After getting my first glimpse of the Middle Fork Valley from Mount Teneriffe last week I decided we had to explore deeper this weekend. We also wanted another 10+ mile hike fairly close to home, so we chose the 13 mile Mount Bessemer Road trail.
The weather wasn’t looking great, but we decided to head out anyway and hope for the best. Our gamble didn’t really pay off as we were in the clouds for the last third of the trail, with no views available from the overlooks.
That being said, at no time did we feel we had wasted the day. The fog was amazingly pretty sifting through the trees, making them seem leagues away when they were really right in front of us.
We didn’t really read the WTA description this time, just heading off to the trailhead on a whim. This partly backfired as we were unaware the trail followed a logging road the entire way, eventually turning right to make it up the ridge. Luckily we decided to just stay on the road and only missed that last turn, ending up on a nearby talus slope unsure of where to go next.
The road terminated and we scrambled up a short distance, eventually coming upon another old road hidden above. The rocks were wet due to the moisture in the air so we thought it best to not take our chances on the talus anymore. Trying to get home with a broken leg is not something we wanted to deal with. To commemorate the point where we turned around we built a small monument out of surrounding materials on the ground.
The swirling mists made the artwork even more epic as we walked away. On the way down the skies began to clear slightly, revealing the peaks that had been hiding all day.
Much of the hike had been under blank white sky, which gave us more reason to look at what was under our feet and along the sides of the road.
Slightly metamorphosed rocks with bands of various colours greeted us, and a few ended up tagging along back to the car. We also saw flowers and trees beginning to bloom as well as the evidence of bears in the area (including fresh tracks and scat).
Despite the less than idea conditions it was a fun filled day and a great warmup for our trip to Montana (starting tomorrow). Our next hike will be in the Bitterroot Valley so until then!
Photos taken 14 June, 2014 with a Nikon D7100