Crystal Hill Hike

More Hiking

We decided to take a turn into the Kofa Wildlife Refuge that was on the road a few miles before the Palm Canyon turnoff.  It led to Crystal Hill on a long washboard road.  It was even further than the Palm Canyon Road which was about 7 miles.

At one time there was a campground back there, but only saw one camper.  The road is pretty rough so getting a rig back there would cause a lot of shaking of everything inside.

Here we are all making our ascent to the peak.

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We all made it to the top.  It was a very nice view.

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Sara at the top with the mountains in the background.

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On our descent we ran into this very small cactus.

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Also got a few flower pics but there weren’t too many flowers in bloom.

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We also found this old mine that had been blocked off so that you couldn’t enter it.

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The group all meeting at the bottom in the wash.

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It was a great hike and all 12 of us (and 2 dogs) enjoyed it.  The road was very dusty going to and from and my Sami is now covered in dust both inside and out.  Another GREAT day in Quartzsite.

Hiking to Palm Canyons

Palm Canyon Hike

The other day a bunch of us drove the 23 miles down to the Palm Canyon turnoff and the 7 miles on a washboard gravel road to the Palm Canyons trailhead. It was only a 1/2 mile hike up the canyon to the spot where you can see the palms growing on the walls of the canyon.

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This is looking in the opposite direction out to the Chocolate Mountains.

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A bunch of us gathered at the trailhead.

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You can see the palms growing out of the rock.

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A couple more pics of the canyon.

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Sara checking out the canyon.

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We met this couple coming down the trail.  I knew them from Amazon.  Funny how you always manage to find friends in the most out of the way places.

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Some of the group decided to hike further up the canyon.

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A better shot of the palms.  It is amazing how they grow up there among all the rocks.

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We are planning another hike to a trail we passed before the Palm Canyons trail so stay tuned.

Chica takes a walk

Chica takes me for a walk

I have been on the lookout for raptors or any large birds.  I have seen a raven once and a couple of grouse but that is it.  I would expect to see more hawks in this area, but apparently they are elsewhere.  I did this so that Chica could go off her leash and run.  She loves to run and hike.  Most of the time she will stay right at my side, but there are occasions when she will want to run ahead.

Let's hit the trail

Let’s hit the trail

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What's taking you so long Dad?

What’s taking you so long Dad?

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Heading for home

Heading for home

Huge thunder cloud

Shortly after we got home I started seeing a huge thundercloud off in the distance.  Soon it was almost overhead and coming our way.

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Then there was rain and a lot of it.  That cloud just emptied on us.

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It didn’t last too long, but it sure soaked everything including the road we had just walked down.

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Then it stopped as fast as it started.

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Another beautiful sunset

Then we had another beautiful sunset.

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Life is good!

Hiking to Inspiration Point

Took the ferry across Jenny Lake

Jane suggested we hike up to Inspiration Point, so Jane, Linda, Tony and myself left early to head on over to Jenny Lake.  We hopped on the ferry there which took us to the trailhead.  It is a steep trail for the first .7 of a mile as it has an elevation gain of 417 feet.

We saw this waterfall going up the trail.

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We stopped for a break before hitting the top where I took this pic of my hiking companions Jane, Linda and Tony.

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No wildlife but lots of beautiful scenery

This next pic shows the trail we have come up thus far.  However we are still not at Inspiration Point.

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In this next pic you can see the ferry landing at the boat dock.  We will end the trail at the same boat dock to go back across the lake.

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Now we are on the Cascade Canyon trail that leads way back into a canyon between the beautiful mountains.

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This is a pic of the trail.  It was mostly flat and not difficult at this point.

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We ran across a large pond and were hopping to see some moose drinking.  There were a lot of people on the trail at different times and it must have scared all the wildlife away.  Luckily we did not come upon a bear, but we were all equipped with bear spray just in case.

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Jane and Tony are much faster hikers so they decided to go ahead down the trail while Linda and I set our own pace.  We did run into several hikers with large backpacks that had spent the night way up on the mountain.  We could see many different waterfalls all along the trail.

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There were also several pics of the creek that we followed.

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This was a great experience.  Of course we had to hike back and down the same elevation gain that we came up.  It was almost more difficult climbing done then it was going up as there were many people making the climb up.  We then got on the ferry for the ride back across Jenny Lake.  Then Linda and I went to Dornans at Moose Junction for a much needed pitcher of water and a pizza and sandwich.  It turned out to be a great day.  We hiked 8.6 miles over hill and dale (HA!) and saw some great scenery.  Not too shabby for an old fart like me.

 

 

Picking up mail

Short hike to the post office

The other day Linda had to pick up her mail at the post office.  The nearest one is in Kelly, WY, less the 2 miles from our campsites.  So off we went on a trail that led down to the river and through the woods(HA! Just kidding!)

The trail did lead us next to the river for a short distance.

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 This was the beautiful scenery of the mountains to our left.

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Then we made it to the small town of Kelly, WY where they had a post office a small sandwich store and a small school with schoolyard and many private residences.

