Nature has the perfect sort of silence

This morning I woke up and it was pouring rain at 7 am.

So I slept some more.

Waking at 8, the rain was gone. I got up, filled my Nalgene, packed a rain jacket, and ate some breakfast.

Then I drove into Hyalite Canyon.

I am ashamed to say that after having spent 3 years in Bozeman I had never explored Hyalite properly. Last fall Chris and I went up there a few times and camped out but this time I was determined to drive all over the roads and walk up quite a few trails.

It was chilly and damp, and everything was full of water- dew drops hanging off of plant edges, pine needles raining water on you when you moved a branch. Driving I had the windows down because it was so beautiful and cool outside.

I didn’t know where to start hiking, and I started at the easiest “hike” to Palisade Falls. It’s paved the whole way but the falls were pretty. The whole morning I barely saw a soul, and that was the best part. I drove where I wanted, as slow as I pleased, and paused a lot to take pictures or photograph a plant (that post coming soon!)

Overall it was the most refreshing and beautiful morning. I ended up getting pretty wet at the end of the Falls hike because it started pouring rain and even a bit of snow. It was entirely worth it though- I got to drive and see all the beautiful things I’d been missing.

Now I need to go back to discover more. I think next time I’ll bring my kayak.

Secret secrets

002_11 This weekend was a blur. A magnificent blur.

The drive to a mountain hot spring was beautiful- the clouds were phenomenal, and evening was enveloping us in lovely tinted darkness. Chris and I awed at the kaleidoscope that the sunset was giving us, and I brought out my camera to document it.

Full darkness seemed to never show up. We parked after driving through a stream and put on our packs full of towels, water bottles, and a spare apple, and began the meandering hike to the hot springs.  We intermittently yelled WHOA BEAR, as no bear spray was to be had, and finally made our way down to the spot. Taking off our layers, our toes met cold, squashy mud and slick rocks. We scrambled our way down and into the hot spring, full of dudes drinking beer. I marveled at the temperature changes all around the small pool.

The stars were dim- the moon, though not yet visible, was working with the sun to tinge the edges enough. Chris still managed to find the Summer Triangle and expertly pointed out stars, constellations, and various Greek myths associated with them. I eagerly listened to him tell these stories.

Soaking, melting, relaxing, and letting go while watching the moon shyly ascend from behind a ridge, past a tree, and finally into the mountain valley, I think I felt surreal, not totally sure if I was dreaming. I floated and meandered, my fingertips finding sand, rocks, and slippery greenery everywhere.

On the way back in several clearings it wasn’t even necessary to turn on our headlamp or flashlight- the moon was the perfect beacon. The walk through a glacier boulder strewn field felt especially bizarre. It was the most gorgeous experience I have had.