August in Bozeman

August 17th, 2008

Will riding past Emerald Lake

This past week I took a quick trip up to Bozeman. The main goals were to bring some stuff up to my brother and run errands, but I was mostly excited to see my friends and enjoy the Montana mountains for a few days. You can’t have a bad time in Bozeman in the summer, if you like the outdoors. And you definitely can’t have a bad time when one errand is to get your new Dynafit setup mounted. :)

Stream crossing on the Emerald Lake trailFirst off, I took a bike ride up to Emerald Lake. I’m not sure how many miles the ride is, but it’s an out-and-back with about 2000′ of elevation gain. The trail gets you way up in the Gallatins, which is sweet because you can’t really get your bike up in the Tetons due to wilderness/parks. The trail ends at a second lake just past Emerald, at the base of Mount Chrisholm I believe. I went with my friend Will, who has a bit more of a downhill bike than me so I killed him on the ride up. I’m still kind of a vagina when it comes to downhill riding though, so he killed me on the way back. Sweet ride, nice and buff and flowy with roots (but not too many). I can’t wait to do more rides around Bozeman!

Al chucking a disc at Bohart RanchI also checked out the Bohart Ranch (a cross-country ski area just past Bridger Bowl) disc golf course for the first time. I’ve never been because a 30min drive to pay $5 to folf never seemed worth it. I went because I was planning on hiking (and maybe skiing) Sacajawea with my brother, and doing some 4×4 in his truck (always a good redneck Montana time), and Bohart is on the way. I’m loath to pay for folf and I even lost a disc… but it’s a full 18 holes and mowed, so, whatever. Go Bohart. Then after folf we decided to go explore the Ross Pass road before we hiked Sacajawea.

View of Ross Peak from lower on the road

Little glamour shot of the ToyotaWe never did get to Sacajawea. We started the Ross Pass drive first. The road begins by Brackett Creek. The road starts out very mellow, but the higher you go the gnarlier it gets. By the time you are close to Ross Pass the rocks are big, the road steep, and the bushes cover about 1/2 of it. At the very top it’s really more of an ATV road, and the final shot is so steep I bet it’s hard to ride even on an ATV. Just before the very steepest part, however, Half the road was overgrown at the topit’s still pretty steep and in a pickup truck with no weight in the pack we started to spin on the loose dirt. We were only about a five minute walk from the Pass summit so we called it good and started to back down. We had spotted a place to turn around on the side-hill by turn up the hill with a little speed. However… we missed the exact spot we needed to hit and backed up into the bushes. And worse… the nose of the truck slid around so we couldn’t get back on the road. Attempts to straighten it out just made the truck slide further off of the road. Crap. So we hiked out, hitched into Bozeman, and plotted to return the next evening with our friend Steve’s jeep to pull us back on the road.

Oops.The summit of Ross Pass

Why not? I wasn't drivingWe did come back the next day… but to no avail. Attempts to pull the truck around started to flip it over instead! We enjoyed a nice sunset and moonrise but had to the leave the truck up there to continue it’s camping trip another night. We left a note apologizing for blocking the road with a phone number to call if anyone had a big winch to help get it out. I had to leave Bozeman the next day, but apparently my brother got a call from the note! Someone with a big jeep, ATV and two winches said he could help out. On the fourth day the truck was returned safely home. Gotta be careful with those tight turn around spots…

Preparing to fail at getting the truck outDay two of the truck's camping trip

Moonrise up on Ross Pass in the Bridgers

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