We haven't done a whole lot since our last posting. On Aug 9 a new fire started around Two Medicine and gave us a bit of smoke but it didn't last too long. The first picture shows the smoke from that fire as it was burning. Much more significant has been the fires in Washington and their resulting smoke that keeps getting thicker and thicker here. We have been waiting for clear skies to do much exploring and it just hasn't cooperated.
On Wednesday we headed up to Many Glacier to hike to Fishercap Lake and try to see a moose or two. The smoke from WA was just starting to get thick and we didn't see any moose so that trip was a complete washout but we did get some exercise. Thursday, we headed out on the Going to the Sun Road (GTTSR) to get our first look at the results of the Reynolds Creek Fire that burned a six-mile section on both sides of the GTTSR. I have included several pictures of that area and you can see that stretch of the park is in real bad shape. This section of the St. Mary Valley is one of the most popular and scenic along the road. They have closed all trails that go through that area including St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls. I seriously doubt these will open back up this year and maybe next. You can see all of the burned trees which can be very dangerous as they can fall at any time. They even hand out a warning paper to be careful when traversing the GTTSR as a tree could fall on the road. Unless they cut all of these compromised trees down, I see no way they will allow those trails to reopen in the near future.
A bit of good news is that it appears most of the road work has been completed and they are just cleaning up and marking now. You now have new, or almost new, blacktop all the way up the east side to Logan Pass.
Today we are under an air quality alert (stay inside as much as possible) and will probably stay under it until early next week depending on the jet stream winds. We still have three weeks left here so we will go out when we can and see what we can see. We plan a few more trips to Fishercap Lake, hoping to eventually see moose! It has been cool with a low tonight predicted about 38-40° which we love. It is supposed to get up to low 80s for highs next week - I would imagine the smoke may have something to say about that!