Tag Archives: hiking

Some of the Things that Happened Between Then and Now

So… I’ve been MIA for almost a year. Not for lack of thinking about it. Not sure I can blame it on lack of time, though that is probably part of it. Lack of motivation? Maybe? I definitely do not come home and turn my computer on every night like I used to do. I’ve spent more time reading books in bed than reading blogs or fussing on my phone. I’ve been outside. A lot. And I love it. I also loved this record of recipes, things I’d done, places I’d gone and people who’ve done it with me. I do come back here with frequency to tell someone where I was or what I did on a trip or a project. I guess I set a New Year’s goal, with out thinking about it, to return to this place and continue on so I keep having a place to return to and get lost in the fun of the past from time to time.

Here are some of the things that happened in the last year that stick out. Some of them will be flushed out in real posts later on. Consider this a really long over due Sunday Afternoon post in no particular order.

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I guess the biggest event of mine for 2016 was the fact that The Sexy Master Electrician and I decided to co-habitat. After a long and stressful search process we finally found a place we could both agree on with minor concessions on both sides. We are currently in a three bedroom condo with a garage. I had to send Princess Chunk home to live with my sister for the time being, (we were having little to no luck finding pet friendly rentals), and he had to keep the garage clean enough so that I could park in it during the winter. “The garage is too small anyway” so TSME has a storage unit for all the crap that I still have no understanding of how it fit in his previous one car garage.

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Thanks to this change, I refinished a lot of furniture this summer. We are talking two tables, a dresser, a desk turned TV console, a side table and other random items here and there. There were several lessons learned and things left half finished for months until my parents came to visit and I kept my dad busy finishing them up. I am pretty proud of how some of them turned out some could be better, but they work just fine now.

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We also decided to purchase a grown-up couch with help from our friends at The Architect’s Wife. It looks awesome. I am so happy we finally landed on this one.

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And we had to get lots of plants. I potted them. TSME is responsible for keeping them all alive. My spider plant is doing so well I was able to give a “baby” away to a friend and it actually made it!

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We had guests for our usual Forth of July celebration in Livingston. TSME’s sister and boyfriend came to visit with one of the most adorable dog ever. Before heading over the hill, we did some hiking and brewery hopping around Bozeman. We stayed at Chico this year and went over to the Natural Bridge before the rodeo. The only hiccup was the rock that found it’s way into one of the wheels and made a terrible sound. The tire had to come off to get it out. Dang gravel roads.
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The rest of the summer was filled with kickball and flag football league, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, some biking and boating, and a few longer weekend trip around the state.
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Oh and a trip to New York City for Kurt and Melissa’s wedding in Brooklyn. I love that city. It was a great week to be there. TSME had a great time. We stayed with friends and also got an AirBnb for a few nights. The wedding was lovely and we spent time in the Wythe Hotel, at a lot of my favorite pizza, Fornino’s and took TSME to some of the places I didn’t have the chance to our first time there together.

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We made a little trip to Pine Creek Lodge to see Diarrhea Planet in person. My friend K and her boyfriend are groupies and convinced us that we needed to go see this band since they were going to be so close. The location is great. I want to stay over next time I go out there. And the band was super fun. I would go see them again.

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I also went to Missoula to see Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. So. Much. Fun. Would love to see them again.

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#bestdressed
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Still snow in May…
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In other big news, though it’s not mine, just family related, my brother got married this Spring. My cousin, Rachael, my little sister and her boyfriend all came to Montana to hang out after the wedding. They went down to Yellowstone. I took them up to storm castle. It was super fun. And I was able to enlist them to help me move out of my tiny apartment into the condo.

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Our office had a “Domestic Dispute Retreat” in Pony at one of my coworker’s cabin. He smoked ribs, I made pie, we played cornhole and went down to the Pony Bar. Yes, there were horses and dogs at the bar. A very successfully weekend sort of off the grid. Great “bonding” experience for our little office.

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At the end of the year, we hosted Thanksgiving. TSME and his bestie had a smoke-off to see who could smoke the best turkey. They both turned out amazing and it was a fun day with friends and my parents. After that is was rush, rush, rush to the end of the year.

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We went out and cut down a tree for Christmas. My first Christmas tree since some time in college. It was adorable.
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Bozeman office and the big man
Then I had my company party in Billings one weekend. I wasn’t sick this year or the newbie so it was pretty fun, minus terrible weather.

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Another was reserved for my annual candy and cookie party, which my sister was here for with a friend. There was the Christmas Stroll. Downtown and in the “Northside” neighborhood. Plus we had to go skiing.

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We went to South Dakota for Christmas. We had to run to Rapid City one day, so we went up to Dinosaur Hill. I found out is on the National Historical Registrar and has been there since 1936. I remember them always being up there and going once or twice when I was little. but hadn’t been up there in a very long time. It was kind of neat. Kind of sad since they clearly need to repair work done if they are going to survive another 80 years.

