for outdoor adventures.

Finally, well back down the trail, we stopped just long enough for a quick lunch. Huckleberries were blooming alongside the small stream we stopped at. I ate more than I probably should have and washed it down with freshly filtered cold water. It was one of the most satisfying lunches I've ever enjoyed. 

We continued on down the trail, looking forward to finishing yet another great hike. However, there were still a couple of highlights to enjoy. The birds had been fairly quiet on our way in that morning. Now, in the warmth of the afternoon, we saw and heard quite a few. I even got a picture of one that I had been trying to photograph for several days of our trip. The western tanager was an extremely beautiful bird. Unfortunately, the closest I ever got wasn't close enough, even with my nice zoom lens. This is the best I got. 

Western Tanager on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Western Tanager ©2020 David Knapp

Gray Jay on the Gunsight Pass Trail
Canada Jay ©2020 David Knapp

After the tanager, I decided to just carry my big camera and zoom lens. The best opportunity on the tanager had been missed because I wasn't ready. While I was glad for my consolation prize of a picture, I intended to be ready when the next moment struck. That is how I happened to be ready when this Canada jay happened by in a family group. This was the best of the few pictures I snapped before they were moving on. We were almost back at the car at this point, and the sun was still high in the sky. I started to relax a little, knowing we wouldn't be pushing daylight to get back. Looking around, I noticed a western red cedar. Again, the details were what intrigued me...

Western Red Cedar along the Gunsight Pass Trail
Western Red Cedar ©2020 David Knapp

Other Stories from Glacier National Park You May Be Interested In



Sunday, February 07, 2021

Glacier Day Five: Hiking to Sperry Glacier Part Two

After we had a nice lunch break on our Sperry Glacier hike, it was time to hit the trail again. We still needed to climb a bit higher to get to Comeau Pass and Sperry Glacier beyond. The daylight would get away from us if we didn't keep moving. Not only did we need to still reach the glacier, we also had a long return hike ahead of us. 

As we were wrapping up lunch, I noticed a large clump of flowers overlooking Akaiyan Lake. Since I had my pack open already for lunch, it was easy to grab my camera and take a picture. As with many of the other flowers I encountered in Glacier National Park, I'm still having a hard time with identification. That said, I believe this one is rocky ledge penstemon. If anyone has any better identification, please let me know!


Rocky Ledge Penstemon above Lake Akaiyan

The next wildflower was one I recognized without the need for an identification guide. Spring beauty is a wildflower we have here in Tennessee. In fact, I even have them in my yard. They are one of the earliest wildflowers in the spring around here, so I was surprised to find them still blooming at the end of July here in Glacier National Park. Of course, with the huge snow fields everywhere and a large glacier lurking just over the pass, the wildflowers probably still thought it was early spring. 

Spring beauty along the Sperry Lake trail above Akaiyan Lake

Shortly above our lunch stop, the trail reached yet another bench that followed the headwall above Akaiyan Lake towards the base of Gunsight Mountain. At the far end of the bench, the trail turned and started a series of switchbacks up to Comeau Pass. We were getting close. 

At this point, both of us had our cameras out. The scenery was the same that we had enjoyed during lunch, but the perspective was constantly shifting as we moved along. Our cameras were kept busy with the occasional wildlife as well. We both enjoy the marmots, ground squirrels, and other critters. My wife stalked a marmot while I found a willing golden mantled grand squirrel. 

Photographing a marmot along the Sperry Lake trail

Golden mantled ground squirrel along the Sperry Lake trail near Sperry Glacier

Oh, and we didn't forget to photograph the views either. 

Headwall above Akaiyan Lake on Sperry Lake trail

Akaiyan Lake view on Sperry Lake trail near Sperry Glacier


Speaking of wildlife, if you haven't read about the mountain goat, go back and do so now. This was one of the hiking highlights of Glacier National Park for both of us but especially for my wife. Here is a teaser picture of the goat along with the story. 

The Goat on the Trail to Sperry Glacier


Sperry Lake trail to Sperry Glacier Mountain goat

After the mountain goat encounter, we were excited for the final push up to Comeau Pass and Sperry Glacier beyond. The trail finally turned and made a beeline to a gash in the final headwall below the pass. This passage has been vastly improved by the park service with some stairs cut into the rock to make climbing easier. It is a little sketchy, but overall not a bad final climb to breathtaking Comeau Pass. When we got to the top, the views were incredible. The Sperry Glacier was lurking out of sight, however. With a bit of research, I found this interesting comparison of what it looked like back in the 1930s with today. Unfortunately, Sperry Glacier has retreated a LOT since then. 

