Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sundays in My City - Arch Falls

Every Sunday Unknown Mami gives us all a chance to bring our hometown to the world. Come check it out. Better yet, link up and show the world where you live.

This past week, while my son was in camp I decided to try and find some of the other falls that flow in Hyalite Canyon. I've been meaning to do this for some time, I just hadn't gotten the logistics together. So I formed a plan. First I found a map.

Then I left early enough in the morning to get some decent miles in. The rest of it was pretty much a wing and a prayer as I did not know if each falls had a marker.

Well, I lucked out in two ways. Or should I say my planning paid off. To begin with, the above map is very accurate. To make things even better, there were markers noting the trails that led to a particular falls. That made my hike so much easier.

I probably would have still figured it out. Using my pedometer, I marked off what I thought was the proper distance between trails, and each time I did so, I was within feet of the marker and the branch leading to the falls. Had there been no marker, I would have used the map to know which way the branch went left or right. Still it was a great relief to have the branching trails marked. I felt a load lifted from my shoulders each time I found a marker because I knew I was headed in the right direction and did not have to second guess myself.  For Arch Falls, pictured below, that would have been tough since the path is a bit narrow, and I'm afraid of heights.  I didn't need an excuse to turn around.  Also, at the point of the marker, you can definitely hear the falls.  Always another good clue, but sometimes a bit misleading due to the way sound travels through the forest.

Even if I had had to use a semi-old fashioned method of navigating, the views would have been worth it. See for yourself.

Rock Wall Perpendicular to Arch Falls

River Flowing into Arch Falls

Arch Falls

Check out the following site for more information:

Hyalite Canyon Falls

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sundays in My City - Raging Waters

Sundays in My City is hosted by Unknown Mami. Each Sunday she gives us all a chance to share our corner of the world with others. Check it out. Better yet, show us around your corner of the world!

This Sunday we managed to find time to hike to one of our favorite spots - Grotto Falls. The effort was worth it just to witness the sheer power of the falls at full throttle. With the high amount of rainfall we received this spring and the snow just now melting off the mountains, the falls were in full glory. See for yourself.

Downstream From the Falls

Fast Running Water at the Top

Fast Running Water 2

Side View of Grotto Falls

View Larger Map

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sundays in My City - Double Exposure

Unknown Mami hosts Sundays in My City and gives us a chance to show off where we live each week. Stop by and check it out. Better yet, show us your city!

Not much was happening around Bozeman today. At least my version of it. I got trapped at home due to a car hood latch that broke - again! So my husband spent all Sunday fixing it. He's my hero in case I've never mentioned that.

And what did this lady of leisure do? I discovered that my camera has a multiple exposure setting. This feature is the bomb! So while my husband was straining away fixing our poor old car, I was running around the house finding things to photograph together. What can I say? My camera rocks and my husband rocks even more!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthday Blessings

Yesterday I was blessed with one of the most amazing birthdays I have ever had. Due to a change in plans (The road to Fairy Lake is still covered in snow.), my son and I ended up hiking The M. Thus far, this year has been lackluster where the insects are concerned, not so yesterday. You couldn't walk an inch without finding something. The best part of it is, the air was literally buzzing with cicadas. I don't think I've ever seen one before, and now I've got tons of photos. I'll take that any day over the darn horse fly that chased me for a portion of the trail.

Not only was I blessed with such a large presence from the insect population, I was also blessed with the hike itself. When my son was younger, I would load him up in the wagon and go exploring this park we lived next to. We'd spend hours walking around just seeing what there was to see, and then we'd have lunch. Those are some of my fondest memories. Now I can add lunch near the M as a fond memory as well.

Later in the day, I was blessed with birthday wishes from my mother-in-law. It's always good to talk to her and yesterday was especially helpful since we were talking about my dad. It's been hard since my mom passed, and I can't always put into words the frustration I feel being so far from my dad. It's hard enough to watch a parent age rapidly, but to do so from a distance is a special hell. My mother-in-law understands that I'm having a rough time without babying me. I appreciate that about her. And I enjoy the wisdom she shares with me as she tells me stories about helping her friend near the end of her life. While we have both lost women we were close to in the past year, I feel the silver lining to that is we have become closer. Loss is a tough thing to conquer.

While on the phone, my husband came home early so we could go to dinner and a movie. Once done talking to his mom, he promptly handed me my present. It's the last photo of the set, a little grasshopper in a plastic bag. No, he did not catch it. Yes, I set it free. He was bicycling home and a friend of our's child was selling grasshoppers with his buddies. So Chris bought one for me. I see this child when I work at the school and he's just the nicest kid. I always look forward to seeing him at lunch. That was just the neatest story. My only concern is I don't want him to grow up smuggling animals into countries. I know he won't. My brain just doesn't work right.

The day was topped off with a yummy meal at Watanabe Restaurant. Very tasty Japanese food. Then we were off to see Transformers 3. I know, I'm not sure what's out that I'd go to instead, but not really my first choice. Problem is last weekend, the bulb burnt out on the projector, so no movie for us. We had to use those replacement tickets they gave us sometime. I really can't complain about a day that just left me feeling like the most blessed woman on the earth.


Female Field Cricket
with Damaged Wing

Mating Longhorn Beetles

Unidentified Beetle

Captive Grasshopper

Please know that my opinion is not represented by the following song, but I always loved it, so enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sundays in My City - "The New Bridge"

Each Sunday Unknown Mami gives us the opportunity to show off the places we live. Drop by and check out all the interesting cities. Better yet, show us around the place you call home.

This week I'm taking everyone back to my hometown of Charles City, Iowa. We just got back from a vacation there, and seeing as how nothing new is happening around here, I thought this would be an excellent time to introduce you all to "The New Bridge".

I'm not a big fan. I think most of that is due to how many fond memories I have of the Swinging Bridge. Unfortunately, the original bridge was destroyed in a flood over 3 years ago. You can click on the link above to view photos of the original bridge before and after the flood.

When you step back and take an objective look at the new bridge, it makes a fine replacement. In fact, esthetically, the new bridge is nearly a twin to the old one. Problem is, it doesn't swing. Welcome to the new area of safety, and I'm sure that was probably a requirement for them to get some FEMA money. Still, I feel like all the fun has been sucked out of crossing this bridge. I used to hate that swing when I was little. The bridge always felt like it was going to do a little loop de loop. Still, now that the bouncy feeling is gone, there's no character to the bridge. There's nothing that makes it unique or special.

The generations that grow up with this new bridge won't understand it, but my generation and those that remember the old bridge will probably always miss it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Good Old Fashioned Tipi Raising

At the beginning of June our Boy Scout den was invited out to a tipi raising. A member's grandma and grandpa generously donated their time, land and tipi for the event. I was quite stoked as I had never been to a tipi raising. It was quite the hit with the boys as well. They pitched in as best they could, but most of the heavy lifting and such was done by the adults or should I say the dads, of course. Another first for me was the event of eating a hobo dinner. Apparently this involves wrapping meat and veggies in foil wrapping and cooking it over a fire. Unfortunately due to winds, ours were grilled. They were still tasty though.

The boys were a bit disappointed as they were to light fires for one of their badges. We were supposed to cook dinner in the tipi, so I totally concur with the feeling of being let down. Perhaps another time. After all, with such gorgeous vistas, who can be disappointed for long?