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Showing posts with the label Crazy Mountains


Insanity defined.  Repeating a task, and expecting a different outcome.  In this case, the error was in my believing the weather forecast.  Duh.  What was I thinking?  Everyone knows what zero chance of rain means. And, a cloudless blue morning sky confirms that zero chance.  Right?

It was nice and sunny when I arrived at the trailhead.  No reason to hurry, so I leisurely went about sorting gear and loading my pack.  This would be my first and maybe only backpack trip of the year.  And, depending on the old back, maybe the last, ever.  Just an overnighter, I'd try to go as light as possible. First I had to decide what was optional. Rain jacket?  Nope, won't need it. Extra socks?  What for?  Underwear?  Nah. My mother wasn't around to make sure that I had a clean pair in case of  an accident.  Breakfast.  Breakfast?  Oops, I forgot to pack it.
Ten minutes up the trail I noticed clouds curling over the mountain.  They ghosted their way downslope and soon engulfed the valley…

Crazy Mountain Interlude

Yesterday was hike day.  The destination:  Cottonwood Lake in the Crazy Mountains.  The "Crazies"  are an isolated "island" mountain range in south central Montana.  A few widely dispersed dusty dirt roads provide access to the a limited number of trailheads.  
The trail starts as an old roadbed.  After a couple of miles, it morphs into a standard hiking trail as it climbs its way into the high country.  Since its a scenic drainage, and not too far from Bozeman, its predictably popular with hikers. 
After a couple of hours of hiking and admiring the views, I made it to the lake . I noted no fish activity, even though it was reportedly stocked a couple of years ago (I have caught fish here in the past).  I walked around the lake but didn't see any cruising fish. No matter. 
Still feeling good after a short break, I pondered my next move.  Rig the rod or hike further?  I decided that it was time to exorcise an old demon by attempting another scramble up to Grass…

A Day in the Crazies

What started out as a short backpack trip ended up as a monumental day hike with a full pack.  I hit the road at dark-thirty, drove to the Big Timber Creek Trailhead and was hiking before 7 a.m.  I usually try to be on the trail even earlier in order to take advantage of the morning coolness.

It's been six, maybe more years since I've last hiked this area.  The walk along the creek is always nice. A few miles up the drainage the trail splits.  One trail continues to the Twin Lakes and up over the top.  The other trail heads up to and ends at Blue, Thunder and Granite lakes.  Pear and Druckmiller Lakes lie beyond and require a little bushwhacking.
The hike went well until I arrived at Granite Lake.  I goofed and took a detour (translation…..went up the wrong draw).  It wasn't until I was looking at a low pass in one direction and Granite Peak in the other, that I realized that there were no fish in my future if I continued on my present course.  It was still early so I dr…