My Journey

Dougnuts

Observer
Hello Jerry,

I had Costco print out your photo in 16" x 32" acrylic and it came out amazing! It was a great way to finish our recently renovated guest room. I hope our guests find the image as wonderfully relaxing as I do. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Take care,
Doug

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nathane.....you would love it.....

Foy.....it's funny what you think when you see a pile of rocks as opposed to what I think.....I see amazing rock wall potential.....thanks for the good information.....

JD.....thanks and huh.....

ITTOG.....that spider was a lot creepy. Imagine waking up with that crawling on you.....

Arjan.....we have a saying in the United States which goes like this....."even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally".....I'm hopeful that this is my acorn.....

blanketslayer.....thanks so much.....always appreciate kind words.....

Sierra Valley.....yea, I just wasn't ready to leave that mountain range. I'm glad you're liking it.....

Dougnuts.....is it bragging to say that it looks phenomenal !?! Happy for your family.....

Ghostdancer.....keep us posted.....hope the new starter was the answer.....



On June 25, 2014, fisher205 (Brad) posted (post #384) what may be my most favorite post of over 200 pages, 3,195 posts, here on XP. I took a screenshot of that post and here it is. Brad had invited me to spend a weekend wheeling with his friends in the Big Horn Mountains in northeast Wyoming. Everyone made it across the river easily but me. I had to walk to the shore to get a winch line and Brad took this picture of Montana "driving my Jeep". Damn I miss Montana dog so much.....

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I hadn't thought about that day in a very long time but the morning after climbing Greathouse Peak, Tanner and I jumped in the Jeep and headed back to those caves.....

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And this next picture here reminded me of that wonderful day wheeling with some new friends.....and with my best friends.....Yukon and Montana.....

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We made a few creek crossings, hiked up the side of a mountain to.....you know.....see what we could see.....

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It was real pretty up there.....heck, every bit of the Big Snowy Mountains are real pretty. These caves weren't deep but it was an enjoyable way to spend a morning before getting back onto the unknown roads.....

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Now the question was here once again.....where do we go now.....

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And we decided that we'd like to drive the entire circumference of the Big Snowy Mountains.....maybe even get some more hiking in. But that's actually not an easy thing to do.....there's a rancher here that owns damn near everything and he forbids anyone to touch his land.....get caught on his land, he will prosecute.....

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Now, for me, I just find it astonishing that someone can own so much land, yet deny anyone from setting foot on their land.....how can a simple access easement to our public lands be such a huge big deal.....yet these signs are posting for miles, and miles, and miles.....much like Knife Blade Ridge, they too seem to go on forever.....

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The N Bar Ranch is owned by two brothers (Farris & Dan Wilks) out of Texas.....they are billionaires having made their fortune in the fracking business.....

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Every mile of the road to the south and west of the Big Snowy Mountains seemed to be fenced and peppered with the No Trespassing signs posted by the N Bar Ranch.....

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A little research on the internet and I found that these guys own nearly 300,000 acres surrounding the Big Snowy Mountains and throughout eastern Montana.....

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Within their massive land holdings are also large tracts of land owned by the BLM.....

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These BLM lands are land locked.....the BLM can only access their lands by air.....it's as if these guys (the Wilks Brothers as they are called locally) own that land as well.....

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The internet says that these guys fly into the Lewistown, Montana airport in their 18-passenger Bombardier Global Express corporate jet, then take their helicopter to their ranch (where incidentally they are constructing a 6,000 foot long private runway).....

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We stopped in at the BLM office in Lewistown, Montana and we were told to be careful.....do not step foot on their land. There's another mountain we'd like to climb.....access is our issue. So we are left puzzled.....how can someone that has so much, be so selfish with access to our public lands.....we simply want to climb.....

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fisher205

Explorer
nathane.....you would love it.....

Foy.....it's funny what you think when you see a pile of rocks as opposed to what I think.....I see amazing rock wall potential.....thanks for the good information.....

JD.....thanks and huh.....

