It went up to 95 degrees today. Whew! I had a polartec jacket on this morning because it was chilly and right now we are all wilting. Hot, hot, hot. I’m glad we have 50 amp service so we can run both air conditioners. With them both running, it’s 80 degrees in the RV.
We decided not to go to Glacier National Park today because only 16 of the 53 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road (15 on the west side and 1 on the east) are open. We’ll have to go back some other time.
We went for a hike this morning in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area. I love hiking in the mountains. It’s been awhile since I’ve done it and it was so good to be out there. Dart loved it. You could tell that he was very happy. We chose this hike because of the wildflowers. It was a pretty hike. We set out this morning so we could get the hike in before it got too hot. That was a very good move.
Dart was fascinating on the hike. Regis and I don’t often hike right next to each other because one of us was off taking pictures or I was slow. Dart ran back and forth between the two of us because he preferred we both be together and kept on eye on each of us. I think we hiked about 3 miles. Dart hiked at least 6. After one of the switchbacks, while I was in front, Dart ran in front of me and started spinning in circles and barking. It was as if he didn’t want me to go further. While I stopped to ponder what had gotten in to him, Regis caught up. At that point, Dart stopped his antics. We later noticed that Dart has issues with switchbacks. His herding instincts appear to kick in when one of us his headed in one direction and the other person is headed in another. Once the lagging person makes it through the switchback, Dart is fine. I think Dart feels we can’t hike without him. He has to work hard to keep us both going in the same direction and not lose each other. We exhausted him.
We passed about 12 people on the trail. Except for one couple, everyone had dogs. No dogs were on a leash. All the dogs appeared to keep to the trail. Dart did.
When we got to our furthest point on the trail, Regis noticed a road not far away. He said, “you mean we could have driven?”
On the way in, Dart did his business and we left the bag by a tree to pick up on the way back. On the way back, Regis was way ahead with Dart. I was looking for the tree with the bag that should have been on the right. I found a bag on the left. I was puzzled, but picked up the bag. When I reached the truck with Regis and Dart, Regis had already picked up the bag. Apparently, I picked up a bag of another dog’s poop. Apparently, our brand of bag is pretty popular!
After we finished hiking, we headed to the National Bison Range. Upon entering the refuge, we saw the signs below. Now, I ask you, where do you think the burger joint is getting their meat? It sure looks odd to me.
We got good wildlife viewing in on our ride through the range and some of my favorite pictures are included below. We’ve included additional pictures in the flickr feed. The odd thing I’ll say about our picture taking, is we didn’t take any pictures of bison. There were numerous bison and we saw so many in Theodore Roosevelt National Park that we didn’t take any pictures. At the end of our two hour ride through the refuge, I asked Regis if he thought these bison looked any different from the ones in the National Park. He said he thought they looked like they might be a slightly different color. If we had taken pictures, we would be able to compare. But, no, we didn’t take any and we’d have to go on another two hour drive through the refuge (it’s one way) to get a picture of a bison. What can I say? We’re all stupid sometimes.
When Regis is driving the car and I would like him to stop, I tend to be indirect. This doesn’t work. He needs me to say STOP. Then he will stop. It’s better to make him aware that STOP means STOP now if a particular picture requires an immediate stop. I’m getting better at this, like this morning when we were leaving the trailhead and a deer jumped out into the road from the driver’s side and Regis didn’t notice him. See below. When we were leaving the National Bison Range, I said “oh they have huckleberry shakes”. Please note that I didn’t say STOP THEY HAVE HUCKLEBERRY SHAKES. Nevertheless, you could almost hear the screeching of wheels as he stopped the car, pulled into the parking lot and asked “Do you want one? Would you get me one too?”
I love Missoula and would like to come back and spend a summer here. Let’s see how many times I say that before this trip is over. But, I am crazy about this place.
The Bighorn Sheep we saw in the National Bison Range are naked. I saw Bighorn Sheep around Jackson Hole, WY about 1 1/2 years ago in January and they were very furry. Since it was 95 degrees, it’s a good thing these guys were naked.