For those who don’t know the Rockies, this photograph is great because it shows the texture of the rock and trees and cirque lakes, all so much different than the forested mountains on the eastern U.S.
If “wan” means “Suggesting weariness, illness, unhappiness, or melancholy,” this is a Wan-less lake, for sure! Even if we take “wan” only to mean pale or colorless, this scene doesn’t qualify. It’s such a beautiful photo of an extraordinary place. I’m pretty much convinced there’s no place in those Cabinet Mountains that isn’t special.
I did a little research on the “Wanless” name. Turns out it was named after a lake and lodge on the Schroeder trail on Lake Superior National Forest, which was named for a Duluthian who had a farm and a summer home on Harriet Lake (I think) in the 1800’s. What the connection is I have no idea.
I also found a story about how Lost Buck Pass got its name. Seems that around the turn of the century a shepherd was tending his herd in that area when he was struck and killed by lightning. The herd spread out and a crew had to be sent up there to collect them all, which they did finally near the pass. They gave it that name after their hunt for the lost “bucks” (male sheep) and the other sheep. The information came from a collection of stories and history that was put together in 2006 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Kootenai National Forest. The document is online and I now consider it (for me) a treasure of information and anecdotes about that part of northwest Montana.
What interesting connections, Terry. And how great it is that some of those old tales have been collected and made available. There are a lot of dedicated people spending a lot of time doing such things.Genealogy’s another area where volunteers are doing such important work.
Sir John certainly was Cavalier, wasn’t he? I’d forgotten that one, and had quite a laugh at the last lines. Here’s another bit of serendipity. He’s claimed to be the inventor of cribbage, the game my dad taught me to play, and whose board and pieces I still have.
Yes Candace, I’m now able to get up into the high places that I love so much again. This Wilderness is one of the most magnificent areas that I’ve ever seen. I will spend many more days in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness!
Actually, I think the hike to the lake from the Divide is shorter than up the way we came which was a five mile trail with more elevation gain (about 2300 feet). Every second of it was exhilarating though, visiting two cirque lakes en route.
Yes, nearly all of the trees there are firs, lodgepole pine or hemlocks, although the deciduous larch are represented as well with a small sprinkling of aspen. The larch haven’t turned yellow yet even up high.
I have no experience with which to compare the feeling of being in a place like that. It is wild, completely natural beauty for miles in every direction. It sure gives a wonderful perspective of what this planet has been and can be like.
I know it’s shameful but I am deeply jealous. What an amazing place. My mid-life crisis seems to be a kind of panic every time I see a new blog post from you. I need to do all of these hikes before I die or I will not die happy.
Well, I sincerely hope, my friend, that you will be blessed with good health for long enough to enjoy experiencing these places as I have. I have done more hiking and experienced more high country trips in the past ten years than ever before. I keep in the best shape I can throughout the year so I will be able to travel on the trails when they are accessible (clear of snow) in summer. I feel especially blessed this year to be able to hike again after a total knee replacement in January. The rehab took a lot of dedication and effort but it was possible even at my age, and I hope to have perhaps still another decade to enjoy the high wilderness trails.
We have had the first snow on the very highest mountains (not that we can see them, but I’ve seen the photos!) The wind certainly is much colder and there was nearly a frost this morning. I love this kind of weather.
I hope you will be able to experience it, Boyd. Words can describe places like that only to a certain extent and even then only to those who already have experienced such places. The feel of the sun, the rain, the cold wind, the smells, and the body fatigue of getting there and back are also a vital part of the whole scene and those have to be experienced in person.
Indeed! 🙂 I remember showing up to Bald River Falls while it was pitch dark, hearing the roar of the water, and getting the thrill of watching as the sun revealed the great falls. One of my top wilderness experiences.