The May long weekend was largely a bust. We had plans to go backpacking in the Front Range but we cancelled them because of bad weather. Instead we headed to Writing-On-Stone Park where the weather was considerably better.
We drove to the town of Milk River and set up camp before driving to Writing-On-Stone Park. We would have preferred to camp at the park but it was full.
At the park an area is set aside for backcountry hiking. It looked interesting on the Internet and I envisioned a long hike that would include exploring coulees. In reality it was a tiny area, only five kilometres long and a third as much wide. Nonetheless it was a fascinating area and thankfully, except for two others whom we never saw, we had the area to ourselves. The river crossing undoubtedly kept the crowds away. We delighted in the 25° weather.
Fording the Milk River
Entering Davis Coulee
Don't know if this feature has a name or not
I do some scrambling on an interesting wall.
Cliff swallow mud nests
Deepest section of the coulee
Same as above
Couple fording the Milk River
Sweetgrass Hills to the south
Flowers and cactus
Plenty of interesting rock formations to explore
Dinah checks out a window
I check out another window
Dinah appears to have climbed a hoodoo, when in fact she
merely walked to the other side of the coulee (mouse over).
The following day we drove into Montana crossing the border at Coutts, Alberta. After driving down HWY 15, we turned left onto HWY 343 and headed to Sweetgrass Hills. Along the way we spotted a pronghorn but it bounded away before we could take any photos.
We had learned at the Writing-On-Stone interpretive centre that the Hills are accessible only with permission, but when we came to the farmhouse at the base of the Hills nobody was home!
We spotted a tent perched on a nearby hill and drove over to it. An Indian couple from Great Falls was camped there with the farm owner's permission. They were joining a vision quest with other Indians but hadn't located the group. However, he too said we should get permission from the farm owners.
We hung around for two hours but no one returned to the farmhouse. Rather than wait all day we left. It's not likely we'll return!
Sweetgrass Hills as we drive east
View of the Hills looking northwest. Farm is out of sight on the left.
A killdeer feigns a broken wing to draw predators away from its nest (mouse over).
Movie (taken from the car)
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