By Alkali Springs Correspondent
For about the first time since last summer, there is good news to report on more than one front when referring to moisture. Take the beautiful Bear Paws for instance. Of late, it actually has been snowing and raining and snowing some more and raining some more. And through all that rain and snow, the wind has been blowing a hundred miles an hour for day after day or so it seems. All that makes for good news, for already there are huge drifts where there were no drifts at all for two years. Most old-timers always said that it was the big drifts melting slowly that boosted up the water table, filled up the creeks and springs, and made the grass green all summer long.
What we have noticed is that even though the weather has been generally disagreeable with all the wind, so far in February we are seeing the start of a wet mode that was missing all last February and March and April and May.
Even better news for those Milk River denizens is that there is a tremendous snow load in Glacier Park and the northern Rockies. That means that Lake Sherburne should fill and there should be Milk River irrigation water that was also missing last summer.
Now, much could change at this early date. However, there is room for optimism that was not there at all a year ago this time.
That makes for a loud hurrah.
A few weeks ago your humble columnist made a trek to the Havre High School and participated in a workshop on hiking trails and the like in the Bear Paws. We brought some maps to give away and almost instantly in both sessions were amazed, because the students in those sessions knew things about hiking in the Bear Paws that 10 years ago no one would have known.
For instance, most had climbed the CCC trail to the top of Mount Otis. Some had stayed the night, and one student told that he tries to run up and down Otis once a week all year long. Takes him 10 minutes up and seven down. That amazed us, all right. Others told of hiking to Rotary Falls and cavorting around in Rotary Canyon. Some told tales of the Beaver Creek Trail and some had cross-country skied throughout Beaver Creek Park.
More than that, most knew about Rainbow Falls in the Rocky Boy Recreation Area. That really pleased us, as a friend and we sort of discovered that beautiful waterfall a good many years ago. We had a cabin on the reservation. Before the Beaver Creek road was paved, driving it meant driving up the creek bed in many places. It was about at the waterfall that we often ended up with a flat tire. Every time we got out to change a tire, we heard water running. So one day, friend and we tramped through the most impenetrable tangle of thorn apples and rose bushes that you can imagine and eventually got to the beautiful grotto and Rainbow Falls. A few years later, we started giving Bear Paw tours and decided that if we took 100 people to that waterfall each summer, eventually we would have a path. That is just what happened and you can't imagine how good it made us feel that so many Havre students have seen up close and personal with the great beauty of that site.
So once again, hurrah.