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My parents got a new puppy, Belle. Cutest thing every. It was so fun to play with her and almost made being stuck at home an extra day, due to a storm snowing us in, worth it.

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We made it back to host Kurt, Melissa and Aubie Katz as well as TSME’s other sister and boyfriend for New Year’s. Kurt and Melissa stopped on their move to Portland and TSME sister and boyfriend were up here to ski. We hit up the hot springs, breweries, downtown, and of course, Bridger Bowl.

And that, I think, is a wrap. For the most part.

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Sunday Afternoon Coffee [fifty-four]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I did not get the fellowship. Am I upset? Yes. Have I figured out my next move? No, but I will. I’ll let you know when I know what that is for sure. In the mean time, I am going to start getting involved with the Chapter Network and seeing where that goes. And I will continue to tell myself that, even though I feel like the image below, I am not that dog…
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am currently obsessed with a few things right now. The new Adele song, of course. Goes right to the soul, I don’t care if everyone and their dog is also obsessed or making fun of it right now.

I am also loving these two Instagram accounts. This one is the prefect amount of snarky and this one makes me wish the baby raccoon we tried to save lived when I was a kid. I’m sure my mom was secretly glad he did not.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had a blast at my friends Halloween Murder Mystery Party. It turned out that my character was highly suspicious, though not the murder. She was how ever the motive for the murder-suicide that would take place. Dang homewrecker. It was 1920’s themed, so I made my mom send an old bridesmaid dress of hers that sort of fit the look and found some white gloves, a star worthy bracelet and a cigar to go with my DIY feather head piece. Everyone did an awesome job of dressing for their character. Halloween, you did not disappoint.
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thanks mom!

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A  glider at the M one afternoon
If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I am holding on to every last little bit of fall as much as possible. I am not quite ready for winter. Earlier today, I went up the M and yesterday I returned to Ousel Falls. There is snow on the peaks, and I don’t think it’s going to melt off until the spring, so I keep thinking each hike is the last time I am going to get to do it for the year.
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Speaking of fall, this article made me laugh so hard. It’s gourd season. Get on board people.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would talk about football. I have been watching my friends peewee team again on Saturday mornings. This year they went undefeated. Great work little Packers! Our MSU team had a blow out at the last home game. A new team came to visit and I will admit that I was cheering for them to score at least once. Which they finally did. We only have two more home games. One of which is  Cat-Griz. With our current record, I don’t expect we’ll be in the playoffs.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had the pleasure of witnessing goldfish racing. You heard correctly. Goldfish racing. You blow through a straw to get your little guy down to the other end first. Bets were naturally placed.

If you need me, you can probably find me soaking up as much sunshine warmth as possible.

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Sunset last week from Drinking Horse

Sacagawea Peak

Sac peak

If you haven’t noticed, I tried to get in as many hikes as possible this summer. The weather has stayed nice so long this year, that I’ve had a chance to get a couple more in before it turns bad. At the end of September C and I went up to Sacagawea Peak, the tallest in the Bridgers at 9665 feet.  The hike is just shy of 6 miles round trip and gains 2000 feet, (For the record, websites say its a 4+ mile hike. I tracked us only going down and it had us at 2.8 miles, so not really sure what the deal is…)  Who doesn’t like to be on top of the world?

Sac peak

The hike starts at Fairy Lake. You climb up through the trees for a bit before you begin switching back and forth through the basin to a  small saddle where the trail splits and you can head west down in into Gallatin Valley or up to the peak. The switch backs can be pretty tedious at times and the path is pretty narrow. I maybe slipped on the loose rocks on the way down once…

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From the saddle
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Scrambling to the top

The last bit of the hike is  a little bit of a scramble over hard rocks and the wind was blowing once we reach the saddle, but it’t not really that difficult of a hike. You can keep going along the ridge line all the way to the M, only 21 more miles away. (This is something I want to do sometime, just need to get a crew to go!)
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See the trail?

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Those white spots are mountain goats!

On the way down we spotted the elusive mountain goats that are typically hanging out on the peak. Maybe they were not into the wind. I wasn’t paying attention to when we started, but it took somewhere between 1.5 and 2 hours to get up and an hour to get down. It was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and I wish I would have done it earlier this year. If the road up to Fairy Lake wasn’t so rough, I would do it frequently. We’ll see what next summer brings!
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Hyalite Peak

By CW

I meant to hike to Hyalite Peak a decade ago when I was in school at MSU but somehow failed to do it. I think I was afraid of the distance and elevation gain during my fat kid stage. I don’t know why I was afraid, especially with the views at the top. I don’t know who suggested we do it one random August day, but I’m so glad they did.
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by Chels

The hike starts at the Grotto Falls trail head behind the reservoir. You take a right at the fork, do not continue east to the East Grotto Falls trail head. The hike is about 15 miles round trip and gains 3378 feet, most of which is during the last two miles.
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The first five miles are pretty easy. Starting at 6900 feet in elevation, you cross several streams and pass many waterfalls on your way up.
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At the end of the five miles is a lake in the basin at approximately 8900. We hung out there for a moment before heading up to the peak, the second tallest in the Gallatin Range, at 10298 feet.
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the hike switchbacks up to the saddle and ends at the top of the peak on the left!

