Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Jackstraw and Swiftcurrent Ridge, Poia Lakes – Wisdom and Booby-Junk Leeches

Folks, don’t try this at home...or in Glacier!
FULL SAFETY MESSAGE

So, has anyone ever heard of booby-junk leeches? This is more a goofy entry sentence than legitimate question. Everyone knows that right?

Allow me to expand….

My friends Josh and Laura went a swimmin’ with me the other day. Laura who is daughter of one of my most devout readers Chris Kloeck, by the way. Hi, Chris…Thanks for the 70’s TV show insights…

We went to a far flung reach of the park. In the southeastern corner of the park there is a place called Firebrand Pass. People run around here for years before they ever go there. Not because it’s particularly hard, nor cause it’s not wonderful. I think it just gets overshadowed by some of the other, simply jaw dropping parts of the park. Which ends up making this a very peaceful and more wild portion of the park.

Quite nice, really…

So, near Firebrand Pass is Lena lake, and behind it is a saddle. It’s a nice red scree covered saddle between Redcrow Mountain and Bearhead Mountain.

On the other side of that saddle is Jackstraw Lake. And, Jackstraw Lake will be the focus of our adventure today.

This lake is dedicated to Mountain Goats and their wonderful ability to go where no one else goes and leave “a path”….So, about four miles in towards Firebrand pass, we embarked off trail towards Lena lake and the saddle. We had to fight through some thick sub-alpine firs to get there, like normal.

Once at Lena lake though, we found what would prove to be a straight shot mountain goat path up the saddle, and all the way back down to Jackstraw lake.
Ah, you gotta love these mountain goats. I envisioned this to be a well more difficult endeavor.The views from the saddle were as great as any pass in the park and we had it all to ourselves. The tiny rewards in life, right?


We ended up down at what was a wonderful beach that must be the home of thousands of butterflies. They were all over our packs and hiking poles. Pretty great!!

But in come those dreaded booby-junk leeches!!!!!… My girlfriend would say “dun,dun,dun!!!

Like you were listening to a mystery show on the radio in the 50’s and we just learned who the killer was. Very dramatic…

We were swimming in this lake and all was wonderful. Hot days ended in a moment with cold clear water.

Then we noticed one goofy thing about it…As beautiful and blue as it was, there was no outlet, and not much feeding it. So, Jackstraw Lake had already dropped maybe about 15 feet for the season. That may be a major environmental factor that booby-junk leeches thrive on. Their niche, if you will.

I’ll come clean; they were nothing even resembling leeches….Cats outta the bag. But they were tiny little red bugs they were all over the place in the water. They got their menacing name because since they were red it looked like they were filled with blood. And, because Josh found them in his swimming trunks and well “around”…and Laura found them in her sports bra and again, well…”around”…As for me, no booby junk leeches…It’s because I’m bald like a dolphin and booby-junk leeches don’t attack marine animals. Boy, did I luck out, huh? I’d say…jeez…So, we rambled on about our dreaded nemesis the booby-junk leeches as we trudged back up hill and over the saddle…Back to our view at the top..

Bound for a wonderful dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in East Glacier, Serrano’s…All ends well, despite our harrowing encounter…

As for the next day, I met up with another one of my other most avid readers, Dave. He is out here staying for a few weeks with his wife and hiking it up. He is a monster; the guy can hike over mountains in a single bound while filling you with gobs of wisdom and insight. So, I took him up on a very nice hike to one of the only areas in Many Glacier valley that was not closed for Grizzly bears. Poia Lake was our destination.

We stopped by Poia and Swiftcurrent Ridge lakes for a swim and he dropped knowledge about all the righteous things of the world. Great hike Dave. All in all, what a wonderful weekend.

I hope this finds every one well. I’m wishing you all the best and I certainly thank you for your time. I know these stories personally. So this stuff is for all of you. I would love to hear how every one is doing and what you’re all up to.

As for me, about 6’4” 240lbs…
Drum roll!!!!! Anybody? Hello….

Jeez, this is a tough crowd

Night!!!

To life,

Marc

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