I SPENT LAST NIGHT IN RED...
I SPENT LAST NIGHT IN RED LODGE. I GOT TO THE TRAILHEAD AND STARTED THE HIGH POINT HIKE AT AROUND 7:30 AM. THE HIGH POINT IS GRANITE PEAK...ELEVATION IS 12,799 FEET...ELEVATION GAIN IS 8200 FEET...THE HIKE IS 23.2 MILES.
AT THE SADDLE, I HAD TO USE MY...
AT THE SADDLE, I HAD TO USE MY ICE AXE AND CRAMPONS OVER A SMALL SNOW FIELD. I CONTINUED ON THE TRAIL, WHICH STARTED GOING DOWN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FOOTHILL, AND CONTINUED DESCENDING FOR ABOUT AN HOUR UNTIL I REALISED THAT I HAD MADE THE STUPIDEST HIKING MISTAKE EVER! IT TOOK ME AN HOUR AND A HALF TO HIKE BACK UP TO THE SADDLE, CURSING MYSELF THE ENTIRE WAY. ONCE BACK AT THE SADDLE, I WAS TO TRAVEL OVERLAND IN A SOUTHWESTERLY DIRECTION. HOWEVER, AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, MY COMPASS BROKE EARLIER IN THE DAY, AND I TRAVELLED ALONG THE RIDGE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, TOWARD A GROUP OF ROCKS A MILE OR SO AWAY, WHICH I THOUGHT WERE THE 'LOW-WALLED SHELTERS' THAT PREVIOUS HIKERS BUILT, ONLY TO FIND OUT WHEN I GOT CLOSER THAT THEY WERE NATURAL ROCK FORMATIONS. IT THEN STARTED TO RAIN. I HAD BEEN HIKING WITH AN EIGHTY POUND PACK FOR ABOUT TWELVE HOURS AT THAT POINT, SO I SET UP CAMP.
OH WELL. I'M PLANNING THE...
OH WELL. I'M PLANNING THE CLIMB AGAIN IN AUGUST OF 2001. ANYONE INTERESTED IN TRYING IT?
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''UPDATE NOTE DATED 7/18/01: MY PLANS TO CLIMB THIS MOUNTAIN HAVE BEEN CHANGED. THERE IS NOW NO DATE FOR MY RETURN. (I'M GOING TO CLIMB THE HIGHPOINTS OF THREE CANADIAN PROVINCES IN AUGUST INSTEAD).
THIS IS ACTUALLY A SHOT OF ME...
THIS IS ACTUALLY A SHOT OF ME AT THE BEGINNING OF THE HIKE. AT ANY RATE, I NOW HEAD WEST AND CAN'T HELP BUT THINK THAT THERE MIGHT STILL BE ONE MORE MOUNTAIN FOR ME TO CLIMB THIS TRIP...BUT WHERE? I WILL BE HEADING SOUTH INTO YELLOWSTONE LATER TODAY. AFTER SOME THOUGHT, IT OCCURS TO ME: HOW ABOUT THE HIGH POINT OF YELLOWSTONE PARK? HUMMM...LET'S GIVE IT A GO!!!
Just outside of the town of...
Just outside of the town of Kalispell (north) is a little mini-golf place that is a must see. The mini-golf is fun but the best part is what is behind the mini-golf. The owner has all kinds of animal 'statues', props and sets that you are able to take pictures at. There's a bull to ride, a moose to ride, a jail cell, a giant fish, and many more! You can rent a hat, chaps and vest for a small fee to make the pics look even better!! I will be placing a few more pics soon.
There are a number of buffalo...
There are a number of buffalo jumps, or pishkuns, where the Native Americans drove herds of buffalo over a ledge, where the animals fell to their death. It allowed the Native Americans to procure a lot of meat in a short period of time. This buffalo jump is not far from Billings. There is one not far from Great Falls, called Ulm Pishkun which is one of the best known buffalo jumps.
The Jersey Lilly Saloon in...
The Jersey Lilly Saloon in Ingomar, Montana is a unique place. The town used to be a water stop for the railroad and was the place that sheep farmers shipped their sheep to market. Now there's not too much going on in the town other than the bar. One unique appetizer is the 'sheepherder's snack' it is a basket of saltines that you top with sharp cheese and sweet onions...actually pretty good. Another unique thing is that the bar doesn't really even have an outhouse, it's more of a U-shaped corral of corrugated metal with a trough...a real Montana experience.
You really have to plan to go to Ingomar, you won't accidently drive by and stop in since it is kind of out of the way. But if you want to:
Ingomar is on Highway 12 NE of Billings. If you are coming from the East on I-94 take exit 93 north. If you are coming from Billings, take highway 87 north to highway 12 east.
Reedpoint, Montana population...
Reedpoint, Montana population 96, holds a sheep drive around Labor Day as a fundraiser for local projects. About 2,000 sheep and 8,000 people show up for something akin to the Festival of San Fermin, except it is in Montana not Spain and features sheep instead of bulls. It is kind of funny to watch that many sheep running down the road because some of them will hop up in the air for seemingly no reason at all. Sheep are not the smartest animals in the world.
Reedpoint is about 8 miles west of Columbus, Montana right on Interstate highway 90.
Get off the interstate! ...
Get off the interstate! Almost any road takes you by a relic from days past. The dry climate in some areas of Montana helps preserve old homesteads and things like this old wagon being reclaimed by the prairie grass near Virginia City.
It's hard not to believe a...
It's hard not to believe a 12-foot tall fiberglass
penguin. Cutbank, Montana claims to be the coldest spot in the nation. It is on the 'high-road', U.S. Highway
2 east of Glacier National Park. The Motel that the penguin stands next to has one room that is a teepee and another that has a jail cell in it.
