Journal entry – 8 September 2015, Tues – Red Lodge, Montana – Hiking Beartooth High 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.

Another cold morning. I turn on the heater and after a bit I turn on the generator to keep the batteries topped off. Much nicer morning when we can’t see our breath inside! I make progress on the afghan – only a few yards of yarn left!

Two hikes we want to do and we plan to leave tomorrow – assuming Ashley’s glasses arrive. So we pick the Beartooth High Lakes Trail. It’s back up over the pass, so we bundle up. Though the sun is shining merrily it’s still cold up above 10,000 feet.

We motorcycle over the pass, appreciating the view. It’s so much clearer than our prior trips, without the smokey haze! What a fabulous view – we can appreciate the “most beautiful motorcycle ride” title.

Parking at Island Lake we quickly pack away our motorcycle gear and start hiking, trying to get warmed up. We are back in Wyoming, where they apparently try to scare the bejeezus out of you about grizzlies (we are up in the wilderness, after all). It seems that every 50′ on the road and every 15′ in the parking area there is some sort of sign telling how you will die a horrific, gory death at the jaws of grizzlies if you don’t triple lock any sort of scented item inside of an insulated, fire-proof, titanium container specificaly made to deter and resist the Grizz. And even then, BEWARE THE BEAR!

These signs made Ashley become quite the astute tracker as she peered at every imprint on the ground, looking for bear tracks. Likewise, her radar was on high alert, monitering every leaf’s flutter and bird’s tweet. For all her searching, though, we saw neither hair nor track of a single bear (no complaints from either of us, there.)


If you could grow tired of seeing and photographing gorgeous mountain lakes set amid majestic mountians with stunning blue skies overseeing the view, this was the day and trail for it. Other than a single hill that dropped down from one lake to the next our hike was basically flat and enjoyable. We passed one lake after the next, stopping to eat lunch on a rock at the end of a piece of land jutting out into the middle of a small lake.


The crowning glory of the hike was Beauty Lake, which truly lived up to its name. The trail ran along the shore for some time. Unable to imagine the view possibly getting any better, we stopped one lake short of our intended destination and headed back to the bike.


Almost back, we found a seat overlooking Island Lake and split an apple with peanut butter while taking in the view. Finished eating, we headed back on and quickly geared up to head back over the pass, aimed for home.

A fox ran across the road in front of us (a new critter to add to the list!) We spotted Beartooth Peak, after which the range is named.

Back home we started prepping for tomorrow’s departure. Ashley made supper as I cleaned up outside. In an effort to use up all of the firewood I’d collected we had a grand fire going for a few hours (didn’t make it – next campers should be pleased – it’s split and stacked). We ate next to the blaze and then took advantage of a splendid bed of coals for one last round of s’mores.

We saw a spectacular, if short-lived, sunset over the mountains!


Darkness had fallen, along with the temperature, so we headed in and on to bed. What a great day!