Montana’s Beartooth Mountain’s – Installment 6   Leave a comment

Our fourth day on the East Rosebud Trail found us walking over a snowfield and peaking out at the Continental Divide, made obvious by a large rock cairn that we each contributed to. It felt great to know that we’d climbed all the way to the top, and that in front of us the trail would descend again. However, the effort of walking downhill is not negligible, just different, from walking uphill. Your back feels it differently. Your toes do too. Your lungs though, they get a rest.

We came upon Russell Creek, every bit as beautiful as East Rosebud Creek, and flowing westward into the Pacific. More flowering meadows were laid out before us, and the rocks took on a different color and tone. Things looked a bit more rounded at their tops, and angular along their faces.

We passed a few hiking parties on the way to Bald Knob Lake, all of whom were headed “over the top” to the East Rosebud trailhead. Many people choose to start at Cooke City and end at East Rosebud, due to the fact that the elevation gain is significantly less.

We arrived at Bald Knob Lake and put down our packs and got out our fishing rods. The Brook Trout were rising everywhere and we had no trouble catching them, either on flies or spinners. They were all about six inches long, making them a bit ineffective as a main course for dinner, so we put them all back. They were all beautiful though, with their blue and red dots and silvery bodies.

I took a swim in the lake, finding an island to dive off of into a deep pool. The water was cold, but the refreshment overpowered the chill and I stayed in for ten minutes and relaxed. “No worse than Lake Michigan” I told myself.

Heron joined me for a very brief moment, throwing himself in and immediately getting back out. Bode came along too and waded carefully into the water, only going up to his knees until a little encouragement from Heron and me got him in up to his neck. He also got back out quickly but we all found the swim fun.

Our campsite was well suited for a campfire, so we indulged and got warmed up after swimming. The night brought fierce winds and we were all relieved to find the next morning that none of us was blown off the cliff and down the waterfall adjacent to camp.

Knob Lake was a beautiful enchanted place to visit and I’m glad we stopped there. Ouzel Lake is just a bit further down the trail, and it too looked to be a gem, so consider it for camping, swimming, or fishing as well.

After our night at Bald Knob Lake our final day on the trail lay ahead of us, another big hike of seven or eight miles.

 

Off to conquer the Divide! East Rosebud Trail

Off to conquer the Divide! East Rosebud Trail

Wes crossing the snowfield at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Wes crossing the snowfield at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode, Stephen, Heron, Wes, and Tom at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode, Stephen, Heron, Wes, and Tom at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Heron take in the view at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Heron take in the view at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Fossil Lake falls from view as we continue west, East Rosebud Trail

Cairn Lake greets us as we continue west, East Rosebud Trail

Onward through stunning alpine meadows, East Rosebud Trail

Onward through stunning alpine meadows, East Rosebud Trail

Walking westward through the Russel Creek drainage, East Rosebud Trail

Walking westward through the Russell Creek drainage, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen amongst wildflowers, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen amongst wildflowers, East Rosebud Trail

Our troupe descends toward Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

Our troupe descends toward Russell Creek, East Rosebud Trail

A lovely butterfly near Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

A lovely butterfly near Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

East Rosebud Trail

A small lake forms from Russell Creek, East Rosebud Trail

Granite Peak (?) fades from view, East Rosebud Trail

Granite Peak (?) fades from view, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Brook Trout filled Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Brook Trout filled Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

The sun gets low near Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

The sun gets low near Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Bode warms up near the fire, Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bode warms up near the fire, Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Our bear hang at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Our bear hang at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Fishing rods at rest at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Fishing rods at rest at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

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