Hey, look! I made good on my vow to get to the mountains more often this summer! (Actually, what I said was "every other week or so," so maybe I have not made good yet, but it's a start.) Mik is not a big fan of hiking, but he's off at swim camp this week, so M.H., Dex, and I set off yesterday up the Basin Lakes Trail west of Red Lodge. There was some fire damage from a few years ago, but it was still kind of pretty:
As we were going along, we passed some people who said they had seen a moose and her calf "around the next bend." Dex and I got excited, because we have never seen a moose in the wild and had been actively looking for one for years. "Around the next bend" did look rather moose-friendly, but we were disappointed not to find anything:
After that we had a bit of a dilemma, because we wanted to be quiet so we didn't scare off any moose, yet loud so we would scare off any bears. (Dex said, "Think of it this way: Would it be worse to not see a moose or to get mauled by a bear?" Good point.) Anyway, the trail was super steep, but we eventually arrived at our first destination lake:
We'd been told it was a "frog pond" compared with the upper lake, so we were looking forward to getting up there, but I was starting to drag. Perhaps there was a day when I would have laughed off a four-mile hike straight up a mountain, but this was not that day. By the time we made it, even Dex felt like collapsing:
I was worried about my hair being in my face, so he took another one. After 20 years of marriage, I guess we even blink in sync:
Then Dex was messing around with the binoculars, and will you look at what he spotted across the lake?
Moose speck sighting! And, just like that, the first hiking trip of the summer became an unqualified success. We trotted the four miles back down the mountain, ate a huge pile of calzones in Red Lodge, drove home, and fell instantly asleep. The end.