August 20, 2012

Cooling off at Crystal Lake


Looking for an easy dayhike last weekend, we decided on Crystal Lake in the Mission Mountains Wilderness. We'd never been there before, and the sky was clear of smoke, the trail fairly short and the water clear, indeed.

There's not much to the hike: From the trailhead, it rises to the south about one-third of a mile, turns southwest and enters the Mission Mountains Wilderness at about three-quarters of a mile, and drops to the lake at about 2 1/3 miles. Along the way, there are several stream/mud crossings, and just before the end there's a junction with a trail down to Lindbergh Lake.


At the Crystal Lake, we found a couple of loons cruising the surface, as well as stretches of gradually sloping grass and gravel shore - making for easy wading in August's heat!

The downhill walk was nice on the way in, but the uphill, south-facing trail was dusty and hot on the way out.

Here are more pictures from Crystal Lake.

Distance: 4 2/3 miles round trip.

Trailhead: About 19 miles north of Seeley Lake on Montana Highway 83, turn west on Lindbergh Lake Road, aka Forest Road 79. Follow it 12 miles uphill to the west to the trailhead, turning for Bunyan Lake at two intersections in the first three miles.

August 6, 2012

Iceland on the agenda

View Iceland 2012 in a larger map

We recently celebrated our 10th anniversary, and to celebrate we'll soon be taking a trip to Iceland!

Why Iceland? A variety of reasons - we've been thinking about it for a while, the effects of the economy supposedly making it less expensive, just because.

We'll be starting and finishing in the west at Keflavik and Reykjavik, and driving counterclockwise around the country.

First, we plan to backpack in the rhyolite hills of Fjallabak Nature Reserve, then it's on to Vatnajokull National Park South at Skaftafell for some glacial adventures. To the east, we'll stop in Seydisfjordur, where we want to do some hiking or kayaking. Heading to the northeast of the country, we'll stop at Lake Myvatn for some hiking and soaking in the volcanic region. Not far from there, we'll take in the largest waterfall in Europe (by volume) and the Arctic Ocean, then stop in Akureyri, the cultural center of the country. After that, it's back to Reykjavik. We'll treat ourselves to a stop at the Blue Lagoon hot springs on the way to the airport before we depart.

We'll have Wi-Fi most of the way and plan to send text, photo and video updates on a regular basis by Twitter and other social media for all to follow along. For a preview, take a look at this Pinterest board I created.