Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. On the way down from Triple Divide Pass to my camp at Red Eagle Lake I walked into a meadow of flowers that took my breath away. While it takes a long time for a forest that burns to become a forest again, I am always amazed at how much life shows up in the interim. One of those transitional plants is hollyhock. Up until this day, I'd only seen them in pictures. I fruitlessly tried to capture the scope of the flowers that blanketed the landscape. Picture in your mind this flower varying from white to lavender, about chest high in every direction as far as the eye can see, broken up by the silver and black pillars of dead trees. While unable to capture the scope, I settled for the beauty of a sample. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. While visiting with some folks at Triple Divide Pass, I was told about a bull moose that had been hanging out at the head of Red Eagle Lake… where I was going to be camping. I was excited, but wild animals are unpredictable and who knows what you'll actually end up with. I rolled into camp with not much time before it got dark and hustled down to the edge of the lake to rinse the sweat off my body and filter water for dinner. I walked up to the edge of the muddy-bottomed water and tried to figure out my rinsing off strategy. After coming up with my procedure, I removed my shirt and heard a rumble that I'd never heard before. It was like a growl from an enormous animal without the anger. I looked up to see a huge bull moose emerge from the woods to get into the lake. I put my shirt on and scampered back to camp to get my camera, tripod and all of the other campers. We watched him until it got dark as he primarily fed on the bottom of the lake. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. View of the Scenic Point Trail on August 7, in Glacier National Park. This amazing dead tree was shaped by the winds from the west. The Blackfeet believed that the wind god "Old Man of the Winds" lived on the west side of the mountains and blew east which it does with great consistency. I still will never understand how any plants can survive on so little soil and rain on a rock such as this, no less a tree. Either way, I couldn't help but take a picture of it. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. If you take the boat tour from Waterton and pay attention to the tour guides, they'll point out the Citadel Peaks. These unique spires line the end of a ridge named Porcupine Ridge. You get to stare at these peaks if you take off west towards Kintla and Bowman Lakes or if you head south towards Kootenai Lake. This was where I snapped the photo as I was heading over to climb up to Porcupine Lookout. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. I'm a huge fan of the Highline Trail. A big reason for that is the amazing views. One of them that you have to work for is the Grinnell Glacier Overlook. It's a spur trail just before you get to Granite Park Chalet (if you're hiking from Logan Pass) that is pretty unforgiving for about 3/4 of a mile. When you get there, however, you look down on the almost mint green waters of Upper Grinnell Lake which is that way because of Grinnell Glacier that feeds directly into it, which is that big chunk of snow/ice that you see just to the right of the lake in the picture. This whole basin used to be Grinnell Glacier, but it's receded to the point to where there is now a lake, Grinnell Glacier and Salamander Glacier in the foreground. Either way, it is a breathtaking view into the Many Glacier Valley with Angel Wing in the middle of the shot, Mt. Gould towering above the glacier, the red rocks of Mt. Allen and far off in the distance to the right is Mt. Siyeh, one of the six over 10,000ft peaks in the Park. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. It was the end of August and I'd yet to see a grizzly bear from the trail. I was over halfway done with my project in a national park known for its big scary bears and I'd not seen any. I was a couple of miles away from the trailhead and I decided to record my blog. On this particular three day trip, I'd seen a black bear, a moose, some mountain goats, so I had no reason to complain. This last day I'd only seen some birds and commented about that on my blog and wrapped it up. As I walked down the Redgap Pass trail in between the Sherburne Ranger Station cutoff trail and the trailhead by Apikuni Falls, I rounded a corner to see a grizzly foraging just off the trail about 70 yards in front of me. The wind was in my face and I had some time, so I got out my camera to video him for a bit. While I videoed him, he looked up and saw me and began to wander off. I let him get out of my site, switched my camera to photo mode and looked around where he had wandered off. He happened to stop right in a gap in the trees and I was able to snap this photo and then he disappeared into the forest. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect first grizzly encounter. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com
Jake Bramante pauses for a photo as he hikes the Highline Trail on Saturday, September 10, in Glacier National Park.
Jake Bramante hikes the Highline Trail with Kim Givler of Whitefish and Jeremie Hollman of Kalispell on Saturday, September 10, in Glacier National Park.
Photos courtesy of Jake Bramante. In the southwest corner of the Park, there is a "popular" loop called the Coal/Nyack loop. I put popular in quotes because for that area, it's popular, but the southwest part of Glacier Park is anything but that. As you head up Nyack Creek, you get little glimpses of it, but there is one section that is a cascading and tumbling gem. Some people ask me about favorite hikes and I often say that there are a lot of hikes that I wouldn't say are my favorite, but they have given me some favorite moments. I think that it is more pretty when you realize that less than 100 people probably saw this spot the entire year. More information of Bramante's project is available online at www.hike734.com