I’m showing this video of megansers because I haven’t had a good place to include it in the narrative but it is so fun to see these feathery characters navigating the river—I just couldn’t resist!



Our next to the last day begins. Unfortunately our night was not restful—that darn mouse was nibbling on something in the cabin and the noise kept waking us up. This morning we looked but couldn’t figure out what it was chewing on.

We cook a scramble of eggs, baked onions, sage, and bacon which we wrap in tortillas. While doing the dishes and I manage to melt our plastic wine glasses—the dish water was too hot—at least I waited until the day before we leave to destroy them!

We will have to burn food again. We gather a lot of sticks for kindling and decide to tackle the large round log that we found at the corral. It is a doozie to split but we finally manage. First we saw it in half. Gini is able to split one half but the other is proving difficult. We finally put the axe in a natural crack and pound it with a large rock. We get that sucker split into three pieces—we are Wilderness Women!

Photo of Gini Ogle sawing a log.

We made short order of that log!

The day is starting to heat up. I suggest we take the short hike to Granite Creek. Checking the map, we see it is about 3/4 of a mile. Hiking today will prepare us for the longer hike out tomorrow.

We start up the trail looking for the side trail that cuts off quite a bit of hiking. We come across a large pile of fresh bear scat right smack in the middle of the trail and not even a 5-minute walk from our cabin. Thank goodness for bear spray. We are calling “Hey Bear—whoop, whoop, whoop” all the way to Granite Creek.

Photo of bear scat.

Bear scat!! That is one big bear.

The spur trail climbs up the side of a cliff and I’m doing deep breathing to keep calm. I have a fear of heights, or more accurately, “edges.” We are on a glorified goat path and I lean landward with my heart beating fast. Finally we get through the worst and are back in the trees and out of the hot sun.

Photo of a trail

The goat trail around a cliff face that towers over the river which is at least 50 feet below. I try not to look down!

Granite Creek is beautiful—the light is filtering through the trees and casting bands of light on the water. It’s mesmerizing and definitely, a painting—if I can capture that magical light. I’m snapping photos galore.

Photo of Granite Creek

Granite Creek! We finally get to see the creek that our cabin has been named for.


Pastel painting of Granite Creek.

Francesca’s pastel painting: Rock ‘n’ Flow I. The Granite Creek area is what inspired my direction for the collection of paintings for the Hockaday Museum of Art exhibit. It was the colorful reflections on the water as well as below the surface that got my creative wheels turning. This is the first of the 17 paintings that I completed for the exhibit.

From the trail we see a few fishermen. They are camped out here at the primitive campsite. We get to the water’s edge of the middle fork and the sun is high but not so much that it has washed out all the color…we take lots more photos.

Photo of the Flathead River

Overview of the Flathead River looking east.

Gini suggests that we walk along the water to get back to the cabin. We can see the island that splits the middle fork into two and we know the cabin is just below the rejoining of the two branches of the river. We think it will be an easier and cooler hike back. I can see why they call it Granite Creek. There are granite cliffs lining the river. We walk on wide ledges in the cliff face as we make our way downstream.

Photo of the Flathead River

The rock ledge that we traverse on our way back toward our cabin. You can see the fishermen at the river’s edge.

On our way back, we run into the fishermen and stop for a short chat…more about that in my next installment!