Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Along The Clearwater River in Montana

I may be getting lazy in my old age. We've got some "Stuff" coming up in a couple weeks that I decided we needed to stay "in contact" to prepare for... so a camp with decent signal was required.

In Western Montana... finding a camp with that signal is pretty iffy. Don't misunderstand, there's no shortage of good camps. Just finding a communication signal is often a hard go. It kind of frustrates me now and again to be regulated by worryin' 'bout signal... but... ya gotta take care of business if you want to keep things together... so I just deal.

Honestly? I think I just lacked the initiative this time to stop and hunt for a camp farther north... figuring it would take a day or more... with no guarantee of finding a camp I could connect from... and I have some work that needs doin'... so... I kept rolling... 

Well... we knew of a camp a bit farther south than we really wanted to go just yet... down on the banks of the Clearwater River maybe ten miles or so north of Seeley Lake.

But it's a FREE boondocker camp (which fits our budget) and it's got signal... so we just rattled and rolled along and pulled off the highway with fingers crossed, hoping and hoping... and it was TAKEN! :(   ... aw fizzlewraped crud punching son of a bowlegged sea gull!



Well... Though I'm a lil' hesitant to crowd in on other folks in the boondocks... this spot has enough space I felt comfortable enough to pull in off to one side and leave them other guys with their tents plenty of room. :)  That and... I was feelin' kinda cranky!

A couple of Timber Cruisers are camped in "Our" spot, on the other side of this lil' meadow for a few days. They're working a timber inventory on a tract of land just back west of us a few miles...


The front yard here is  a pretty fair bit of Montana scenery... and one of the signs of a healthy stream are the frogs...


They're kinda like canaries in the coal mines... The lil' hoppers are real sensitive to a dirty place, so when they're still around it's a good sign...

If you followed this crick Heidi called it... to which I corrected her; "THAT is not a crick... it's the Clearwater RIver!" ... "Really? It's not much of a river!" ... anyhoo... if you followed it back around there to the left...

... you'd cross under a lil' wooden one lane bridge... through a shallow bed for a few hundred yards to the lake it pours out of ...

* Lake Alva*
Another one of those pretty lil' jewels that dots the Montana mountains... Nothing prettier than one of these places at a quiet sunset... or with a Loon calling in the first grey of dawn... just an awesome place is Montana.


We walked up along here from camp for a ways... and listened to a dad and his two kids that had drug their aluminum boat up the river a hundred yards or so, bangin' over the rocks, 'cause it was too shallow to float... so they could get to the lake without having to use the boat ramp ~ and I suppose pay the king his daily fee to float on the water ;) ~

So... they park along the dirt road behind us... and scramble through the shallows draggin' the canoe to get there. Funny thing is... they're way off up toward the far end there... and I can still hear 'em. :) So... I hope they don't think they Snuck out there onto the lake! ;) uh... it ain't no secret!

The kids have some practicing to do to paddle without thumping the side of that boat with their oars! Sounded like lil canons goin' off... a half mile away over that water! :)

If you're a fisherman by canoe, kayak, one of those lil' personal pontoon kinda boats...

...Or especially one of those float tube gizmos I see a lot of fly fisherman use...

Western Montana has got to be a heaven on earth...

Is likely why a River Runs Through It was told in this country.

If I was flush enough to fork over the Non-Resident costs of a fishing license... I believe I'd rekindle the sport in my own world...

It's often a lot more than sport I believe... floating quiet out on that water strikes me as being the same sort of quiet-in-your-own-head time a horseman or a fella on a motorcycle gets...

Last evening we did one of those budget busting deals down to Seeley Lake.


Being that I crossed into my 61st summer yesterday we decided that digging that hole we live in a lil' deeper wasn't going to be the deciding factor whether we go bust or not. ;)

So... we went down to the area's premier eatery... and had an Awesome steak. and it was A steak... They cut the buggers at 16 oz which is about 8oz more than it takes to feed me...

... so we split that rare, butter knife tender beauty.



... and then...

It's not legal to consume a fine Birthday Steak...

...without a glass of an equally fine Birthday Brew... Is it?

So... a glass of Summer Honey, sitting by the window,

savoring a rare and tender steak, looking out over Seeley Lake...

Pretty nice...

Even if it cratered the already lame budget :)


We'll be kicking back in this camp until pretty much the end of the month. It's sunny, so the generator don't have to generate... there's trails and good places close by, the lake and the river for the dogs to swim in... well Buck anyway...

... and the Big Sky of Montana is hangin' over me while I finish up Ben Jensen's latest "Situation" and start the editing... so I can get this next book published! :)

Under the Wide Montana Sky
Brian

6 comments:

Thom Hoch said...

Happy Birthday you old cowpoke. Sounds like you two had a good day in gods country.

Janna and Mike said...

No smoke there??? We are at Crater Lake heading toward home and it is so smoky it's almost impossible to see or breathe!

Brian said...

Thanks Thom! Just turned 34!!! :)

Janna and Mike; Parked ten miles north of Seeley Lake and clear air.

We came across two days or so ago, on highway 2.

Last I heard there were quite a number of fires south of here, and in Idaho through that country west of Salmon/Challis.

You might want to swing north like we did to clear out of the smoke.

When we went through there were two fires in Washington NW of Yakima and South West so smoke along the columbia I guess... we had clear air from a bit north of Wenatchee on through Grand Coulee, Spokane and to here... Several fires in Yellowstone and road closures there I heard...

Mike OBrien said...

Happy Birthday Old Timer! In a few more years you'll be older than dirt and twice as dusty!

We've had quite a bit of haze and smoke over this way form the fires further west. We've also had a wet summer by Wyoming standards. Our grass is still green and growing. Looks like I might have to mow the place one more time before the snow flies.

Given your present location, a good M/C day trip would be ride up to Glacier and ride the Going To The Sun road once again. I don't think a person can ever ride roads like that enough.

Adios!
Mike

Brian said...

Mike; so far we've avoided most of the smoke by staying north. Gonna be hard to always do that... most of the west is gonna burn over the next ten years... the more they try to put 'em out... the hotter they're gonna burn.

Glacier is on the "map"... we actually have an "appointment" to meet some people the first week of September near Kalispell... I'm actually hoping to get a tire put on there tomorrow or Tuesday... to replace the one put on BACKWARDS by the Yamaha Dealer in Phoenix... that I rode near 9,000 miles before I realized that NOT ONLY was the Tire on bass akwards... the Whole damn WHEEL is! :)

Teri said...

I'm late reading blogs, but Happy Birthday!