A neat thing about the Belly River is the ranger station, which has a mixture of the old and the new - a modern refrigerator stands next to a cast iron wood-burning stove. It's quite a scene with the little log cabin in the woods, a pasture with horses in it, and snow-capped mountains all around.
The ranger station is a little over 6 miles from the trailhead, which feels a lot farther with a heavy pack on. Cosley Lake was 2.5 miles from the ranger station. I got a treat because Gros Ventre (pronounced Grow Vahnt) Falls is along the way. I think there's a new contender for best waterfall in the park!
Upon arriving, exhausted at Cosley Lake, I set up my tent and promptly fell asleep for two hours. I woke up long enough to eat my supper and watch it get dark while hoping to see some kind of wildlife. I only saw a mule deer buck that snuck up on me and a spotted sandpiper. But my site was really nice, right next to the lake. My private beach is in the picture below.
I awoke in the morning to the sound of howling wind, and with the pitter-patter of droplets of mist hitting my tent, I decided it was time to leave before the weather got worse. I was right. I stopped at the ranger station to visit with the rangers there for a while, which turned into a six-hour stay as we watched the weather move in with 40 mph winds, rain, and then snow. I waited around for them to get ready to pack some gear out (and then more in) since I thought it would be safer and more fun to hike with them instead of alone. I had hiked in with Phil, but he couldn't stay the night, and went the 2.5 miles back to the ranger station alone in the morning. Once the weather broke (although briefly) I helped, to the extent that I could, to prepare the packs and saddle up the horses.
I was very energized while walking the flat portion of the trail back to the trailhead where my car was waiting, at the Canadian border, but the hill and the end was a killer. I could barely walk when I finally got to the car. Nachos at the Park Cafe took care of that problem.
Coming up this week: I will be taking new St. Mary staff on Siyeh Pass tomorrow and Saturday.