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Training Log Archive: dlevine

In the 7 days ending Sep 21:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Walking/Hiking7 21:19:50 33.15(38:36) 53.35(23:59) 1884
  Total7 21:19:50 33.15(38:36) 53.35(23:59) 1884

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Saturday Sep 21 #

1 PM

Walking/Hiking 2:04:12 [1] 2.51 mi (49:29 / mi) +108m 43:40 / mi
ahr:77 max:110

Yellowstone Park

As is often the case in Yellowstone, parking was at a premium. We were lucky enough to get a good spot at the visitor center and decided not to risk the "full parking lots" further up. So, we grabbed our picnic lunches and hiked up to Mammoth Hot Springs. Crowded boardwalks and lots of tough angles from which to view things, but we did get good views of the terraces.

009 - Mound Terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs

We went all the way to the upper parking lot and worked our way back down, only to find that a group of elk felt that the green in town was the place for an afternoon siesta. (Apparently, this is a common occurrence. The females will come here, but the bulls won't. Draw your own conclusions.)

025 - Many Elk in Town at Mammoth Hot Springs

Afterwards, we drove the upper springs loop and stopped at Orange Spring. Not really a geyser, but it certainly sends its water out in spurts.

026 - Orange Spring at Mammoth Hot Springs

(Fifty meter "hike", not tracked or logged.)

Friday Sep 20 #

12 PM

Walking/Hiking 1:13:40 [1] 2.15 mi (34:16 / mi) +76m 30:52 / mi
ahr:86 max:127

Hiking in and around Rocky Point at the low end of McDonald Lake... Beautiful day, but we could tell the snow was coming in and it was time for us to head south...

(Forgot to turn my watch off until after I started driving out... oops)

By the time we were half an hour out of the park, it started snowing...

Thursday Sep 19 #

9 AM

Walking/Hiking 7:32:20 [1] 11.65 mi (38:50 / mi) +939m 31:03 / mi
ahr:100 max:140

Having successfully survived the ranger-led hike to Avalanche Lake, we showed up for a similar one heading up to Grinnell Glacier. There were about a dozen people on this hike; we probably saw only three dozen folks all day as this is marked as a "strenuous" hike on all of the maps. We disagreed a bit with that assessment, but given the weather, the trail grade, and the distance, it's probably in the Park Services' best interest to keep that label.

We hiked past a few lower lakes and then began the climb to the glacier. As we climbed, we got many views of the glacial valley and of Grinnell Lake. The glacier calves into Upper Grinnell Lake which has a ribbon-like outflow that tumbles down to Grinnell Lake.

086 - Grinnell Lake

You can reach Grinnell Lake with very little elevation gain, but you don't get views like the one above. After even more ascent from the photoshoot location, we crested a rise and were treated with awesome views of the glaciers. (Grinnell Glacier and Salamander Glacier were one mass two decades ago, but climate change has melted the snow so that they are now two distinct floes; actually, there is some debate about whether Salamander will soon lose "glacier status" as it may not be moving and may also be shrinking too much.)

097 - Grinnel Glacier

About three years ago, Grinnell Glacier lost about 20% of its volume in a single calving (which created local "havoc") but it's dropping smaller formations now. It's pretty rare to see fresh water icebergs, but we treated them like clouds and tried to name what we saw. Here's "Seahorse Iceberg".

102 - Seahorse Iceberg

As seems typical for this region at this time of year, the weather got better later in the day, but we couldn't stay to enjoy it as our beds were 120 miles from the parking lot over some roads that we would rather traverse in daylight. But, yet another great day for a hike...

Wednesday Sep 18 #

8 AM

Walking/Hiking 4:28:42 [1] 6.83 mi (39:20 / mi) +210m 35:54 / mi
ahr:83 max:113

Took the ranger-led hike to Avalanche Lake. Ranger-led hikes are much slower, but you get so much more info about the area. For instance, we learned that this root stock is thirteen years old; I can't imagine one lasting like this on the east coast.

053 - Rootstock on Tail of the Cedars

Later on, we came across a swath of downed trees, all pointing uphill. It turns out that they all fell uphill due to the shock wave from an avalanche (on the other side of a steep canyon) in 2013. I was stunned by the formation, but also adjusting clothing and forgot to take a photo.

Avalanche Lake itself was beautiful and we did get to see the views as the clouds were just lifting when we got there.

064 - Avalanche Lake

This is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier, but there was still a good sense of isolation while we were there.

Tuesday Sep 17 #

1 PM

Walking/Hiking 1:35:45 [1] 2.32 mi (41:16 / mi) +69m 37:47 / mi
ahr:88 max:130

Johns Lake Loop Trail. We were hoping to get more variety, but they were repairing the bridge across McDonald Creek so we had to return without seeing the other side of the stream. Of the three choices - road, horse trail, or complete double-back, we chose the middle option.
3 PM

Walking/Hiking 48:13 [1] 2.01 mi (23:59 / mi) +20m 23:17 / mi
ahr:87 max:122

Trail of the Cedars

This is a short, very accessible trail that we recommend to anyone visiting the west side of Glacier. We've never seen such a variety of eco-zones in such a short walk. The only problem is that parking is limited late in the day.

044 - Theresa on Trail fo the Cedars

The scale of the old growth forest is amazing.

Monday Sep 16 #

2 PM

Walking/Hiking 3:36:58 [1] 5.68 mi (38:12 / mi) +462m 30:29 / mi
ahr:111 max:170

Started at Logan Pass and headed up Hidden Lakes Trail. The first half of this trail goes only to the Hidden Lakes Overlook and is largely boardwalk and stone steps. The treadway was nice and there were TONS of people. The (boardwalk supported) overlook was great, but it became immediately clear that 95% of the people turn around here. [Later confirmed by a ranger who said that about 2000 people visit the overlook in a day at this time of year, but less than 100 will descend to the lake.] As we started off to the lake, a gentleman coming from the other direction, said, "If you go another 200 feet up the trail, you'll see a mountain goat." Sure enough, he was right. A crowd of about a dozen watched as the goat nibbled, tried to climb a small tree, and generally tried to look cute.

022 - Mountain Goat above Hidden Lake

After I took this photo, I turned around and saw a marmot running from some scrub pine. A moment later, a small black shape bounded after it, and a moment later, the marmot's new name was, "Lunch". While the goat was 3-4 meters away from me, this was more like 60 meters away, so there is a good bit of zoom here.

023Zoom - Wolverine and Marmot

After all of the animal excitement, we hiked down to Hidden Lake. We were the only visitors the entire time we were there, but we did see some folks on the trail both ways.

027 - Hidden Lake

Couldn't beat the day for hiking, though.

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