Bill Hayden's Blog - September 2009
End of Summer Thoughts...and stuff
Summer kind of zoomed on by this year. It sure goes fast in the mountains. Right now it's overcast and humid (it rained a bit this morning) and sure feels a lot like Fall. I thought I'd take a few minutes to reflect back on what's been happening these past few months and let everyone know some of the things that are in the works.
One project that I haven't talked about here before are the new trailhead exhibits we are working on. Hikers in the park next summer will find several trailheads with new exhibits that will feature large maps and some other trip planning information. Hopefully these new trailhead signs will provide better orientation information, and give people a better idea of what lies ahead on the trail. We are going to start with the trailheads on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and eventually work our way around to most of the others as well.
I did manage to get out on the Highline Trail with my co-workers at the end of August and we spent two days capturing video, stills, and panoramic images to use for a new eHike for the Highline. It was an amazing couple of days filled with herds of sheep, goats galore, and some nice sightings of a female grizzly with two cubs. That video is from quite a distance away (just the way I like it when I'm hiking) but I think we got some usable footage. We even managed to get some video of a couple of Pika feverishly harvesting food for the winter. It won't be much longer before things start to get all white and cold up there. Weather reports for this weekend indicated that the freezing level could drop to around 6,000 feet. Logan Pass is at 6,646 feet. Brrrr! We spent the night at Granite Park Chalet so we could capture the sunset and sunrise. The weather was great while we were there and so I look forward to seeing those images in the new eHike. It was our hope to go incognito and not let everyone know we were from the park. That only lasted a few hours and everyone seemed to pick up on the fact that we worked here. That lead to some great conversations about the park and why everyone was there. I even discovered a couple of dedicated webcam watchers and it was great fun to hear their stories of how much the cams help them through their days. I think that's one of the really fun things about the Chalets...the way everyone just hangs out and shares stories with each other in the evenings. Finally around 12:30pm the next day we hiked down to the Loop. I'd really recommend if you do that hike that you start earlier in the day. It's a steep downhill trail and it can get pretty warm as you hike through the remains of the Trapper Fire from 2003. There isn't much shade on the way down anymore.
I spoke with a former Park Naturalist from St. Mary about the Osprey the other day. He was mentioning to me that when he worked at the visitor center and the nest was active that the adults left around the end of August and the young stayed for a few weeks longer and departed toward the end of September. I haven't seen many birds at one time on the nest in a while, so I'm guessing that the adults are gone and the young are just waiting a while longer before they follow them south. Soon that cam will just show a big ole empty nest. I guess we will be able to see the snow pile up on it over the winter, if the winds don't blow the cam off the side of the visitor center. Cross your fingers and let's hope that it survives the sometimes brutal St. Mary winds.
Lastly, I'm heading to Grand Teton National Park tomorrow and will be there for a week. Several "media types" from the Intermountain Region are going to assist that park with a media project. It will be fun to see how it all turns out. I'll keep everyone posted when it gets closer to being finished.
Everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day!
Did You Know?
Did you know that eight inches of snow fell during one night in Glacier's high country in August, 2005? The weather forced hundreds of backpackers out of the backcountry.