A few days sandwiched between the nineties of summer make for glorious hiking and camping conditions. Rarely can one backpack on a mid sixty degree August afternoon. Imagine, summer hiking without breaking a sweat, what a luxury. Such was the weekend past.
And, like my last trip, bugs were a non issue. Two mosquitos lit on the back of my hand. That's right, two, the entire weekend. They took too long working up the nerve to bite and consequently were cheerfully squashed. Like the saying goes, snooze you lose. Being able to sit outside and in the tent with the screen door unzipped, sans bugs, was ok by me.
A few clouds and showers rolled through during the afternoon and evening. Barely enough to wet things down. The peaceful patter of raindrops on the tent fly made for a relaxing night.
And of course, a few nice fish iced the proverbial weekend cake.
Way back in 1910 a series of forest fires torched the Northern Rockies. Depending on the quoted source, the fires may have numbered in the thousands. Catastrophic winds at the most inopportune time coalesced many of the fires into a few huge ones. There was a great loss of life, property and timber. No doubt a lot of elk got barbecued too.
Well, one of the burned areas straddles the Montana and Idaho border. Appropriately known as the Great Burn, it's been considered as a candidate for wilderness designation. I hope that it receives some protection. It's a neat area.
Here are a few images from a overnight trip to the Montana side of the burn. The lead photo doesn't do justice to the overwhelming serenity of the morning.
Although I hiked alone, I had plenty of company. A pair of inquisitive hummingbirds hovered outside my open tent door while I sipped coffee at daybreak. Soon after, a moose announced its arrival by belly-flopping into the lake. Meanwhile, a grea…
Hot. Dry. Smoky. Summer.
I woke to a hint of frost the past two Sunday's, camped as I was high in the mountains. It didn't last long. The frost was gone with the first touch of sun.
I backpacked both weekends just to see if I still could. Just to see if I still enjoyed it. And to be in the high country.
I missed the simplicity of camp life.
Wherein life is reduced to the barest of essentials.
Find a nice level spot. Pitch the tent. Fetch water. Take in the view. Just be.
I needed to check on the last of the flowers. And catch a few fish.
This is the infamous year end summary, sort of along the lines of the Christmas card with the letter stuffed inside. I'll omit the photo of the dogs with fake antlers. Some of you may remember Gene Hill . He was a well known outdoor writer, and, I'd wager that he's still popular with the wingshooting crowd. He occasionally wrote a piece for the sporting magazines titled "The Annual Report". I'll credit him with the title of this piece and absolve him of any responsibility as regards the content that follows.
Well, let's see, I still fish with a camera slung over my shoulder, and rarely hike without it either. Admittedly, packing an SLR is a pain, but I still think it's worth the hassle. When I look back over the year or years, I can pinpoint dates that an event occurred. Aha, fish that day, bugs that one, a seventy degree March day and so on. So, I can plan out my annual fishing trapline based on my meager experience with hatches, water conditi…
Welcome to Wyoming. Nothing like a little scenery to go with ones fishing. Camping too. Take a hike. Just a few miles to stretch the old legs. Get out in the wind. Blow the stink off as my wife would say.
Best have a fishing license. You never know when Mr. Warden will show up. Riding a horse no less. Maybe talk about fish and bears and stuff. Then, just like any good cowpoke, he'll ride away. What a great way to spend the summer.
Like mountains? Well, there's lots of 'em. Better have a camera. Keep it handy, you'll want to take a picture every few steps or so.
Smell that? It's fresh air. Well, maybe with a little forest fire smoke thrown in. Then there's the sweet smell of grouse whortleberry. What's a whortleberry? I'm glad you asked. It's a member of the blueberry or huckleberry family. They're small, but good eating. Go good in pancakes too. Gotta be patient to pick the little buggers though.