Journal entry – 2 September 2015, Wed – Red Lodge, Montana – Hiking up to Silver Run Plateau (again)

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.

I wake with my alarm and leave Ashley sleeping. I make coffee and sit at the table to write. Really enjoying the process. I finish 3.5 articles before Ashley’s impatient to head out for the day’s hike. There’s a connector trail from the trailhead across the street that leads to a new trail so we’re going to try that.

The Ingles Creek Trail merges with the Silver Run Plateau trail and then runs into Beartrack trail (which we hiked up to last week, when Ashley got such bad blisters). We thought today would be a good opportunity to head up to the top of the plateau and that trail intersection for lunch. 5.4 miles each way, so it’ll take a bit longer than yesterday.

The trail starts off ok, relatively level and with foot bridges crossing the streams. There are downed pine saplings everywhere – we assume from the fire in 2008. However, the trail soon begins to head uphill. No switchbacks, just steadily up and up.

Running low on energy, we eat half of our lunch on the trail, not sure how much further we have to go. We’re silent, other than deep breaths, as we hike. It’s like we’re climbing a mountain or something! 🙂

Turns out, we weren’t that far from the top. We soon reach familiar ground from the prior hike. After taking a few minutes to appreciate a clearer view than before – the haze has lessened – we retreat out of the relentless wind to finish our lunch. This side of the plateau overlooks Red Lodge and the flat land behind it. A different view than we’ve been seeing the last few weeks!


We head on back down – much easier than up! Still not really a pretty trail. We enjoyed yesterday’s views much more.

As it levels out we return again to the woods that are littered with downed saplings. Someone has piled some up to make a teepee. I see them and think of the projects that I could use them for at camp – a table, lean-to frame, tripod over the fire, and so much more!


Back at camp we rest and drink some water. Then Ashley heads inside for a shower and I go collect some more wood – both for the fire and with an eye for good project materials. I find some of both.

We used the cooler as a table last night, but hesitate to leave it outside all night in case it has some sort of lingering odors that might attract bears. I build a 3-legged table to replace it – one that we don’t mind leaving outside. And, other than the bits of cord that hold it together, it will quickly become firewood before we leave. How convenient!


I build a fire and Ashley puts together foil packs of chicken, potatoes and onions. We eat salads as they cook.

As we wait a gentleman with an Australian accent looks at the site next to us and asks if we might have any advice for a camping spot. We say it’s our first visit here and that we only know of what they’ve seen. He thanks us and heads on. I wonder if they know there are options down the road, and as I wait for my meal to cool enough to eat I go and catch him and his wife with some follow-up suggestions. A few minutes later they stop by our site again with a map. I’d mentioned the area we stayed at prior to this one and apparently that sounded more appealing to them (it is more scenic) and they wanted some more detailed directions. Away they went.

We finish our suppers. As the fire burns itself out I begin carving a spoon. The wood is either a bit of apple from Norma’s or pear from Gary’s. Either way, it has cured in our garage over the winter and has been on my todo list for some time. Got it roughed in with the hatchet and started more detailed work with my pocket knife.

With the fire and the mosquitoes both out I head inside to get cleaned up and journal before bed. The batteries in our hat lights seem to be running low – getting hard to see even with our hats on. So not much reading tonight.