September has been full of exploration. Always one of my favorite times of year, this time I’m actually getting outside more than usual. A quick tour:
1. The daily wanderings, around Bozeman. Getting out despite waning daylight, weather, and such.
Dusk descent back into Hyalite canyon.
Blustery day in Bozeman.
2. Working on some stories about Yellowstone National Park. A week on horseback in the backcountry.
Coming down from Bighorn Pass, Yellowstone National Park.
Mules and horses moving over Fawn Pass in Yellowstone.
My tent, perched next to the horses, in a backcountry camp.
Trying on a new town: Bozeman. Learning new trails with old friends. Trying out being 100% freelance.
This morning, spontaneous bike ride with my friend Heidi.
Which meant early dinner and time to work on the novel with a glass of Malbec this evening. I could get used to this schedule.
Here’s a new side project I’m working on with a few friends: Montana Backcountry – a new adventure blog. The four of us spend a lot of time cavorting around the mountains, but we all have different interests and passions. Hunting, skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, wild game recipes, trail running, rafting, climbing, camping with toddlers. And so on. Whether you want inspiration or arm-chair adventure … I’ll be posting there from time to time.
From a few weeks ago—great tree shadows in the wall tent at elk camp. Spend a few nights sleeping next to a babbling stream, walking through the woods, stoking a wood fire, and eating gourmet camp food and it’s easy to see why these men never come home during hunting season. Now I beg to go, too; this time around, I played camp cook and practiced some Dutch oven cookin’.
Found winter laying down its bed in the Sapphires.
Borrowed a young dog, ran some mountain trails. Fixed a burned-out brain.
Yesterday, I was on this ridgeline above Queener basin. Today I am completing Hour 12 of computer work. My eyes are weary and I’m wishing, wholeheartedly, that my legs were aching in a tent somewhere.
Sidenote: Two days of hiking and we only ran into three people. If you want spectacular views, alpine lakes, and an actual sense of solitude, this is a great destination.
Don and Eric are now co-owners of a lightweight tipi from Seek Outside. This was her first trip — a quick backpacking excursion into the Pintlers. Roomy (with three), airy, and solid during a windy, at times rainy, evening. So roomy that I didn’t even get gassed out.
Summer is Missoula, Montana, elicits a giddy high. Biking home from the brewery after a visit with friends, breeze in your face, the world a playground, and sunsets such as this, which glowed with the smoke of wildfire season.
“What? You’re cold? I’m toasty warm in your sleeping bag.” #dogs #dogswhostealsleepingbags#spoiled #camping #montana