Wednesday, July 30
Bears & Meeses
The trail to Red Rock Falls Thursday July 10, 2008
Thursday's hike was just a short hike to a nice set of falls with plenty of wildflowers along the way on a relatively flat trail. The falls was 2 miles from the parking lot in Swiftwater with an elevation gain of only 200' . An easy hike after after the 10 mile Iceberg Lake hike. We did the usual breakfast in the canteen, picked up lunch and headed out. The trail started easy but in short order we ran into some returning hikers who said that there was a ranger up ahead and the trail was closed because of bears. We debated what to do and decided that maybe this was our chance to see some bears so we headed on. Ran into another group who told us the same thing and then we came to a trail on our left that ran down to Fishercap Lake. My guidebook said that it was a small lake with minimal views, but being a good redliner ,(no trail left un-walked), we took a chance and headed down. And lo and behold when we got to the lake there was a bull Moose feeding in the middle of the lake. He was walking along, sticking his head under water and feeding and then coming back up for air. We watched until he got to the other side of the lake. Then we went back to the main trail to the falls. We never ran into the ranger nor did we see any other wildlife on our way to the falls.
We were up on top of the falls around 1 pm. Ellen took a break and I walked on to see how far the next lake was. I came back and told her that I thought we could make it there in about 15 minutes, but she decided it was time for lunch, so we went back to the the bottom of the falls, for a much better view, and enjoyed the water falling down the rocks. Soon some more hikers joined us and told of their bear sighting just up the trail. A Grizzly and her cub crossed the stream and headed up the mountain. We were beginning to think that we would never see any bears while we were in Glacier. After lunch we headed back, planning on the great dinner we were going to have later , when all of a sudden Ellen screamed "Did you see that moose?", Nope, never saw it, even though it crossed right in front of us and headed down the slope toward the lake. There was a man up in front of us who said that he was practically run over when the moose crossed the trail. So when we came up on the Fishercap trail again, we took it to the lake, passing a white tail doe and her fawn, (no big thing we see them at home all the time). At the lake the cow moose was out in the lake eating the bottom grass just as the bull had been doing that morning. And shortly after that another cow and her calf came out of the bulrushes and into the lake. It was very windy so the calf did not venture into the lake, but mama did. She heard some noisemakers up on the trail and started towards us, perked up her ears, but then moved into feeding.
In our family one moose is a "Moose". 2 or more are "Meese". Like 1 goose is a "goose" and 2 or more are "geese". Over the years we have talked about Meese but this is the first time that we have actually seen them. So on the trail we have seen 2 cow, 1 bull and 1 calf Meese, mountain goats, a black snake, and a coyote. Surprisingly we did not see any hawks or eagles soaring around the peaks. We watched the Meese for a while and then headed back to Swiftwater for some more Huckleberry ice cream and then back to the Many Glacier Hotel for a short nap before dinner.