Mudfest

The weather has continued to be pretty iffy, but all of us were anxious to get out and do something. Laura wanted to go up to Avalanche lake on Sunday, so we decided we would try an easier hike of 5 miles or so on Saturday. This is Montana, mind you, so most hikes are long with a lot of elevation gain.

We drove over to a trail near Hebgen lake called Red Canyon. I guess there is a big earthquake fault scarp you can see on the trail, but I failed to do any research on it, so can’t tell you much about it other than it is an earthquake scarp.

The area looked nice, but oddly they allowed motorcycles on the path. We started up and the trail was surprisingly muddy and slippery….especially because the motorcycles had really rutted it up. Dang. At one point we saw a deer just sitting in a field and not even reacting to us. We all thought it must be sick and in trouble. We continued on.

At about 2 miles, the always pragmatic and aware Susanne suggested that it wasn’t that great of a trail, she was tired of hiking in the mud, and the thing that would definitely not amuse her was to come back to the deer and find a bear eating it. After a few seconds of thought from the rest of us, we decided that this was probably sage advice to follow. So we turned around.

The dogs were quite muddy. Especially the two low riders, Hankie and Tuk.

We got home, all a bit disappointed by the hike and just kind of settled into our own thing. Laura had been talking about going up to the Gravelly Range and camping for a couple of nights, but wasn’t sure if the road was good enough for me to get the trailer up. We needed some more groceries, so I decided to take a drive and check out the road and then go to Ennis for some supplies.

I got onto the dirt road at the McCaney bridge and started driving up toward the Gravelly Range. There was a huge mine at the beginning that was understandably very ugly, but after that the scenery got very nice. The road was rough, but not unpassable for the trailer. It was a piece of cake in the truck and it was kind of fun driving through the big mud puddles and making a gigantic splash. Kind of like a kid, but with a big RAM 1500.

The beautiful Gravelly Range and the road that would not amuse Susanne

I finally made it up to the main road at the top and it was a full 15 miles of that kind of road. If my life depended on it, I could definitely get the trailer up it, but man, it would be slow, bone jarring, and probably take 3.5 hrs. Susanne would definitely not be amused…not in the least. So I took a pic and made the decision that that was not in the cards for us. I thought about trying out the longer way around, but it was getting late so I abandoned that idea.

I drove into Ennis and got some groceries. The same cranky woman that yelled at Laura for wearing a mask gave me a disgusted stare as I checked out. Sheesh. I stopped by the autoparts store and got some 30 amp fuses since we keep blowing them when we put the slide out.

We have managed to work through some technical issues with the trailer thus far:

  • The basket on the bumper: Bumper broken, but we did not kill any one
  • Refrigerator: Frig wouldn’t light on propane. After some research, we sanded down the igniter and, voila, it now works great
  • Solar system: is working great
  • 30 amp electrical problem: unresolved, but we have a lot of fuses to muddle through.

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