On Lolo Trail
And now for something completely different: snow! Here are some great pictures of the Lolo Trail on the mountain ridges above U.S. Highway 12, courtesy of my friend Jim Petersen who kept the weblog "Lewis and Clark: What Else Happened" during the years of the bicentennial.
Jim went on a "supported" backpacking and camping trip on Lolo Trail during September of 2003, the same days of the year that the expedition traversed it. Like the expedition, Jim's group experienced snow and cold, although I don't believe they had to resort to eating crayfish and coyotes to stave off hunger, nor to wrap rags around their feet to keep them from freezing. I could be wrong, of course.
Information about these photos is provided by Jim. My gratitude to him for sharing his experiences.
Above is Jim with the Newfoundland that accompanied the group. Jim writes that this mellow fellow "was a very lovable creature. Sparks from the campfires would fall on his fur and someone would have to jump up and put him out, but he remained placid throughout."
Look closely to see the people hiking along this portion of Lolo Trail not accessible to vehicles. Other stretches of the trail are today followed by Forest Service roads.
Forest Service Road 500 following a snowfall. This shot reminds me of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" with its famous lines: "But I have promises to keep/ And miles to go before I sleep."
Jim's tent in the new-fallen snow on the third morning of the hike.
A nice view of one of the rock cairns (near the center of the picture) along Lolo Trail. This site is nowadays referred to as "Indian Post Office." I remember reading a few years ago about vandalism of some of the rock cairns, which are of religious significance to the Nez Perce Indians, in this area and seeing a sort of "wanted poster" asking for information about the perpetrators.
Jim standing by another of these rock cairns.
The view to the west from Sherman Peak toward the Camas Prairie after the snow had melted. Jim's group began and ended their trek at Lochsa Lodge, located down the mountain on the Lochsa River--one of the most beautiful rivers in the West, I might add.
[Photos by Jim Petersen.]