Last night’s beautiful moon! Can you imagine hiking to the top of mountain by moonlight? That’s what Sawyer and his buddies did this morning or maybe call it last night, where-ever 2 a.m. fits in that time frame. They hiked to the top of Mt. Aneas in the Jewel Basin to watch the earth come alive…
The first hints of daylight…
I love these two pictures of this young man!
The hike back down in the daylight…
What a wonderful experience for these guys!
A little more info about Mt. Aeneas in the Jewel Basin…
At just over 7,500 feet Mount Aeneas could easily be bypassed for other peaks with higher elevations or in more popular locations such as Glacier National Park.
To do so would be to miss a jewel of a peak. In fact, Mount Aeneas is located in the Jewel Basin. The views into Glacier National Park, The Bob Marshal Complex and The Flathead Valley are worth the easy hike to the summit. The map rates it as strenuous but by Glacier National Park Standards this is an easy class 1/2 hike.
The Jewel Basin is home to 27 lakes and most of them have fish in them. In days gone by it was possible to enter the Jewel Basin and have the area to yourself. Talk about fishing and a great wilderness experience!
Remote campsites are provided at a few selected lakes and most of them are an easy day hike away from the trailhead at Camp Misery (more on the name later). The Jewel Basin is made up of 15,349 acres (62.1 km²) and 50 miles of trails. The Jewel Basin is specially designated for hiking only, with motorized vehicles and horses prohibited.
The locals say that Camp Misery was named for the place that a local tribe spent a terrible winter. It is not impossible to imagine such a winter as the snowfall in this particular area is measured in feet not inches.
Mount Aeneas is named for Chief Aeneas Paul who was born in 1828 and was also known as Big Knife II and Koostatah I.
As Chief of a band of Kootenai along the western shore of Flathead Lake, Chief Aeneas struggled with the rapid white settlement of the Flathead Valley.
By one account, the half Iroquois Aeneas Paul rose to chief when Chief Baptiste was killed by Blackfeet Indians near the site of present-day Hungry Horse Dam in 1876. He had six children by his wife Woman’s Cry of Triumph. Two of his sons would die at the hands of white men and two would carry on as chief after him.
Chief Aeneas is of the Dayton Creek band of the Kootenai. He is believed to be one of the negotiators of the Hell Gate Treaty of 1855 and an interpreter for missionaries such as Father Pierre Jean DeSmet.
Other names of nearby geographic features — like Broken Leg Mountain, Lamoose Lake, and Baptiste Peak — reflect the names of Kootenai leaders from the mid-to-late 1800s.
Source: Swan Journal article by Keith Hammer