Here is the view towards Sperry Glacier from Comeau Pass. Note the mountain goat in the lower left side of the first picture. This mountain goat came up the stairs just after we did and continued on across the landscape. The bulk of Gunsight Mountain is just out of view to the right. 

Looking towards Sperry Glacier from Comeau Pass

This second view from Comeau Pass is looking generally west towards Edwards Mountain. There were still huge snowfields, probably semi-permanent. You can see the rugged layers in the rock that makes up Edwards Mountain. The geology here in Glacier National Park was incredible.

Edwards Mountain from Comeau Pass

After gaining the pass and pausing for a few pictures, we pushed on towards Sperry Glacier itself. This was our main objective after all. The trail crossed rocks and many large snowfields. We had to be a bit careful on some of the snow bridges. Streams were running underneath and we didn't want to have one collapse and dump us into the icy water. All of this water was rushing downhill towards Avalanche Lake for the most part. 

Finally, after what seemed much farther than we anticipated, Sperry Glacier finally came into view. We simply stood still and took it all in before remembering to snap a few pictures as well. We felt incredibly fortunate to be able to experience this place while a glacier is still present. At the rate things are going, this opportunity won't last long so see it soon while you can.

Sperry Glacier

My wife in front of Sperry Glacier

Sperry Glacier Panorama

We were getting low on water at this point and decided to filter some water from the glacial runoff before heading too far back towards Comeau Pass and the trail downhill. As we were heading that general direction, we had a couple more awesome wildlife encounters. The first happened as I came over a jumbled pile of boulders and stepped down. Out on the white snow, something moved. I quickly froze and realized I had almost run over a ptarmigan. Since I love birds, this was a big treat. I'm not a hard core birder, but I do enjoy seeing new to me species. This was one that I hadn't found when I lived in Colorado or on any other trips out west. I quickly switched out lenses on my camera and thankfully the bird didn't run off too fast. Here are a couple of pictures. 

Ptarmigan near Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan near Sperry Glacier

The second encounter was better for my wife. We saw a good sized group of mountain goats resting on the snowfields below Gunsight Mountain. My wife decided to move in for a closer look and better pictures. I'll share her post so you can see her pictures if and when she gets around to it, but the neat thing about this group is that it had a big billy goat. When I say big, he made all the other goats look small.

After these two wildlife encounters, we decided it was time to make haste. According to my wife's watch, we were over 10 miles for the day and still had nearly that to get back to the car. Our extra wandering around to see things was adding up to a big day.

On the trail down, we got serious about walking. Both of us put our cameras up and got our trekking poles back out. The trekking poles are really useful for when you have big elevation changes up or down. On the downhill, they really take a lot of the pressure off of your knees. This was what I had brought them for. I can do uphill although on this day I had struggled a bit with the heavy cardio. The downhill usually gets my knees aching, though, and we had a lot of trip left. I didn't want to get gimpy now!

Back down the trail a ways, we ran into some more mountain goats. These things are everywhere but it takes at least some luck to cross paths with them. These were pawing and eating at the trail itself. Apparently, the goats like to eat the minerals and salts from where people urinate. Yep, the goats eat pee or at least the remnants of it. This is a really good reason to do your business on durable surfaces. There were huge gaping holes in the trail where the goats had pawed and otherwise dug into the trail to get at the minerals. Regardless of why they were there, the goats did offer some good photo opportunities and we dug our cameras back out. 





After this, the wildflowers were distracting, but I was getting tired enough that I didn't bother to photograph any until we stopped for water. At that point, there was a clump of some of my favorites, the purple monkey flowers. I snapped a picture, filtered water, and then we kept trucking on down the long trail back.

Purple monkey flowers along the Sperry Lake trail

From that break on, we really made haste. The miles flew by on increasingly tired feet. We were both starting to look forward to the end of the hike, something that doesn't happen too often. Thankfully, nature had one more surprise to perk us up. We were on the steep downhill section just above Lake McDonald. As we came around one switchback, we noticed a deer. Seriously, normally we wouldn't be too excited about deer, but we hadn't been seeing tons of larger wildlife on this trip. This was another photo opportunity that couldn't be missed. This curious buck was not worried about us in the least.

