After setting up camp at Two Medicine and eating lunch, we set out for our first hike. I insisted that we walk to the trail head, about a mile away from our campsite, instead of driving. This would come back to haunt me later. We hiked to Cobalt Lake, a gorgeous blue glacial lake, through meadows of incredible wildflowers and forested areas with waterfalls. The hike was 12 miles to the lake and back from the trail head, with notable elevation climb thrown in the mix.
Brief interlude: I planned on buying hiking boots for this trip, and a few weeks prior to our departure, I got around to purchasing my first pair of hiking boots ever. Matthew discovered an employee at an outdoor outfitter in town who seemed to really know his stuff about fitting boots. He literally spent HOURS, over two separate visits, measuring our feet in different ways, trying our feet in boots he thought would be appropriate based on the measurements, and making adjustments to the boots we purchased. After investing that much time, and a good bit of money, on my hiking boots, and after wearing them without incident for a four mile hike on a local mushroom foray, I brilliantly decided that they were great, and all the things that people say about breaking in boots? It did not apply to me and my boots. (In my defense, my husband, who has owned hiking boots before, and should have known better, made the same mistake this time with his new boots.)
When we got to the lake (i.e., halfway through the hike), my feet hurt a good bit. I took off my boots and walked into the glacial lake. Soon, my feet did not hurt anymore. Sadly, this was not due to a miraculous healing, but rather to the fact that I could not feel my feet anymore due to the numbing effects of the frigid water.
All too soon, I had to stuff my feet back into the boots so we could hike back before it got dark. By the time we were within 1-2 miles of the trail head, I could barely walk, my feet hurt so badly. My husband, in a good deal of pain himself, gave me a piggyback ride for the last bit of the trail. We arrived at the trail head parking lot, still a mile from our campsite, where there was not a vehicle waiting for us, because SOMEBODY had insisted on walking to the trail head instead of driving.
Like a true knight-in-shining-armor, my husband made the solo trek back to the campsite and drove back in the Guzzler. To justify the use of the vehicle, we bought some fire wood and ice at the camp store.
Back at the campsite, with boots off and feet attempting to recover, we enjoyed a delicious meal. I had thrown some leftover breaded, fried eggplant into the cooler, so we reheated the eggplant over the campfire and had wraps filled with eggplant, fresh tomatoes, and goat cheese. Yum! Before we went to bed, we saw a rather amazing shooting star.
During the night, I had to overcome my fear of getting eaten by a bear or mountain lion when I set foot outside the tent to walk to the bathroom in the dark. I probably annoyed lots of other campers throughout the trip by singing or talking to myself to ward off the bears during my nightly bathroom venture.