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Inside the store they had this sign.  I bet you won’t find this sign in many stores.  By the way we did not run into any bison nearby.

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 This is probably the smallest post office I have ever seen.

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This is a nice view of the Teton Mountains as we were walking back along the road.

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Drove into Jackson

Later that day I drove in to Jackson with John to fill my external tank with propane.  It looks like traffic has died down a bit as vacations are starting to wind down since kids have to be back in school shortly.  It is still rather busy, but just not as bad.

While there I also picked up some bear spray.  On the return trip we saw this big guy crossing the road.  They don’t seem to have any fear of cars or people.  I guess if I were that big I wouldn’t care either.

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The weather is very nice here and we haven’t had any rain for a few days now.  The campgrounds have been almost full on a few days, but seem to be thinning out a bit now.

Off on a hike

Waking up to a moose

Today Ally, Linda and I had planned on hiking to Phelps Lake.  We were leaving at 8:00am to avoid the rush and get an early start before it gets too hot.

I set my alarm for 6:00am (YUK!) as I wanted to eat a good breakfast.  A car caught my attention that was stopped directly in front of my campsite.  I looked out my window and noticed my new neighbor.

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 There is nothing like waking up to a bull moose eating 20’ from your doorway.  Luckily Chica was fast asleep and didn’t make a sound (except for her snoring).

 This guy then moved to the campsite directly across from me and continued eating his morning breakfast.

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 He finally looked up but was not interested in me whatsoever.  Breakfast seemed like a better idea.  I had gone out my door to get a better picture,  but stayed right at the door in case he decided to make a move toward me.

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Hiking to Phelps Lake

We made the drive to the Phelps Lake area and then started our hike to the lake.  Ally was our guide for the day.  On the way we passed a beautiful water fall.

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Here is a pic of Linda and Ally crossing over on a bridge.

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We finally made it to Phelps Lake.  What a gorgeous view.

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Seven miles or three miles..

At this point we talked about hiking back to the Visitor’s Center, which was 1-½ miles for a total of a 3-mile hike.  Our other option was to hike around the lake.  The girls were willing to do it, but left it entirely up to me.  I couldn’t wuss out so I said lets go for it.

So off we trudged around the lake.  I was really glad we did this as the scenery was fabulous.

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Here is a pic of Ally and Linda on the trail.  We each carried bear spray with us, as this is bear country.  Jane had loaned me hers until I can pick some up in town.  She had spotted a bear close to her yesterday, while hiking.

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Here are more pics of the lake.

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Spotted a huge Bull Moose

We passed a huge Bull Moose eating about 20’ from the trail.  I took pics but they did not turn out, as it was very dark.  Here is a stream we crossed.  The water is crystal clear.

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The scenery around the lake is so cool!

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We reached a hug rock where lots of kids were jumping off into the water.  I can imagine that the water was very cold.

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The entire hike was 7 miles.  I have not hiked that far in some time.  I was a bit tired and had sore muscles but really enjoyed it.  I am looking forward to many more hikes like this while I am here.

Kootenai Falls, MT

Kootenai Falls were spectacular

The last thing I wanted to do before leaving the Libby area was to hike to the Kootenai falls.  I was going to drive out there Monday since I thought I would be driving east when leaving Libby, however after talking to Butch, the camp host, he suggested driving a different route to the Missoula area.

This would take me past the falls so I decided to head to the laundromat and did about two weeks of dirty clothes.  I’m glad I got that done so I wouldn’t need to look for a laundromat later on down the road.

So I got all hooked up and headed west toward Troy, MT.  The falls were about 11 miles out of Libby and you could tell where they were by all the parked RVs and cars.

It was a short hike to a swinging bridge where you could get a great view of the river.  There were signs posted stating how dangerous the river is in the spot.  Nine people have lost their lives including rescuers attempting to save others.  I hiked to the swinging bridge and took this pic from it.

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This was taken from the trail leading to the bridge.

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Finally as I was returning I discovered a trail that led closer to the falls.  What a view this was.

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Heading South

My plan was to head west and then south to Thompson Falls, MT.  But as I was traveling down Highway 200 I noticed along the Noxon Reservoir many signs indicating National Forest campgrounds.  I decided to stop for a minute and check in my “Free Campgrounds” book what was available in the area.  I found many in the area and headed for the North Shore NFS Campground just outside of the town of Trout Creek, MT.  What a find!

There were quite a few campers there but I was lucky to find a nice site among the trees.  It also looked like it might be a good spot for my solar panels as well.  Plus the cost was only $5 per night with my “Geezer Card”.  I paid for two nights and got settled in.

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I am behind on my blogging and I apologize, but unfortunately I have been in areas where I have very poor Internet access.  Sometimes I can get on and other times forget it.  As far as uploading pics it is very slow.  The pics in this post took between 20-30 minutes EACH.  I can normally upload 10-15 pics in just a few minutes with a good Internet signal.  I am hoping I can catch up once I get to Missoula tomorrow.