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From up there you can see the Bridgers, the Crazies the Absorkees, the Spanish Peaks, and the Tabacoo Roots as well as Hyalite Canyon, Gallatin Valley and Paradise Valley. It is beautiful and amazing how far you can see. We spent about an hour on the top before heading down.
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The hike down from the peak to the lake was pretty quick but the trip from the lake down was about the same time as heading up. Round trip it took us about 6 hours, including the time spent at the lake and on top. If you have the time and are in Bozeman, you should do this hike. It’s amazing up there.

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I Saw a Bear [Hiking Deep Creek]

Deep Creek Hike

In the early evening of September 13th, I saw a bear and her cub. And this time it wasn’t in a car or from far away. It was about 20 feet away as they took off running from the trail we were hiking. It was awesome and a little scary and I finally saw a bear.

Dr.K and I decided we needed to get out and do something in the lovely warm weather and not let it go to waste. How many more days could there be like it? This is Montana after all. We got ourselves together and headed over to Livingston where we meet up with another friend.  He suggested we head up to the Deep Creek trail. It is less traveled that Pine Creek and we could go for as long as we like and turn around. The trail is pretty long and hooks into the greater trail system. We ended up hiking in about 2.5 to 3 miles before turning around. Since we started so late, we knew we wouldn’t go too far.

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The trail is beautiful. There are wildflowers all over, even in the fall. The color was spectacular and kept changing. Because of a fire, you can see all the peaks around you as you hike in the valley just above the creek. We talked about how we will have to plan a longer trip up to one of those peaks next summer. We are out of time this year. We were hoping to see some mountain goats up on the rocks, but if they were there, we did not see them.

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Instead, on our return trip, we saw a smaller black bear and her cub that we scared up, probably 1.5-2 miles from the trail head. At the start, someone who had just finished a long hike said he saw a large bear and her cubs this morning, so to be on the lookout. When we saw how small the mother was, we were a bit worried that we were seeing the two cubs and didn’t know where momma was and did not want to find out she was on the other side of us. After making a lot of noise and have the bear spray at the ready, we decided that what we saw was a momma and cub, not two cubs.  I didn’t get a picture because I was thinking, “oh crap, where are they running? Away, right?” After that we were on alert heading to the car, but didn’t see any more animals.

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It was an awesome hike and so cool to see a bear that close when it was scared of us and not the other way around. Hopefully we will make it back up there for some cross country skiing this winter. If not, then for a longer hike taking us further in!

Beehive Basin

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We thought it was a more difficult hike than it actually is, at 5 to 6 miles round trip the elevation gain is only approximately 750 feet. When we arrived at the trail head, the parking lot was full and we were a bit apprehensive about doing it with so many people on the trail. In the end, it wasn’t difficult to pass the slow ones and a lot of people were coming down instead of heading up.
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K getting a picture of the flowers
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You ascend on some switch backs for a bit at the start and then the trail mostly levels out, gaining elevation slowly.

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By K

The end is at the lake at the top in a meadow where you are surrounded by the jagged mountains. You can climb some of these peaks, and it would be cool to figure out which ones you can climb or to see what other trails you can connect into around there. We just hung out by the lake and climbed up a hill/rock at the end of it.
Untitled//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsDespite all the cars at the base, we had several moments when we were the only people visible at the lake. The views were amazing. I don’t know if I will ever tire of being on top of a mountain and being able to see for miles and miles and not able to see another human.

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Lava Lake

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If you hadn’t noticed, it is perfect hiking weather here in Montana. I drug my friend R, outside with me one Sunday to check off an new hike, Lava Lake. So many people have told me about this hike, I just never got to it for some reason. Now I need to add it to the easy to get to, easy to do, do it more often list.

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It’s three miles long one way with a gradual climb 1600 feet to the lake. You really don’t notice the climb much at all, at least if you are in some sort of shape anyway. Most of the time you are shaded by trees and follow a little stream that you cross a time or two. If you happen to pry your eyes from where your next step is, there are some awesome views along the way through the valley.

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A few huge boulders frame the lake when you get to the top. All round the side of the lake are large rock scree fields or dense trees. We continued along the west side of the lake and scrambled along util we found a good spot to hang out on the rocks. Some people were fishing. Some people were camping. It was beautiful. Go check it out.
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