My Journey

Halseyt.....thanks.....I do my best.....

Chet6.7.....I don't and I don't carry anything similar. I guess you could say that I'm cavalier about that as well. Sometimes I scare myself, but honestly, I'd rather die in the mountains than I would in my bed.....

ITTOG.....you have to hike snow in the Spring.....it's just part of the game. That being said, my children are grown men, and yours are not. Our responsibilities are different.....so maybe you shouldn't hike snow in the Spring.....

RealTruck.....Always trying.....



For the entire month of June we had only made two short road trips, and everyday of that month, I would look at the mountains in my backyard.....

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And like the clouds building over that mountain range, I was really beginning to feel the urge to get back into the mountains.....

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And finally one morning I decided that I just needed to climb.....the urge that morning.....it was incredibly strong.....

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We headed up Highway 86 (Bridger Canyon Road) with plans to climb in the Bridger Mountains. The plan for that day was simply to do a day hike.....a day hike to the summit of Sacajawea Peak (9,665').....

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Well, you might have noticed in the pictures above & below, that the weather that day was certainly not the best weather for climbing a mountain.....

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I didn't care.....

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After 6 miles of driving on terrible forest service roads.....we reached a small mountain pond and just beyond the pond, we left the truck behind (the sky looked pretty darn good to the east.....the mountains were to the west).....

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The real problem was not the dark skies.....it was the brutal winds that accompanied it.....

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But the dogs & I.....we still climbed.....

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And we just kept on climbing.....

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In the confines of the dense conifers at the lower elevations, the wind was bearable for sure.....

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But the higher we climbed, the winds just became terrifying (almost).....at times nearly knocking me off my feet and eventually the wind removed my $200 pair of Oakley sunglasses from my face.....I found them approximately one hundred feet away.....crushed in the scree field.....

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There were several climbers ahead of us and I watched as they struggled to walk across a snowfield that was in the neighborhood of 300' to 400' wide.....so the dogs & I tried a different approach and climbed directly up a scree field.....almost completely avoiding the snowfield.....

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To the west the valley below looked so peaceful.....

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The three climbers ahead of us all turned around at the ridgeline.....they said that they were unable to stand up, so there was no summit for them.....and I too descended with them.....no summit for the dogs & I either.....

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So I decided to take the dogs for a swim instead.....

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I've climbed that peak a few times over the years and it would have been a great place to have lunch.....

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But this time we had to settle for the lake nestled in the pine forests.....

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Ace.....that was a great way to wrap up the day. I sure wish that we had summited, but you know as well as most do, summits are optional.....

RealTruck.....beautiful area that's not too far from home. We will definitely return another day.....



So, to start off the month of July, I had made some really big plans. Of course they didn't come to fruition.....they rarely do for me. We spent way too much time diddle daddling in Paradise Valley in southern Montana.....

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We spent the first night along the banks of the Yellowstone River (again).....the plan was to drive south, into Wyoming, but that never happened. I decided to check out a lake that was nearby.....and we never made it much further than that.....

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Being that it was summer and coming up on the holiday weekend, well, there were just a few too many campers at the lake for me.....

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So we drove on past the lake.....

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So, yeah, that sign (above) caught my attention.....so we headed south..... down the single lane gravel road to see what we could see.....

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To the west was the valley.....private land.....where the Yellowstone River flowed.....

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July is the beginning of the dry season in Montana.....the irrigation systems seem to run nearly 24 / 7.....

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Now parked nearly a mile from the lake..... nobody was here. We parked the rig and set out on foot.....

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I was curious if the road went back to the main highway as Google Maps and my Delorme map book said it did.....a mile hike down the road proved them both wrong.....

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As we headed back to the camper, I decided that we needed to check out the abandoned structures that were located on the Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area lands.....

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This stuff was pretty cool but the best part was that lots of animals lived in these abandoned buildings.....the dogs were in heaven chasing rodents around.....

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The wood on one of those abandoned structures was some of the most beautiful wood I've ever seen.....

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Dark clouds were forming over the mountains to the west, so we stuck close by the camper.....

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I was noticing that I really liked it here.....we were alone, the summer wildflowers were in full bloom.....reminders of why it got it's name.....Paradise Valley.....

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The skies opened up.....I grabbed my book.....we'd found our next campsite.....

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