Last year we hiked into the headwaters of the St. Joe River; St. Joe Lake. It was an absolutely beautiful hike and the fishing was phenomenal. The only disappointing thing about last year's hike was we made it a day hike so the boys (Dave and Carson) had to stop fishing long before they wanted to. We decided to remedy that situation by making this year's visit to St. Joe Lake an overnight camping trip.
So Monday morning we set off. Dave and Carson did the heavy packing and I was left with the day pack which contained not much of anything, but enough that I could feel it when we hit the steep parts of the trail. The trail this year had many more fallen trees across it so the hike was a little harder than it was last year. Oh, and there was more snow. The snow should have provided a clue about what the fishing might be like up above. Also on the trail this year were many more animal prints then we saw last year. So many moose prints, elk prints, deer and I can't forget these
So the fishing wasn't great; well not great when compared to last year. Carson was super disappointed. He felt like he had been ripped off. His "carrot" for carrying that 40 pound pack up the mountain was the thought of how great the fishing would be. He decided that we didn't need to have this adventure again; a day hike would be OK but no more overnight camping.
After seeing the cougar print and bear print a mile from our campsite, I totally agreed with him on not needing to make it an overnight camping adventure. The combination of sleeping on the hard ground, being 3 across in a 2-man tent and listening for wild animal activity led to a very disrupted night of sleep for me. There is a funny story to tell about the night.
I had finally drifted off to sleep about 3 a.m. when I was awakened by these weird snorting sounds. My eyes popped wide open and my heart started pounding as I strained to listen for the sounds again. Just as soon as I had convinced myself that I was imagining things, the snorting sounds came again and sounded like they were right next to our tent. Oh my gosh I was trying to so hard not to freak out and was trying to generate a plan in my mind on what I would do if these noises were from a bear or cougar.
Then another series of snorts happened and I began to laugh at myself. The snorts were coming from David! In our almost 24 years of marriage I have never heard him make those particular sounds. I guess sleeping on the ground without a pillow and not being able to sleep on his stomach caused him to make different sleeping sounds. Plus, my overactive, sleep-deprived imagination probably caused me to misinterpret the sounds. Oiy!
The sun finally came up and I felt a little more comfortable. Dave and I enjoyed sitting by the lake and watching the sun rise over the mountain peaks. We roused Carson's sleepy head about 8 and broke down camp. We headed down the trail about 9 and 3 hours later we were safely back at the truck.
How about a few more pictures from this adventure? Here they are:
|At the trail head|
|Away we go|
|Funky caterpillars covering a web|
|Once you see the waterfall you know you are almost there|
|Beautiful campsite with the lake in the background|
|Enjoying a campfire and cooking dinner: cutthroat trout, carrots, onions and potatoes|
Tomorrow's blog post: Recap of our Glacier NP visit