The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Dodging Montana bears in 2006

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Above Gunsight Lake:
The story of our hike was to be a long ascent, so we resented that it began with a steep descent down to a stream crossing. We knew we would have to regain every meter, further along the trail. After the stream crossing the trail leveled and then started to climb. The ascent was mercifully gentle, but the trail was very long. Eventually after a few hours Gunsight Lake appeared in the distance, stunning in its glacial beauty.

About 1/4 mile before we reached the lake, the trail passed a clearing--the food preparation area for those camping at the lake. When you are in grizzly bear habitat, you are recommended to eat meals that are not particularly aromatic, and to prepare the meals far from the camping area. Also, you should change out of the clothes you wore when cooking your food, and you should not bring those clothes into your tent!

We stopped long enough to dine quickly on our bland food, then continued past the lake. The trail rose high above the valley floor (as you can see above). Soon, it became thread-narrow as it climbed the cliff walls of the valley. There was no exploring off the path--on the left side was a sheer wall, on the right was a precipitous drop. I scanned the wall constantly for Pinguicula.

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Revised: January 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005