Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller
Date: June 23, 2022
Enjoyed a two-hour horseback ride by Swan Mountain Outfitters in beautiful Flathead National Forest abutting Glacier National Park. After an informative and funny safety talk by guide Levi, we were led by our wrangler Ethan on a rolling forest trail past pine and juniper trees. Growing periodically along the trail we saw patches of bear grass (Photo#3); the leaf base of the plant is a food source which attracts bears. Ethan stopped once and picked a black stringy moss-like growth that hung from a tree and ate it. It is called bryoria or horse-hair lichen and historically pioneers ate it as it contains protein. I ate a mouthful, and it tasted like – yucky horsehair. The name of my horse was Pete, short for Peterbilt. Rosie’s horse was named Al. Ethan said a brown bear and cubs crossed our trail several days ago, but we saw no bears today. Afterwards back at the KOA Campground, we enjoyed a salmon, vegetable dinner and sampled a local favorite – huckleberry jam on the biscuits.