|Triple Arches on the Going-to-the-Sun Road|
|The Going-to-the-Sun Road.|
|The Going-to-the-Sun Road as seen from the Highline Trail.|
First of all the spur trail was steep. Absurdly steep. Something like 1,500 feet elevation gain in 1/2 mile. We had to stop and catch our breath every thirty feet, it seemed. We played a sort of hiking leapfrog on the trail with a foreign couple as we each stopped to drink water, take in the view, and slow our panting in turn.
It was also steep in another way, too. The trail was on a steep mountainside meaning there was nothing off the side of the trail but nearly vertical rock scree. A fall would have meant a long, rocky tumble. I was very careful where I placed each step.
|Can you see that tiny line down in the valley before the trees? That is the Highline Trail. This photo show how darn far up the spur trail took us. The Highline Trail just kept getting smaller and smaller and smaller down below us.|
The foreign couple we'd been leapfrogging with along the trail also made it to the top and the woman was obviously as uncomfortable as I was. Her partner wanted to walk out further and take photos and she passionately protested his taking one single step further. Finally he said "I'll only go out until you're nervous," to which she replied, "I'm already nervous!" I think this woman and I were on the same page.
|My foot sticks off the edge of the ledge as I try to eat my lunch.|
In the end, I bet we were only up there for 15 minutes--far less than the three hours I declared we would before we got all the way up there. Going down was a relief--the swirling in my head subsided--but still took a good deal of concentration lest we slip on the rocky trail as we descended. It was strange to be able to see so far down the steep mountainside in my peripheral vision as I watched the trail and each step I took.
|The chalet is just visible in the distant trees.|
|The smaller building which housed sleeping rooms furnished with bunk beds and little else.|
|The chalet which has sleeping rooms and a simple kitchen.|
|The spur trail snaking up towards that saddle in the mountain.|
I must confess that I was tired on the downhill portion of the hike. My arthritis was inflamed and it was the longest of our hikes. By the time the parking lot was in sight I was more than ready for it. It was a total treat that the shuttle was ready and waiting in the parking lot at The Loop when we finally arrived. We just had a few moments to wait before it was ferrying us back to our car in the lot at Logan Pass. We were tired and, oh, so happy.
|I liked that you can see the silhouette of Kjell's book in his tent on the left.|