ITTOG.....that spider was a lot creepy. Imagine waking up with that crawling on you.....

Arjan.....we have a saying in the United States which goes like this....."even a blind hog finds an acorn occasionally".....I'm hopeful that this is my acorn.....

blanketslayer.....thanks so much.....always appreciate kind words.....

Sierra Valley.....yea, I just wasn't ready to leave that mountain range. I'm glad you're liking it.....

Dougnuts.....is it bragging to say that it looks phenomenal !?! Happy for your family.....

Ghostdancer.....keep us posted.....hope the new starter was the answer.....



On June 25, 2014, fisher205 (Brad) posted (post #384) what may be my most favorite post of over 200 pages, 3,195 posts, here on XP. I took a screenshot of that post and here it is. Brad had invited me to spend a weekend wheeling with his friends in the Big Horn Mountains in northeast Wyoming. Everyone made it across the river easily but me. I had to walk to the shore to get a winch line and Brad took this picture of Montana "driving my Jeep". Damn I miss Montana dog so much.....

View attachment 604605

I hadn't thought about that day in a very long time but the morning after climbing Greathouse Peak, Tanner and I jumped in the Jeep and headed back to those caves.....

View attachment 604606

And this next picture here reminded me of that wonderful day wheeling with some new friends.....and with my best friends.....Yukon and Montana.....

View attachment 604607

We made a few creek crossings, hiked up the side of a mountain to.....you know.....see what we could see.....

View attachment 604615

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It was real pretty up there.....heck, every bit of the Big Snowy Mountains are real pretty. These caves weren't deep but it was an enjoyable way to spend a morning before getting back onto the unknown roads.....

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Now the question was here once again.....where do we go now.....

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And we decided that we'd like to drive the entire circumference of the Big Snowy Mountains.....maybe even get some more hiking in. But that's actually not an easy thing to do.....there's a rancher here that owns damn near everything and he forbids anyone to touch his land.....get caught on his land, he will prosecute.....

View attachment 604624
Jerry, I remember starting the morning, by finding out I forgot to pack coffee. It was looking pretty grim, but you came to the rescue. It was a good trip after that. - Brad
Brad
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
@JerryYukonMontanaTanner Landlocked public land is a huge issue (especiialy within the hunting community) that has yet to be solved. There is currently over 6.3 million acres of state owned public land that are landlocked by private land with no access and over 9.5 million acres of federally owned land.

In a situation like yours, they basically do own the land but without paying anything for it.

Edited to add this: https://www.trcp.org/unlocking-public-lands/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=_hpslider080520
 

Arjan

Paperwork Specialist
Interesting reading about this land locked public land...

Here in Europe, most countries by law enforce access to one's property if it is enclaved.
 

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
I have been on both sides of the issue, Unfortunately the majority of those who are on it are not as respectable and careful as Jerry and those here. The bad ones, bugger it up for the good honest ones.

Ive had gates left open, so bulls get in the wrong area, breeding in the wrong season. Livestock that is able to get off property, People who are not careful with firearms, shooting livestock, dogs,stock tanks, starting fires, leaving trash out. Destroying fences, domestic dogs chasing and killing calves, and sheep. if someone gets hurt on your property you can be held liable, even if it was their fault. ( Like, trying to pet a cow) As crazy as it sounds, cows kill about 20/ppl year on average.

I dont know what the answer is, its a fine balancing act for sure.

We always tried to allow it, for example the ranch I grew up on has a amazing mountain bike single track trail, we have open to the public... But again, all those things listed above happened there as well..

Some places do a permit, and check in, check out thing- but thats almost a full time job in itself.
 

longhorn1

Observer
The same issue with the Crazy Mountains. Places where public land is land locked. Wealthy ranchers have had people arrested and caused rangers to loose their jobs or be re-assigned. They are sitting at the table. Half Moon Campground on the East side requires you to cross a dude ranch. Open and close the gate behind you. At least one civilized person.

Spell check sucks. Last post was supposed to be "views" not fees. Ha!
 

