Journal entry – 1 September 2015, Tues – Red Lodge, Montana – Hiking the Basin Lakes Trail

Journal entries are just that – the digital copy of my hand-written entries in my journal. If you aren’t interested in the daily details of our adventure, feel free to skip on to the next “regular” post.

It’s still dark when the alarm sounds, so I hit snooze a bit before rising. A later sunrise, tucked behind the mountains and hidden by trees means that the sun doesn’t directly reach us until mid-morning. It’s a cold night and the chill lingers until morning. We cradle our mugs of coffee and tea close.

After breakfast Ashley reads on the window seat as I write at the table. A blog post about coffee. Wrapping up, we prepare for a hike up the trail across the street. It’s 4 miles each way, so we figure it’ll be a good hike up to the lake at the end for lunch.

We head up the Basin Lakes Trail, past a beautiful waterfall and beyond Lower Basin Lake. A curve in the trail wraps around the remnants of an old cabin. We finally stop at Upper Basin Lake. It’s a fairly short trail but with enough features to be plenty interesting. At the lake we find a spot to sit and enjoy our lunch. 


The hike is filled with great conversation – ranging from books recently read, thoughts on religion, and even an idea for a future career. Pretty lakes, enjoyable trail and delightful conversation – can’t ask for much more than that!

We are passed (twice) by a girl trail-running with her dog. While it’s not an incredibly difficult trail it is still challenging enough that we are impressed.

As we return to the parking lot we notice four people staring intently into the woods in front of their car. Coming closer we spot the moose they’re watching. He’s only about 15′ off the gravel but is hidden by the trees. After watching him stand there for a couple of minutes (with my hand ready on my bear spray) he meanders a few dozen feet to his right and then seems to take notice of his audience. They all hop into their car and Ashley and I continue walking down to the road. How cool! Our first moose sighting in the wild.

We ride the motorcycle up the road in search of cell signal. We find it and stop at a gravel turn-off. Ashley checks her email and voicemail – finding a message from a campground in Florida. I have a few emails to read through and get a weather update. Quite the mobile office we have – using our phones on the side of the road standing next to the motorcycle. 🙂


Back at home I begin prepping the fire for the night. We’re going to roast sausages and cook potato and onion foil packs. If we’re going to have a fire we might as well put it to work and save a bit of propane while we’re at it.

We eat a 3-course meal, though not intentionally. Our salads are enjoyed as the sausages roast. Then we eat them – all the while the foil pack is sitting next to the coals. Eventually it’s finished and prove to be well worth the wait – they’re delicious!

The fire burns itself out and we head inside. I crochet and listen to some podcasts while Ashley reads. I read a bit in a new book before bed.