“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
I’m taking a diversion from my usual reading-related and crafty posts. I wanted to do a little show-and-tell of my backpacking trip last weekend. It was the trip of a lifetime and I was lucky enough to enjoy the majestic Montana wilderness at its best.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to escape from reality and take a backpacking trip into the Jewel Basin wilderness area of northwest Montana. With 30 pounds of provisions on my back, I joined my husband, dad, and three good friends to enjoy a perfect weekend of nature in Montana. This was “off-the-beaten-path” hiking. We didn’t see another human being the entire time we were out. However, we did have some very friendly, and unexpected visitors in our camp.
These mountain goats rarely see people in this remote area, but they were quite friendly and walked right into our camp and didn’t seem bothered by any of us. After awhile, however, we were happy to see them move along.
If your idea of heaven includes a body of water, this pristine mountain lake is exactly what you would conjure in your mind. No large lake homes….no jet-skis…no floating contraptions….just the sound of nature and jumping fish. If fact, the fishing was excellent, and I have to say that fresh fish, caught from a high-mountain lake, cooked over a camp-fire is as good as it gets.
Okay, I might be bragging a little, but I did make it to the top of this mountain. It was hard, but worth it. Can you see the little dots of white below the peal? Those are the mountain goats that came to visit us the next day. They had absolutely no trouble making it down the face of this mountian. (By the way, we didn’t climb up the front of this side of the mountain. We found an easier route.)
From this vantage point, it felt like the sky went on forever. If you wonder why we call our great state “Big Sky Country,” well, this is it! With mountain lakes surrounding us, and the beauty of Montana in each direction, it felt like I was on top of the world. It was a weekend to appreciate my Montana home, my health, and my family and friends. I realize that few people are lucky enough to see ever the kind of natural beauty that I did on this trip. I feel truly lucky to say, “I get to live here!”