Monday, September 24, 2012

A Jewel

 Sunday broke cool but not clear. We have had a lot of smoke in the valley from the Washington wild fires. No rain for most of August and September has made it impossible for the firefighters to get ahead of the fires west of us. We had thought about heading to Glacier but decided to hike close in Jewel Basin. On the way down the road my daughter spotted a medium sized black bear hustling across the road. We drove the six miles up to Camp Misery and the trail head. Dusty narrow climbing to over 5000 feet . The air in the basin was not as smoky as the valley but we lacked the usual blue sky.
 Traveling up the trail a nice spring fed creek slips out from under massive rocks. I was glad to see some water sources for the wild animals. ( even the griz) there are several tagged griz here in Jewel Basin. We had headed up another trail for a few hundred feet however there was an overwhelming smell of very wet dirty bear. We decided to take another trail in the opposite direction.
 We were treated to some fall colour and massive rocks as the trail wound its way up the mountain.
 the trail cut through dense forest and underbrush ( perfect for hiding bears)
 The evergreens were happy and perfectly shaped. Their needles were soft and fragant. It was nice to say hi to them as we headed for the bald in the picture below. It had experienced a fire many years ago and was bare on the South side facing the smoky valley below.

 Looking down into the basin is the parking lot and Camp Misery. What a name. It looked pretty inviting to me. Below the trail running up the bald. Dead trees standing in quiet in the smoky afternoon warmth.
Climbing the summit
 A map of the Jewel Basin area and Camp Misery. Lots of opportunity to see some beautiful country.
Jewel Basin Map

 A good afternoon and a good ending to another "little feet " adventure .

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