Lunch Spot Extraordinaire

This write-up is about a BWAG walk I was along on last Tuesday…it was a full day and life intervened between then and now, but at least there’s time now to think back through another nice walk.

To start, you may say we cheated, but we think we were being smart. Instead of walking up 11 switchbacks to reach the path we’d chosen, we drove up from the another vantage point. So, our actual elevation gain over this 9.5 mile return walk was likely around 500′ – 700′ feet, although no one was keeping track. We were a breakaway group of only four BWAGs. We were the only ones who decided to head to the Bangtail Mountain Ridge, while others went elsewhere.

We drove up the Olson Creek Road several miles until the road intersected the Bangtail Ridge trail. To the North the path would take us back to Grassy Mountain, the destination of a previous BWAG walk, but we were opting for the trail to the South. Our plan was to walk until Noon and stop wherever we were at that point, for lunch.

With most of the climb done by our vehicle, our walk was unusually easy and leisurely, and amid an amazing variety of spring wildflowers, including this delightful “Sugar Bowl”…

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The trail began with a few easy switchbacks with us gaining some elevation and opening into a lookoff (this view faces East) …

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…before we entered an open forest…20160614_113438

As you can see, we were a happy bunch!

We continued on for some time and at about 11:50a began to look for a lunch place. Just then, purely serendipitously, a lone mountain biker – the only person we met on the trail all day – passed by and told us that we were less than five minutes away from the summit meadow. Perfect! Five minutes later we walked out of the woods and into an incredible mountain meadow which offered vistas in all directions. We could see all the way down and out to Wilsall to the East, into the Paradise Valley to the Southeast and Emigrant Peak, the Gallatin Range to the South, the Bridgers to the West, and the Little Belts to the North. A lunch spot, indeed!

The meadow was full of wildflowers, some we thought must be alpine wildflowers. Wild forget-me-nots carpeted areas…

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…and, if you get down on your hands and knees and inhale, you’d be delighted in their full-blossom aroma. Been there, did that.

After lunch we walked to the opposite end of the meadow, mostly out of curiosity to see where the trail began again. We posed for a few pictures in “our” meadow and then began retracing our steps.20160614_125220

Back through the forest which was still bathed in sunlight…

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and out again, for a last view of the Bridgers…

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Unfortunately, and totally unplanned, this concludes my summer walking for quite some time. Responsibilities are taking over most of my upcoming days and weeks and it’ll be a while before I’m back in our mountains.

Enjoy your summer walking, wherever you may be!

 

 

 

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About walksandrambles

My love of walking began in 2005, when, travelling with my Girl Scout troop to Switzerland, I joined a group of Norwegians for a day, to walk up Elsignenalp. I wasn't at all sure I could make it, but the guide was kind and through her encouragement, started out. It was an all-day affair for me and I was always the last one, but this didn't matter a bit...I'd found my new love! No photos exist for this...the camera went missing on a train...but I remember toasting myself with a cup of tea from my thermos at the top...it was a day of tough work and pure pleasure. If you walk, you know what I mean!
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2 Responses to Lunch Spot Extraordinaire

  1. One to remember until you can do it again

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