Bozeman to Big Sky

Leslie and Klaus traded in their family camping trailer for a nice 2-person trailer, a Little Guy Max, now that the kids are all out of the house. They took delivery of it right before the weekend so it was good to camp together in case they had some issues, and give us more time together for hikes.

We headed up to Bozeman and Montana State University with Leslie and Klaus to deliver some forgotten stuff to Tim, their youngest son who is now a freshman there at MSU. We had lunch in their amazing dining hall and then set off south of Bozeman to Hyalite Canyon for some afternoon hikes.

Our first stop was at History Rock. The sandstone rock was carved with thousands of names, which looked mostly added in the last couple of decades.

From there we made our way out to Hyalite Reservoir and had a nice hike along the lake.

Besides the reservoir, there were several smaller lakes in the woods along the hike.

It was cold in the mornings, near freezing, at the campsite because we were situated in a canyon. I noticed two mice in our fire ring that had spent the night below our campfire we had in our volcano grill. After cooking dinner and starting another campfire they reappeared from underneath the fire again. It was warm at the base of the fire ring, but not too hot so it was the perfect place to spend the night for those two.

The next day we drove further up the canyon and hiked to Rat Lake, a pretty mountain lake.

When the holiday weekend was over, Leslie and Klaus headed back north to Missoula while Pam and I headed south towards Yellowstone NP.

Missoula Revisited

We headed down from Whitefish to Missoula to restock, relax and visit with family. We skipped Missoula last year due to the forest fires all around town that created unhealthy air quality in much of that area. This year there was some light smoke in the air but not too bad. We had the truck’s oil changed and I gave it a much needed bath. We also restocked for the next leg of our journey. The farmer’s market has quite a lot of great produce to choose from this time of year.

I bought some maple syrup aged in local bourbon barrels and used it to baste fresh salmon in Klaus’ smoker. A few future meals for the road. I also made another batch of bolognaise sauce to restock our camper freezer.

Missoula has quite a few micro-breweries in town now. The town has added some street signs to help drivers.

Leslie’s neighbor has beautiful flowering plants all around their back yard. The local deer have not figured a way through or over their fence yet, so they settle for the grass in the front yard.

Occasionally, one will stray into Leslie’s yard and nibble on their front bushes by the window.

We took a trip to Snowbowl, their local ski area, to do a day hike. From the top you could see down into the Missoula city valley off in the distance to the east.

The mountains to the west were holding back much of the forest fire smoke from the fires in northern Idaho.

You don’t get to ride down the chairlifts very often so it makes for an interesting ride.

We left Missoula and headed across to Helena. A favorite brewery for both of us is the Lewis and Clark Brewery in Helena.

We camped south of Bozeman at Spire Rock CG along the Gallatin River for the Labor Day Weekend. It was the spot Leslie and Klaus had reserved back in June, but we arrived a day early and cut a deal with the host so that we could all stay there for the weekend.