Smoke from nearby forest fires has made its way to the Flathead Valley and our usually brilliant blue sky is now overcast. This past week we headed to the northern end of the lake and the haze was so bad that it felt like we were canoeing at dusk even though it was noon.
The north end of Flathead Lake offers a stark contrast to what we are used to in the Lakeside area. The Somers end of the lake used to be home to a saw mill and railroad tie factory and the remains of industry can still be seen in old pilings and buildings.
Along the shoreline the water is very shallow and sandy compared to the rocky shore that we usually swim off at West Shore State Park. The Younger Fives had a ball jumping out of the kayak and running along the lake bottom while we floated along behind them.
With the overcast sky it seemed like we were canoeing along an ocean bay instead of on Flathead Lake. The bird spotting was thick along the shores of the lake with geese, gulls, and osprey spread out in the shade of the large cottonwood trees. We all enjoyed the change of environment even though we were still on the same body of water.
Since arriving in Mulege, Mexico our animal spotting skills have switched over from trying to pick out big mammals (bear, elk, wolves, etc.) from among the trees, to identifying the abundance of bird species that make the Baja Peninsula their home. Our morning walks along the Río Mulegé bring us within feet of Pelicans, Heron, Egrets, Osprey, Gulls, Turkey Vultures and Ducks. So far we have all enjoyed observing these flying species and especially like watching them catch their morning fish. It has also been a nice change of pace not to have to worry about running into a bear or being charged by a bison. However, Five Ball can testify to the fact that it is still a scary experience to have a pelican decide to drop down from the sky and fish right where you are swimming!
Pelicans commandeering a boat along the Río Mulegé.
Egret fishing in Bahía Concepción.
Ducks feeding in the Río Mulegé.
Five Ball swimming in Bahía Concepción while a heron fishes close by.
So far all of our bike trips along the Confederation Trail have been wonderful. However, our absolute favorite so far was an excursion along St. Peter’s bay on the eastern section of Prince Edward Island.
The Confederation Trail from St. Peter’s to Morell runs directly along the bay and features three bridges that cross over rivers entering into the bay. The scenery along this stretch is truly fantastic with great views of the mussel production/aquaculture industry that takes place in the bay.
Apple trees and raspberry bushes along the trail provide a heavenly scent and a yummy snack this time of year. We were also fortunate to see some fabulous wildlife along the way. The highlight being an osprey with a fish in its clutches being chased by a bald eagle. The osprey got away with its lunch and as the bald eagle doubled back towards the water it flew directly over our heads.
The Younger Fives particularly enjoyed exploring the bridges along the trail. For a family with young kids they provide a great rest stop and an interesting diversion from pedaling.
We highly recommend a ride between St. Peter’s and Morell to anyone looking for a nice outing along the Confederation Trail.