Saturday, May 28, 2011

Curry Gulch Trail to Curry Cabin

      After sleeping in this morning my regular partner in crime & I set off into the Rattlesnake wilderness for a run up to an old prospectors cabin. I've lived so close to this trailhead for years & have not yet explored it's multiple paths in their entirety yet. This particular trail was put high on my priority list for this hiking season & this morning was the perfect opportunity to finish it.

     So Bosco & I set off down the trail. Bryce is in Great Falls w/ my camera this week so I only had my phone to take pictures. They're not the best but I thought I'd share them anyways.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Welcome Creek Trail

Despite our longing to be out in the woods again this weekend (& the perfect camping spot that involved canoeing to already picked out) Bryce & I opted to stay in Missoula this weekend rather than go camping.

So Saturday morning w/ biked down to market w/ Bosco & walked around all morning enjoying the sights & smells of the River City Market as well as running into a few friends.

But as the temperatures warmed & the skies showed no signs of soaking us anytime soon, our desire to be out in the wild began to overtake us. So we packed up some snacks, filled out Camelbaks, & took off for a low lying trail a few miles outside of Missoula. Before we even made it to the trailhead we began seeing wildlife. A bald eagle, grouse, & even a herd of big horn sheep greeted us on our travels through Rock Creek.

The Welcome Creek trailhead is located 21 miles outside of Missoula in Rock Creek, MT. After exiting off the highway you drive another 10 or so miles down a half paved road to the trailhead.

The trail begins at a suspension bridge that takes you over the Rock Creek & into the forest.

After a short walk along the Rock Creek we crossed a log bridge over Welcome Creek & headed into a canyon forest full of Douglas fir, spruce, & old growth pines. The trail continued to follow Welcome Creek upstream along this same forest as well as many boulder fields.

At 2.5 miles into the trail our path crossed yet another log bridge over the creek. This was not only our turn around spot but a perfect place to relax & have our snack we packed along w/ us.

From here we turned around and headed back out of the canyon towards the car. We were only a mile or so from the car when I almost stepped on what I thought was a giant earthworm from South America & screamed (kind of like a little girl). Bryce grabbed my shoulders asking what I was freaking out about when I pointed out the "giant earthworm" in the middle of our path. You see, in all [almost] four years that I have lived in Montana I have never seen a snake. Not once. Snakes are a common sighting in the summer months back in Pennsylvania, but not so much in Montana. I guess I had talked myself into believing that such things did not exist in Montana (but apparently it was alright for my mind to think that the giant earthworms of South America did?!). Bryce (a Montana native) assured me snakes did indeed exist in Montana & even showed me that this rubber boa was pretty harmless. But PLEASE, follow the link I have posted, even if you just read the first paragraph you'll understand why I am not SO crazy for thinking this creature was a worm!

The rest of our return hike was very relaxing as we strolled through the forest. Upon returning to Missoula we were relieve to see we had not missed the foretold rapture & returned to find mayhem. After a bike ride & a five mile hike today will be a relaxing day for us (and especially Bosco, he's pooped!) Today's adventure: a blanket fort in Bryce's livingroom! (maybe some pictures to follow)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Car Camping - Thompson River Road

Before I even get into my past weekends adventure's w/ Bryce, I'd like to share my friend Anne's blog w/ you all. She is currently in Nepal for a few weeks documenting an all female trekking company. You can check it out HERE or by clicking her name in my links down below.

Despite having a few temp jobs this past week, I've been getting frustrated in my search for a job in Missoula. The weather had been amazing all week & my need to be out in the woods again has been growing. Since actual backpacking won't become a reality until after the 4th of July in the mountains, Bryce & I decided car camping would be the next best thing. Plus it's always nice to have a little luxury we're not used to out in the woods when we backpack in somewhere.

So we packed up the car w/ all the essentials as well as a few non essential items (like an air mattress) &; took off for the mountains.

We saw some knarly looking sheep along the side of the road near our camp. I called them zombie sheep b/c of how weathered they look from this past winter as they prepare for summer.

After picking out our site we set-up the tent & quickly headed down some forest service roads to collect some firewood & enjoy the views w/ any remaining sunlight. Bryce had been to this particular area once before & knew all the scenic places to show me.

As the sun was starting to set & our bellies were starting to grumble, we headed back to camp to finish setting up & cook a dinner over the fire. We ate an awesome campfire cooked meal of turkey & cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, & mashed potatoes & broccoli. Yum! One of my favorite parts of car camping is the awesome foods you get to cook over the fire you wouldn't normally get to enjoy when backpacking into the back country.

Both of us collapsing into a food coma we cuddled up in the tent w/ the dogs & did some reading before our eyes got to heavy. We both slept soundly w/ the rushing sounds of the river & the cool mountain night air drifting into the tent.

The next morning we were up bright & early. As the dogs stretched their legs from a night of being crammed into a tent (my dogs take after me and prefer to have really comfortable things) Bryce & I packed up the car & headed off towards our next adventure.

We arrived at the forest service road that would take us to Hud Lake early in the afternoon. We made it just a few miles from the trail head before the snow consumed the road & Bryce's Subaru wouldn't go any further. We then took off on foot the last few miles to the trail head, walked in about a hundred feet, then returned to the car.

When we got back to the car we discovered these butterflies sunning themselves on my Vibrams.