Wildlife & Geography By:
Joe and Jace Ian
There were truly some amazing things we saw on the pack trip, and among the most incredible must be the animals and geography we observed. To begin, there were some unexpected and interesting animal sightings. The first sighting was when Cole, Hunter, and Mr. Juston were out scouting the trail ahead of us, and they spotted a grizzly bear in the woods next to them. The next sighting was when we were traveling along the trail and Ian spotted a baby elk lying in it on day 7, when we were moving closer to the plateau. The people who were hiking were able to stop and pet it. Next, a bit further along the trail, Joe spotted three elk on top of a ridge to the group’s right. The next day when we made our way on to the plateau, there were several elk sightings. The first came when we were making our way across the plateau. It seemed we had just started off on the plateau, and a herd of elk came running across the plateau. Then, further along the plateau, the group saw another herd of elk grazing in front of a group of trees. The last sighting we had was a snowshoed hare. The rabbit came along when we stopped for lunch, and continued to hop around our camp for a while. Of course, there was also the beautiful geography of the landscape. We started the trip by hiking in to the Beartooth Mountains from mountain camp, passing the palisades and walking right past them. We continued on to the cabin the first time and the second we continued to the area known as divide camp. Both of these areas had gorgeous rock formations right next to them that rose high into the sky, and both were surrounded by evergreens. Then, on the way from divide camp to grizzly camp, which was a camp we improvised along the way, there were a few streams which formed waterfalls as they flowed down the side of the mountains. At grizzly camp, there were several amazing rock formations sticking out of the ground. As we continued along, we came to an area in the mountains where the forest was nearly all burnt out. On the last day of the pack trip, we headed to the top of the plateau, where we could see Heart Mountain, and the snowcapped peaks of other mountains in the area. All in all, these things were some of the most incredible things we saw.
The students of Heart Mountain New Beginnings were proud to accept the 2014 local Outstanding Youth Service Award.