Cosley Lake to Chief Customs TH - July 12, 2019

Well, tell us how your trip went. We all want to hear about your special experience.

Moderators: Kathy, Tara

Cosley Lake to Chief Customs TH - July 12, 2019

Postby tibber » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:47 am

July 12th, Day Six of Six: https://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=55407 and like all good things, they come to an end. This would be a bit of a haul the last two miles as it takes you UP a hill to an ending you really don't want to have. Sigh. This was the first nite I didn't sleep well, tossed and turned a lot. We had a nice breakfast again as we still didn't have to be in that big of a hurry. We said our good byes from Cosley Beach to the scenery to our west that we had enjoyed for three days and turned our backs to head east.
Image

Tina thot we could walk along the beach and catch a bit of a non-use trail to take us over to the main Stoney Indian Pass Trail but alas, the water was too high so we had to back track to the food court and take the campsite trail. Maybe it was a bit fortuitous as we got to see another large moose eating off to our right so we enjoyed watching that for a moment.
Image

As we walked in and out of the forest and in and out of the meadows, the wildflowers were still showing off 8) . Sometimes as I passed them I swear they were yelling, aren't we awesome :lol: .

Tina practiced her flower learning and learned some more as we headed up and down not too far from the lake. We would constantly steal a glance to the west as we continued toward our first stop and past the Cosley crossing where we were now on the Cosley Cutoff Trail. We stopped to check out the trail to the Bear Mountain Lookout and encountered some hikers that were on their way out. Their older father was with them and apparently was a little gimpy so they were hiking ahead. Soon we arrived at the side trail to Gros Ventre Falls. It may not be tall but it's mighty and only a short trek down to the Mokowanis River to behold this site. It's less than a mile and 1/2 from camp. I grew up between two Indian tribal lands in northcentral Montana, the Gros Ventre was one of them. We only stayed at the Falls for about ten minutes. I took way too many pictures and video. But it was so nice here.
Image

Onward we continued. Sadly you don't get to see the Mokowanis River for the rest of the trip. A little ways into the forest we encountered the Glacier Guides group. We would yo-yo with them a couple times. Eventually you come out of the forest and have your first views of Chief Mountain and Ninaki with its spires as they hover above the meadow which hosts the Ranger Station below us. You don't realize how high above the valley you are as it doesn't seem like you climbed up at all; in fact you've been coming down out of the Mokowanis Drainage which is higher than it seems.
Image

So you do a little criss-crossing on this flank of Bear Mountain and head down toward the river. I find myself looking south at the mountains of the Belly River Drainage where we were 5 days ago. I still take glances back to the mountains of the Mokowanis as well. Once at the bridge, it's a one at a time thing so we let the Glacier Guided group go across. Apparently they were making a game of getting across this sway bridge: don't grab the cables. The last two did a pretty good job and didn't grab the cables but then the sweeper came up and she nearly ran across :o and had a very heavy pack (I got it on video). And once again, Tina crosses eloquently without touching the cables as well.

Next up is our lunch stop at Gable Campground. We talked to another couple while there. They had their fishing poles. But now, it was time to knock out these last six miles. The meadows were still alive with wildflowers everywhere and the clouds were also putting on a bit of a show.
Image

The trail was still problematic in places from the rains. We would encounter a couple different hikers but when Tina recognized a ranger in civilian gear, he was with his wife, we both stopped to chat and realized we had both gone on a ranger-guided Iceberg Lake hike with Ranger Schultz of Oregon. How about that! Glacier's like that. Remember in 2017 when Wendy and I were running into all sorts of people not once but a few times.

We stopped at where we think the old Three Mile Trail was to have a snack and rest up for our last three mile push of which the last 2 was 720 feet elevation gain. It did start to get warm and humid as we tried to keep our pace up and I kept waiting for the forest which I thot was much closer. The forest finally came in the last mile and the trail was very nice too. We still enjoyed the trek through the forest with its mostly Thimbleberry ground cover. And before you knew it, we were at our vehicles with no parking signs behind them as they were re-paving the lot and had to work around vehicles coming and going. I am sure they were frustrated with ours being there for six days.

https://youtu.be/OimZPb3CXig Cosley Lake to and at Gros Ventre Falls
https://youtu.be/HQafHbuS66g Gros Ventre Falls to Chief Customs TH

We parted company, Tina for Calgary and me for Chester. I stopped at Two Sisters to have a salad and huckleberry beer. But alas, it was some sort of Indian Days so being on the reservation, it was dry; I had to settle for a Huckleberry Milkshake to go.
Image

The drive to Chester wasn't too bad except I had to stop and fuel up in Shelby and pick up some munchies and check with Cousin Connie to see if I could bring anything for dinner. US 2 (the one that goes across the entire USA) was under complete reconstruction around Galata so I had to drive 35 MPH for about 9 miles. What's surprising about that is everyone else was driving that speed too which is highly unusual for Montana drivers :lol: .