After this picture, we quickly finished our hike and were back to the car ready to go back to camp and rest. According to my wife's watch, including our small side trips for different things, we had put in a little over 20 miles. This was a new record for each of us. We have been close but never broke 20 miles in the Smokies. We were tired but also very satisfied from a day well spent in the most glorious surroundings. 

In many ways, day five was the pinnacle of our trip to Glacier National Park. This was our longest hike for the trip and also one of my favorites. The only hike that came close was our last day in Glacier, but I'll save that for another day. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Glacier Day Five: Hiking to Sperry Glacier Part One

The adventure for day five had started months earlier. When planning our trip to Glacier National Park, I had planned on doing several hikes. A large portion of these hikes were impossible due to the closure of the Many Glacier area of the Park. Thus having jettisoned many of our plans, we had been developing a game plan as we went. So far, we had already experienced several amazing hikes in Glacier National Park, but we were ready for more than the usual short popular routes like Avalanche Lake or Hidden Lake. Our longest day at this point was almost ten miles but our legs were feeling fresh and we were ready to go. It was time to get back to some of my original plans.

Sperry Glacier is one of the more accessible glaciers in Glacier National Park, provided of course that you are willing to walk the nearly ten miles up there to see it. With everything going on because of COVID, I did not even look into any of the backcountry chalets in the Park. If I ever have it to do again, however, I would definitely explore the possibility of spending a night or two at the Sperry Chalet. This enables you to more comfortably explore the Sperry Glacier vicinity and also maybe take a walk over the pass to Lake Ellen Wilson which is rumored to harbor some very nice brook trout. 

The Big Hike

On our trip, we were looking at doing the nearly twenty mile hike as a day trip. Thus, it was time for another early start. We got going even earlier than any other day and were well up the trail by the time the sun started breaking over the ridges. Walking the Gunsight Pass trail uphill from Lake McDonald, we started out on the same route that had taken us to Snyder Lake just a few days before. As on the hike to Snyder Lake, we pushed hard through the first miles. The steep section just above Lake McDonald flew by and we were soon on new to us trail. 

The Gunsight Pass trail generally follows Sprague Creek starting just a little beyond the Snyder Creek crossing. In the early morning air, sound travelled well and we usually heard other hikers ahead before actually spotting them. Sprague Creek was down in a little canyon to our right as we hiked. The surrounding landscape opened up more and more. The landscape throughout this portion of the hike was affected by the Sprague Fire, meaning if you hike during the midday hours, be prepared for lots of sun exposure. I was starting to get a little winded by the time we approached Beaver Medicine Falls, but my wife was just starting to get warmed up. Interestingly, on this day, she was easily the stronger hiker and I struggled a little. Some days you have it while other days you don't. On this day, I had to push harder than I normally do during a hike.

Hiking to Sperry Chalet, Almost

The trail was fairly congested with hikers heading up to Sperry Chalet. Thus, resting always brought the awkward problem of potentially being passed by hikers that you knew you would fly by again shortly. Our rest breaks were accordingly very short, just enough time to swig some water in fact. I would catch my breath while my lovely wife waited on me, and then away we would go again. Just above Beaver Medicine Falls, the trail begins to switchback on the final push up to the junction of the Gunsight Pass and Sperry Lake trails. The trail never gets close enough to Beaver Medicine Falls for good pictures, but I was enjoying the wildflowers that were growing in ever greater numbers the higher we went. They gave me an excuse to slow down albeit briefly. I was sticking with cellphone pictures at this point. We had a long enough day that I didn't want to get slowed down with my big camera quite yet.

I was having a difficult time not only with the hike, but also identifying flowers. Some of these I'm still trying to figure out. Both of the flowers in the two shots below are in the penstemon family but beyond that I'm not certain. If you have any ideas I would like to hear about them!






We began to spot a famous Glacier National Park wildflower as well. Bear-grass is a spectacularly beautiful wildflower that can be abundant in parts of Glacier. Because this flower does not bloom every year, it can be hit or miss to find even if the overall distribution is fairly widespread. We noticed a few blooming, but most were not particularly close to the trail. As we ascended into the subalpine and then alpine habitats, we were increasingly careful to try and stick to the trail as far as possible. These are fragile environments, and I strongly recommend sticking to trails in this type of terrain to limit the impact on these beautiful places. Eventually, we did find a few blooming close enough to the trail that I was able to get some shots without trampling everywhere. 

Bear grass blooming on the trail to Sperry Glacier

Sperry Lake Trail Through Glacier Basin

Thankfully, we would see this one again on future hikes, so there were more opportunities for pictures. After snapping just a few, we were again on the move. The sun was still behind the great bulk of Gunsight Mountain to our east and northeast as we ascended through Glacier Basin. The shade was a welcome reprieve from what we knew would be intense sun later in the day. It also left us with some interesting lighting as the rich morning light reflected through the valley below.

Glacier Basin viewed from the Sperry Lake Trail

Morning light in Glacier Basin hiking on the Sperry Lake Trail


We were soon winding up towards a rushing torrent that had a small metal footbridge to help us cross. Feather Woman Falls just above the creek crossing provided beautiful views as we hiked this section.

Looking up towards Feather Woman Falls

Metal Bridge over Sprague Creek below Feather Woman Falls

Selfie below Feather Woman Falls on the Sperry Lake Trail to Sperry Glacier


Just beyond this stream crossing, we began to encounter more and more wildflowers. One of my absolute favorites from this whole trip was the yellow Columbine. Here we began to find these flowers in good numbers. I took a picture or two on my cellphone and then finally caved in. My "good" camera had been riding securely in my backpack all morning. I knew if I didn't take it out now, then I probably wouldn't. If I was going to carry all that weight up the mountain and back down, then I was going to use the camera. The first picture is from a cellphone, while the others are from the good camera. This first one was particularly amazing because of the color variation it exhibited. The others were more standard yellow as one would expect. 

Incredibly colorful yellow columbine


Yellow Columbine in Glacier Basin on the trail to Sperry Glacier

Yellow Columbine closeup along the trail to Sperry Glacier

As the trail wound around the headwall of Glacier Basin, it soon emerged into the morning sunlight along the flanks of Edwards Mountain. An intense climb commenced and we quickly gained elevation as we approached Akaiyan Falls. This section of trail reminded me of the Devil's Corkscrew on the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon. Looking back, I was impressed with myself for making such good time through this section! I was finally starting to feel better and the workout had me warmed up. 

Steep switchbacks on the Sperry Lake Trail

Of course, we had to take some pictures of Akaiyan Falls also. This falls is a series of plunges coming down from The portion we photographed was one of several plunges. This was one of the shorter plunges. This falls is basically a section of big drops below Feather Woman Lake and plunging down into Glacier Basin. The trail crosses the lower end of these cascades along the headwall of Glacier Basin and again approaches the upper portions below Feather Woman Lake. 

Upper reaches of Akaiyan Falls below Feather Woman Lake


A Lunch Spot With A View

About this time, I began to think about lunch. When we are on these big adventures and burning lots of calories, I tend to think about food more than usual. Those who know me know that I already like food a lot. It was only 10:30 am local time, but we began to discuss eating an early lunch. Now we just needed to find the right spot.

The switchbacks continued up and we began winding around past Feather Woman Lake and then began climbing yet again. The trail covers flat basins with short steep sections at the head of each one. The bottom was Glacier Basin. The next contains Feather Woman Lake, and the last contains Akaiyan Lake. Above Akaiyan Lake, we would find another bench just below the final climb to Comeau Pass.

Large snowfields began to block our progress between Feather Woman and Akaiyan Lakes. The trekking poles we had brought were finally put to good use. Thankfully, the snow wasn't too slick. The strong summer sun had created a layer of slush on top, but if you stepped carefully, hiking was mostly safe. Finally, as we passed yet another big snowfield, some large boulders beside the trail overlooking Akaiyan Lake required a stop. We had found a lunch spot with a view. 

Akaiyan Lake and Feather Woman Lake in Glacier National Park

Sperry Glacier Trail Feather Woman Lake and Akaiyan Lake in Glacier National Park


Sperry Lake Trail Akaiyan Lake and Feather Woman Lake

Seriously, a lunch spot doesn't get any better than this. We took an early lunch around 11:00 am local time. This is about our usual practice, especially on such big hikes. The energy from lunch would help push us up over Comeau Pass and on to Sperry Glacier we hoped. That is a story I'll save for another day...

Enjoy the rest of this hike with these two stories.