Once upon a time in Bigfork the road east to the Swan Valley ran along the north side of the Swan River. It was a narrow twisty thing, barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass, and given the drop to the river, there wasn’t much room for error. Eventually a bigger road was built on the south side of the river, and the old road fell into disrepair and was eventually closed. People in the area decided that the road would make a great walking trail, and through time and co-operation of various people, organizations and corporations the trail came to be.
The path begins just above Bigfork and follows the river, which rushes far below. Its a nice, wide, level path, great for people, bikes, horses and dogs. The sound of the river rushing below makes a great backdrop. It is early in the season and there is a lot of water coming down the river – this year’s whitewater festival in May must have been a good one.
Wilf’s spiffy camera with the zoom takes great pictures, but you don’t get an idea of how far below us the water actually is in this shot.
Walking east we eventually come to the dam. The osprey nest by the dam is occupied this year and in this picture you can just see the head of the chick peeping over the sticks. The parents must have been out on food duty – we could hear the chick calling quite away before we got to the nest.
A new addition this year is a really spiffy new outhouse. It is a great improvement over the bright blue porta-potty that was there in previous years. Stenciled on the door of the ladies side it says ’Charlotte’s Roost’ – perhaps Charlotte is the benefactoress of the new Necessary House?
We stopped for a bit beside the lake behind the dam to look for fish. Didn’t see any sign of them, although we saw what might have been a beaver on the other shore. There was an insect hatch going on and Wilf was able to pick several specimens from the branches of the trees, where they were resting after hatching.