The next two days I got to enjoy the ranch and lots of cousins. My cousin Connie kept me well fed which was pretty darn nice after 6 days of hiking/backpacking. Here is a link to a video as we drove around some of the Romain ranches https://youtu.be/CyBlDf7jctQ and of course, I posted our kayak trip on the Marias and the ranches here: https://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=55004 Here is a link to the video I created of the drive around the ranches and includes pics from the kayaking trip on the Marias where we were lucky to just beat the worst of a hail storm: https://youtu.be/ZIMOYK5ox9Y
Image
User avatar
tibber
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:50 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Cosley Lake to Chief Customs TH - July 12, 2019

Postby teapot57 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:05 am

Tibber,

Thank you for writing such an excellent report of our trip! I also really appreciate all the work that went into your videos. I will enjoy reliving our trip when watching them again over the winter months.

Your report was very accurate and detailed. The only thing I can add is what happened after we parted ways.

It was a hot day in the upper 80’s. I cranked the AC in my vehicle, crossed the border, and picked up a hitchhiker 100 yards down the road on the Canadian side. He was quite obviously a CDT thru hiker trying to make his way to Waterton. I enjoyed the brief trip with him, listening to the excitement in his voice as he shared his permitted route and asked me questions about hiking thru Glacier.

After dropping him off at the turn off for Waterton, I realized my vehicle was not getting any cooler. I turned the setting lower and cranked the fan, but only warm air continued to blow. After the hot, shadeless hike through the meadows, I was dying for some cool air, but it just wasn’t happening. So I looked forward to picking up a cold drink while passing through Pincher Creek.

Drive thru seemed like the best option since I hadn’t showered in a week. I pulled up at the A & W and ordered a burger and a large root beer with lots of ice. “I’m sorry, we don’t have ice,” was the response I received through the drive thru speaker.

Drat. It’s going to be a long drive to Calgary.

I arrive home, pull into the garage, and pop the hatch on my trunk. I then go to the back and lift my backpack out, dropping it onto the garage floor. All of a sudden, I hear a loud hiss and feel spray hit my shin. My bear spray had fallen out of the pack and the safety came undone from the impact. Thankfully, I was able to grab my camp towel out of the front of the pack and quickly wipe down my leg. I left the overhead garage door open to help clear the air, and ended up relatively unharmed, though my leg was burning hours later.

The next day, the itching began. I at first thought I had gotten severely bitten by mosquitoes around the back of my waist, but when the itching developed over both front and back, along my waistband, I thought hmmmm, this seems like chiggers. Didn’t know they had chiggers in Montana! So I googled it and sure enough, chiggers do exist in this area. I must have sat in a nest when stopped near Three Mile for lunch on our last day, and I was itchy for a good 2 weeks.

So not the best ending to a trip for me, but overall one of my favorite backpacks! We had no killer days and it was very relaxing. Tibber is great company and I’d hike again with her in a heartbeat.
teapot57
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Calgary, AB

Re: Cosley Lake to Chief Customs TH - July 12, 2019

Postby tibber » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:38 am

@teapot57 yep, not a good way to end our great trip for you. Other than me not getting my huckleberry lager after, getting to the farm was easy peasy/ no drama. So sorry about that bear spray incident. Who would have thot that could even happen like that let alone the residual effect and then the chiggers. Sheesh. I've had them once from swimming in a reservoir on the farm. I remember having to go into town to get some sort of prescription.

Oh and I see you used the word "Drat"... a word I use a bit too.

Anyway, I couldn't have picked a better partner to traverse our beautiful Glacier National Park. I was talking to someone Sunday nite and told her how we met up on glacierchat. She said, "and you did a 5-nite backpacking trip with someone you didn't even know"... but on glacierchat, we do really know each other when it comes to the Park and that's good enough for me as it was for Tina. It's just so hard to find someone that will take the time and money to go with me from Phoenix. Tina put together one heck of an itinerary and we were able to get the two nites at Glenns Head which made it perfect. We were lucky with weather too as the big rain happened while we were safely in our tents for the nite.

Oh, and we got to hike with Pete.

Thx again Tina, it was awesome and I hope we get to do some trekking/backpacking in Glacier again :arrow: .
User avatar
tibber
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:50 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ


Return to Trip Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest