So this morning, I and one of the other Helena Hikers, took on Grizzly Gulch. The trailhead is just outside of downtown Helena and very easy to get to.
The names of the trails alone are reason to hike them. Don had mapped out our route as there were several different ways you can hike this area. How can you not want to hike on "Show Me The Horse" trail?
We started the hike at about 8 a.m. so lighting was great. The day was just right for the hike, not too cold, not to hot. And after the rain yesterday evening, the trails were not dusty to walk on. Starting out fairly steep at the beginning, we were hiking along the side of the hill, through trees. Unfortunately, this early part of the hike also seems to be a favorite for late night partying as there was a lot of broken glass along the trail.
My problem with hiking is this (besides the whole uphill thing) I want to look at stuff around me. I want to try and identify the flora. And after the weekend at BOW, I want to bird watch too. Neither of those are conducive to hiking with any speed.
For about the first third of the hike the trail wanders in and out of the trees, giving you glimpses of the views yet to come.
Besides several pines that were downed along the trail, but cleared out of the way so we didn't have to climb over them, there are outcroppings of stone. The stone is great, covered with lichen of all shades of green and orange.
For about the first hour of the hike we didn't see anyone else on the trail. However, when we got to one of our first splits in the trail, we met a gentleman making a branch in the trail. It seems on Sunday there will be a race along the trails. More UMP than I've got.
And there was a part or two of 'downhill' before more UP.
Once we got up on the Mt. Helena Ridge it was fantastic views all around.
After the ridge, the trail lead into a wooded area again. It was at that point I discovered the battery I packed for my camera was the dead one, not the charged one, so I didn't get pictures of the last part of the trail, from "Show Me The Horse" back to the parking lot.
Also, it was along this point that we started encountering the mountain bikers and trail runners. Trail runners have my admiration. I'm having trouble just walking the trail, much less running on it.
Three hours later we arrived back at the cars and about 10 minutes later I was back in my driveway. Can't beat that. Of course, Lady K and Texter laughed as I shuffled my aching body into the shower. They have no compassion.