Cut bank is a nice little town to stop for a bite to eat, or to stay overnight.
Take a hike in one of National...
Take a hike in one of National Parks or in one of the many wilderness areas in Montana.
Beargrass is found in many of the alpine forests in western Montana. I believe that Lewis & Clark made some sort of correlation between the plant and the abundance of bears that seemed to accompany it. Today, that is discounted as merely coincidence by biologists, but the name stuck. This beargrass was growing right off the trail in Jewel Basin, a State Park not far from Kalispell, Montana. Jewel Basin has opportunities for backpackers, although when we hiked there, I was afraid of meeting a grizzly around every blind corner of the trail....maybe it was the beargrass that made me apprehensive.
Visit the Bear's Paw...
Visit the Bear's Paw Battlefied near Chinook, Montana. This is the place where Chief Joseph and what remained of his Nez Perce tribe finally surrendered. The famous, 'I will fight no more forever....' speech would have been made here, but historians have some doubt that it was worded exactly like the versions you have read and seen on TV movies. There is a National Park Service volunteer that will take you on a walking tour of the battlefield, if you do this, you will have a much greater appreciation of what took place versus just wandering around on your own. There isn't much to 'see' but there is a lot to understand here.
I loved our hike and overnight...
I loved our hike and overnight back country camping at Red Eagle Lake in Glacier National Park. Red Eagle Lake Trail is about 7.5 miles long and is easy hiking. WATCH OUT FOR BEARS! We came very close to a grizzly and shortly after our hike the trail was closed for a while. The picture on my home page was taken at Red Eagle Lake. This trail is in the St. Mary's area of Glacier National Park.
I don't know how to create links but here is the web address to hiking info at Glacier National Park: www.nps.gov/glac/activities/hiking.htm
Please come back for this link. This page is being updated. I am working on learning to do links.
Here is a link to the Glacier National Park. Just click here: Glacier
The whole state is off the...
The whole state is off the beaten path. If the opportunity arrises take a drive from Missoula to Great Falls and then head north along the eastern divde of the Rockies to Browning. Then head west to Glacier National Park or stay north and see the Glacier/Waterton side of the park. The country side is astounding and rugged. On the other side of the park, west by Kalispell and Columbia Falls, you will find the more popular entrance. Make sure you plan an entire day for driving around the park. You can drive the Going to the Sun road to an exquisite pass where there is a ranger station, view point and a board walk trail. The board walk trail will take you up to another pass (1/2 mile) where you can look down into a crystal blue lake surrounded by high, rugged, grainte peaks with snow tucked away in most of the shadows. You will more than likely see mountain goats at very close range. Grizzlies can often be seen if you have binoculars. This is a heavenly place but the treat of Grizzly Bear problems is very real and serious. So pay attention especially if you hike further into the park and are with children.
If you like to hike and backpack you'll think you were in heaven. Anywhere is good. Anywhere, the fishing is great as well, although you probably don't want to go walking around with the fish you catch in your pack while you hike back to your car/camp...bears will smell you miles away. Other than Glacier, word has it that grizzlies have been spotted in the Bitteroot/Selway wilderness and I know they are in the Mission Wilderness. That being the case they are also likely in the Bob Marshall because its just on the other side of the highway from the Mission Wilderness. More on these two wildernesses below. The picture is of St. Mary's Lake in the Glacier/Waterton side of the park.
I have had to extreme pleasure...
I have had to extreme pleasure to hike a number of different wilderness areas in Western Montana. My absolute favorite is the Mission Mountains Wilderness. The only other place that would rival it is the Beartooth Wilderness 400 miles or so to the south east. The last I heard the southern Mission Wilderness is still unsurveyed which was my original attraction to the rugged and unforgiving country. The only way in, I mean deep into this wilderness, is by foot. Not even a horse can make the trip which explains why no significant surveying has been done. Not many people are willing to walk more then a couple miles in rugged terrain without a trail system, in a wilderness area that is the last chance location for Grizzly Bears who have had too much human contact in either Yellowstone or Glacier. These grizzlies are a different sort of bear now that they have had repeated human contact. This means they have lost their natural fear of man which can be a problem. All of the southern cirques have big, deep, tourquoise lakes. At the bases of these small canyons during most of the summer you will find a bounty of huckleberrys. Remember this is a grizzly favorite too! The Bob Marshall Wilderness is on the east side of the valley opposite the Mission Wilderness. This is a huge wilderness with nearly a million acres if I remember correctly. And although it is huge it is not uncommon to run into people from time to time because it is so 'heavily' traveled by outfitters and professional guides and their parties. One my favorite and least traveled areas allows fishing beautiful brown trout by hand in the shallow streams. The grizzly threat is not as great in this wilderness as the Mission but it can be a problem if you aren't paying attention. My other favorite is the Selway-Bitteroot Wilderness. I have hiked most extensively in these mountains. Every draw, little canyon, has a large, clear creek that leads to a beautiful lake tucked in a glacial cirque at the top. Most routes are about 6-8 miles in and climb about 2,000 feet. Like all my pages the fishing details are 'classified' (ha ha). There are many rumors of grizzlies being spotted in this wilderness but the State insists there are none. I don't believe the State. Besides the State plans to 'reintroduce' this impressive beast in the Bitteroots by 2002. There are a number a good books that talk about all these wilderness areas and how to access them. If you want more details just let me know. The picture is of one of the most popular places in the Bob Marshall called the Chinese Wall.
290 Izaak Walton Inn Road, Essex, Montana, 59916, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
The Best Western Desert Inn is a three story, smoke free lodging, with standard rooms, as well as...more
It's been awhile since we stayed here on our way to Utah. We stayed in a room with the following; ...more
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