On our way home from Reed Point (yesterday’s post) we stopped in Big Timber and a couple of places along the highway to take some photos of the beautiful Crazy Mountains and surrounding farm land.
The Interstate follows the rail road tracks along this stretch, so when we got out in Big Timber we had to cross them to get the view I wanted (see above). Andy got out and joined me. Next thing I knew, along came a train:
After it was gone I saw Andy fussing around on the tracks. Then he showed me this:
which he got by putting a quarter along the tracks before the train came – something I didn’t notice as I was busy setting up my tripod near the farmers fence well away from the dangers of the tracks.
There is a cool festival/event that is quintessential Montana in Reed Point, between here and Billings. Andy and I took a half a day to have a date and check it out. I love a date that is made up of me, my man and my camera.
This festival includes a sheep run through town – something we didn’t see because it took place at the end of the day and we weren’t there anymore. But there are also many vendors, lots of food (we didn’t eat any of it) and demonstrations of some amazing western skills and talents
The town itself is very vintage!
The vendors had everything from antiques to cheap beads to lambs wool products – all that wonderful texture!
I missed the sheep shearing demonstraton (darn it!) but we will be back next year, so I’ll catch it then!
This week I came across a familiar statistic: Only 1 in 9 people in the world have access to clean water.
I also heard that Brad Pitt did that through ice water over your head for ALS but he used water gathered from his household toilets to make the point that the water in American toilets is cleaner than the water that is available to most people in the world.
Also this week I saw a blog post where a woman talked about how she was tired of feeling like her kitchen (and perhaps her whole house) was inadequate because it wasn’t like the friend/neighbor down the road who had a remodel recently. Then she walked around and saw that she had running water when she turned on the tap, and it was clean and sanitary – she could drink straight out of the tap without treating or boiling. And she realized her family was blessed.
And my aunt commented on this blog pointing out that my lament about the cool wet weather we are expecting this weekend would be so welcomed in California where things are tender dry, and the drought is the most severe in generations!
So I am humbly being thankful for the water we have here, regardless of whether I perceive it to match the calendar.
It is getting to be late summer here in Montana – and probably lots of other places too. Hollyhocks are always a good sign that August is well on its way to being over.
You also might have a hint of late summer based on the fact that I posted no less than two photos of snow on them thar’ hills in the last week.
The Back-to-School photos might have been another hint too.
Well, the trend is continuing. This morning the weather man told us to enjoy today because for the next six days (yes, just one day shy of a full week) we are going to “enjoy” temperatures at about 20 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year.
Hey folks, that means there is a real possibility of frost on the ground and more of that snow in the mountains. And if it rains, hopefully enough sunshine to bring us another one (or two or three) of these:
The Beaten Path is a well used path from Cook City Montana (North East corner of Yellowstone) to East Rosebud Lake Montana through the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. It is usually backpacked in a couple or three days. But we felt up to the challenge of doing the whole thing in one day.
We got to the trail head at 6:20 a.m., took a few photos and started walking. It was barely light outside.
And above 8000 feet the wild flowers were still blooming on August 16th.
Sometimes it was hard to tell where the lake ended and the river began.
Sometimes I was ahead of others . . .
And sometimes I brought up the rear.
It was 10 miles up to the highest pass – where we had lunch at a little after noon. Only 16 miles to go!
There was snow way up there at 10,000 feet.
One of us may have learned that snow in August is not particularly soft to plop down into, but a snow angel was made regardless of the hard landing.
We ran into two of the ladies’ husbands who were hiking the whole thing in reverse. It was a nice little short visit – we didn’t even sit down. They still were headed up and we were about a mile into our downward trek.
Waterfalls were a theme on the 16 mile down hill section – I lost count, but I bet it was more than a dozen waterfalls, some of them so large that I couldn’t fit them into the view of my 50mm lens. I selected this lens because it was the lightest weight one I have, and mounted on my camera it all fit into my fanny pack worn turned to the front for easy access.
Along with the waterfalls, the views on the down hill section continued to be breath-taking. If we had more time I’m sure each of us would have jumped in a lake and/or river, and would have just sat on a rock and contemplated the beauty of God’s creation as it was being revealed to us. But we were trying to be done by dark (which we were, but just barely).
The last 4 or 5 miles were pretty rocky on the down hill, and it was a bear to deal with as by that time the knees were hurting pretty bad. Nothing 800 mg of ibuprofen couldn’t address, but the going was slow as the trail was steep (lots of stair-step type trail with uneven landings and rocks galore!) With about 2 miles of this left my Andy met us on the trail.
By the time we finished the sun was gone from the canon, but the peaks were still glowing.
When we were all done Andy had ice cream sandwiches waiting for us kept frozen with dry ice, and then he took us all out to a famous burger place called the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe Montana. It was delicious.
Amazingly, not as sore as I expected the next day, and by 48 hours later, not sore at all. Those knees recover quicker than I think they will.
So, this hike was the reason I hiked and hiked and hiked all summer long – I was in training. Now just back to daily walks, and the 4 – 5 miles seems like such a small endeavor now.
It wasn’t at our house, but it was snow on the mountains we see from our back yard this morning. Couldn’t tell you about the mountains we see out the front yard because those mountains were shrouded in fog all day long. Fortunately it is supposed to warm up this coming week, so summer is not over, just took a three-day vacation with the snow as the climax of the cold front.