Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith

Friday, September 23, 2011

The "Bob" Part 1

so, the railing is in the way, and ridiculously enough blocks the most important sentence about Bob Marshall but, here it is.  This sign is in Ovando, MT
Every year, Brian and I go on a 1 week horse pack trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  We look forward to it from the time we get home one year to the day we leave the next.

This year we almost got skunked.

 Not literally, but you know what I mean ~ we almost didn't get to go.

Traditionally, we have gone the last week in July, to try and get in after the snow melts on one end and beat the fire season on the other.We have done really well with this timing and so planned the same thing for this year.

Well this year we had other fish to fry during that last week of July.  Namely this:


Yes, moving 1204 square bales, by hand, three times (load from field, unload from trailer, stack) kind of sucked the wind out of our sails.  (Don't be impressed with me- my dear husband did 99% of this). 
I may have let the trip go, but Brian is not that kind of guy.  He convinced me (thankfully!) that we should try it over the Labor Day weekend.  So I pleaded with my work to have the Friday before and the Tuesday after off and away we went!!

Yay! Away we go!!!

We left after work Thursday and arrived at the Monture Creek trailhead at 11:30 pm, in the pitch black.  We have never been to this trailhead before and so being dazed and exhausted from the 6 hour drive, made a premature turn and ended up in the Outfitter's Camp.  We did not know this until the next morning, although we were a little amazed at the number of horses in the corrals there- luckily we pack our own corral, so we were set up in under 45 minutes and fell into bed.

This photo is from our Pee Wee Creek trip, but shows our corral set up nicely!  And that beautiful white trailer in the background?  Most fantastic sleeping accommodations- ever!
We woke in the morning to the sound of tractors and lots of people moving around.  When we ventured outside, we realized that we had camped inappropriately.  Outfitters pay a lease to be able to use the Outfitter Camp and they do not take that responsibility lightly (rightly so).  We located the public area, made some apologies and moved over where we should have been in the first place!

They have beautiful facilities at this trail head:

Four wooden corrals...

with troughs for hay.

Happy, happy, hay-eatin' boys

Sorry, you have to bring your own cute cowboy.
The summary (if you are already tired of reading about this) is:
  • 88 miles
  • 4 days
  • beautiful scenery (rocks, rivers, trees and the occasional grassy meadow!)
  • wildlife (elk, deer, bear sign, wolf howls)
  • 2 horses
  • 1 mule
  • 2 happy campers :)
The long story:
We travel pretty light- Brian calls it backpacking on horseback. So, no cast iron pots, no wall tents with stoves and cots, no big screen TV.
We do not suffer however- this is our house (big bonus- it's mobile!):

From trees...

to rivers!
And our bedroom:

Yes we do have an inflatable mattress.  If you think we're sissies, you ride a horse over rocks and mountain passes for 22 miles and then sleep on the ground!!!
Dining room:
Complete with tack room:

For evening entertainment, we have something better than Survivor.  It's called Nature!
Fall beauty...

Now, personally I love these tipped over trees.  The root configurations are so fascinating.  My horse, however, is convinced that this is an H.E.M. (horse-eating-monster)


We were captivated by this little whirlpool.
See how it sucked the yellow flower in? 
Well, I am out of time today, but there is more (much more!!) to tell...

So until next week- Happy first day of Fall!!


  1. I didn't know you had a blog! I loved reading about your trip!

  2. Jen!!!
    I kinda keep it secret :) because I am so shy!!
    I am glad you enjoyed it.


“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” -Albert Einstein