Last Saturday, July 18, 2015 was the Coal Ridge Lookout Hike. We set this up as part of the Montana Wilderness Association’s “Wilderness Walks” program, with North Fork Trails providing the hike leaders. The route follows Flathead National Forest Trail 2 from the trailhead on Moran Basin Road until it intersects Trail 14 on top of Coal Ridge. The remains of the old Coal Ridge lookout are a short distance east along the ridge-top. The round trip distance is about 6.8 miles (11 km).
Trouble is, it was a damp, cool, foggy morning and no one but Randy and I showed up — wimps. So, we did the hike anyway. About three hours later, we were on the ridge-top, enjoying the sunshine and a nice view. Our missing hikers were still down there in the dank fog.
View from Coal Ridge – fog in the valleys
We had a pleasant time at the site of the old fire lookout. We had a leisurely lunch, tried to identify some of the peaks in Glacier Park and surveyed the surrounding territory with a view toward future visits.
Coal Ridge – packing up after lunch
Coal Ridge – remains of old lookout
On the way up, we took note of a stretch of ripe huckleberries. On the way back, we stopped for some berry picking. Randy anticipated adding his to pancakes. Mine ended up on ice cream.
Trail 2 – huckleberries
Altogether, a very pleasant day. Any expedition that ends with huckleberries is a success.
The summer North Fork Inter Local Agreement meeting will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15 at Sondreson Hall. Start time is 1:00 p.m. The meeting is preceded by a potluck lunch from noon to 1:00 p.m., with the North Fork Trails Association providing the burgers and brats. Please bring a side dish.
And don’t forget the annual Firewise Day meeting in the morning, starting at 9:30 a.m.
The Inter Local Agreement provides for face-to-face contact with representatives of agencies whose policies and actions affect the North Fork. Interlocal Agreement meetings are held in the winter (in town) and summer (at Sondreson Hall). This is always a very interesting meeting, with reports from a range of government agencies and local organizations and often some quite vigorous discussion.
As mentioned in a previous post, we got Trail 2 mostly cut out on July 2. Yesterday (July 6, 2015) a group of us went in with a chain saw and finished up a few of the balkier items, especially a big old spruce blocking travel at the 2.5 mile (4 km) point.
Barring additional blow-downs, the trail is clear.
Bill is happy now
Randy, Sue and Greg look pleased, too