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Ross Creek Giant Cedar Grove
1 Photoset

2014-07-24  
mini location map2014-07-24
43 by photographer avatartibber
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Ross Creek Giant Cedar GroveWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2014
tibber
Hiking1.75 Miles
Hiking1.75 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.17 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our second stop for the day on Hwy 2 as we make our way to Priest Lake, ID. It continued to be blustery as we drove from our Kootenai Falls hike, past Bull Lake and up into the altitude of the Ross Creek Cedars, recommended by a former Havre classmate via FB. The 4 mile drive on Ross Creek Rd 398 (after turning from Hiway 56) is on a narrow paved road with cedars and other trees on both sides of you.

Question: can you get lost on a 1 mile loop?

We kept our rain gear available as we started our walk alongside Ross Creek and past a moss covered rock slide. The light was not the best for filming this incredible cedar grove and I should have taken care to increase the exposure or to have taken my time in shooting pictures as we got a little blurry action from time to time. Of course, I didn't realize this until a couple days later when I reviewed the photos. There were a couple screaming kids that took away from the ambiance of the place for the first part until we got further in. The kids looked at it more like a playground where the adults felt it was more like a cathedral.

The hike takes you through a modified temperate rain forest climate which has allowed many of the cedars to grow up to 12 feet in diameter and 175 feet tall. They say some of the trees are over 500 years old, both alive and fallen. The ground was slightly damp and it would rain lightly off and on and one time a little more heavy. The rain would also interfere with getting some upshots of the canopy way above our heads.

About 1/4 mile in my camera battery went dead so I ran back to fetch another battery (I thot I had enough juice) and rejoined Connie as we meandered by these massive trunks :o that rose from the forest floor and extraordinarily green flora that covered the forest floor. There are many times when you would see triplets of trunks or huge doubles. There were a few broken off trunks that look like lightning had struck.

There were quite a few of the fallen giants in various stages of decomposition. It was great to walk alongside :DANCE: these once tall beauties as you could appreciate there size even more. There was this one part where it looked like two side-by-side trees had fallen in each direction as the trail went between the two of them. There was this other area where it looked like a tree had not fallen long ago as it ended up on part of one of the benches that are scattered along this interpretive loop. I have to say, the interpretive signs were nicely done. It seemed we would have a question and then soon a sign would show up addressing our inquiring minds.

Lo and behold I spotted something I had never seen before, it was a blooming Devil's Club and wow what a flower :budrose: . And then I saw that this whole section was blooming. What fun! There was also lots of foam flower which is so delicate and ferns of course. It started to rain some more so we thot it was time that we should be close to getting back to the TH. However, we started realizing we might be lost :-k as we passed by some things we had already seen. For all the wonderful interpretive signs there was none that said "exit this way".

We tried a different well trod path only to find ourselves in a bit of an obstacle course. I saw some girls ahead and asked if they knew where they were and they said no, they were just trying to get back to the trail. And then another family came along and said they were confused as well. I think the low light and rain just made this a bit more difficult. We then ran into another family that were confused but not bothered by where they were or weren't. So I decided we just needed to go back the way we came and soon we were exiting on the path that had taken us in.

When we got to the parking area I looked for another trail that would have brot us here but didn't see anything :-k . Well the rain was coming down now so it was time to get back in the vehicles anyway. Who knew I needed to bring my GPS for a so-called .9 mile loop :lol: . We think it may have been a lasso/lollipop kind of loop but we have no way of knowing and I can't find a trail map anywhere.

In these videos you'll hear my cousin and me conversing now and again. I do apologize for the low light as it does deter from the quality of the video from time to time -
Video 1 including the drive up Ross Cedar road: http://youtu.be/qdUMmya2RG8
Video 2 including when we realize we might be lost: http://youtu.be/Dsony7ueguM

and it appears someone on youtube has been doing a thumbs down lately on my videos; don't know why they feel the need to do that but it won't stop me from posting them as way too many other folks tell me they enjoy them or find them informative, including me :SB:
Flora
Flora
Devil's Club
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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