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Brad.....yep, I really enjoyed that weekend.....I don't have those opportunities often.....

jmnielsen.....you mentioned hunting in your post.....I read online that there's a herd of approximately 700 elk that reside in that area that I speak of and they're basically his. And I've heard that to be a local issue with hunters around Lewistown, Montana.....

Arjan.....like PNWY says, there's two sides to the issue.....not an easy answer.....

PNWY.....I understand completely but here's what I'm thinking. I don't know for sure but I'm guessing that they have locked up all of maybe 50 miles of access excluding 2 or 3 access points (I think.....I don't know for sure). These owners, being multi billionaires, could easily afford to devise a system to give people foot access to the public lands through their property. Where there's a will, there's a way.....but that's simply the thinking of a simple man.....

JD.....oh.....I couldn't figure it out.....



We continued driving in an easterly direction until we connected with Red Hill Road.....and here we headed north on Red Hill Road back towards Lewistown, Montana....driving up into the mountains.....

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Red Hill Road divides the Big Snowy Mountains which are to the west, and the Little Snowy Mountains which are to the east.....

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I had hoped at some point that we would leave the N Bar Ranch behind but we seemed to drive forever.....and the No Trespassing signs never ended.....

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It seemed as though by far the only traffic on this road were the farmhands.....lots of tractors and semis hauling hay down the road.....

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Once we got to the high point of Red Hill Road and I realized that there really was nothing here.....

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.....I just pulled over to the side of the road and decided to make that spot my camp for the night. Ranch hands passed by.....they all simply waved and we spent a great night camped on the high point between the two Snowy Mountain Ranges.....

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The following day we finally came across our first access point to the Big Snowy Mountains.....but without internet access I had no idea where this trail would lead us.....we moved on.....

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The next access point that we encountered.....well, this one I was familiar with.....

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A woman I met the previous day told me to take this trail.....she said that she just loved it.....it was her favorite.....

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The trail passed through a dense forest which was filled with massive stone walls.....

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Eventually the trail dropped down into a canyon.....

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.....and followed the meanders of a creek.....and what was remarkable here was the manner in which the creek disappeared into the rocks and further downstream it would reappear.....

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I'm assuming that this is once again the actions of the water flowing through the limestone base. In the next picture is a spot where a water spout shot up through the dry creek bed. It made a sound like someone gargling forever and ever.....Tanner was totally freaked out by that sound.....

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Lots of amazing rock features along the trail.....

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.....and a forest floor covered in wonderful colors.....

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Arjan.....thank you.....

JD.....it's odd that this area reminds so much of the Yucatan Pennisula in Mexico.....they're so different yet similar. The stone in these mountains are so porous that it creates amazing features much the same.....

ITTOG.....yep, nice trail and probably got a lot better.....we only hiked a few miles of it and turned back due to the time of day.....



Now it was time to complete the circle.....

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.....and now we were back on Red Hill Road headed north.....

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We passed through miles of a perfect mix of forests and ranch lands.....

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Eventually the road descended from the mountain pass and we traveled through a picturesque valley where the fields were a lush green from the daily waterings .....

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Such a beautiful drive on a road we shared with few others.....I couldn't have been more pleased with my decision to circumnavigate the Big Snowy Mountains.....

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Before we left the dirt & gravel of Red Hill Road behind, Tanner and I parked the rig on the side of the road and we walked together just taking it all in.....

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Further along Red Hill Road we came across the East Fork Reservoir and of course we made a stop here and Tanner & I both jumped right in.....those cool waters were the cure for what ailed us.....a heavy layer of dirt and dust.....

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And finally the circle was completed.....we had returned to Lewistown, Montana.....

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It was good to be "home" once again.....we walked the streets as we always do.....

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We made another new friend in Lewistown, Montana. I can honestly say that I've encountered few towns with so many friendly people.....

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This guy had a sad story.....his 35 year old daughter had died in her sleep just the week prior. Seventy one years old he was, and now he's considered a new good friend in my book. He told me to come to his house for a visit.....and he's not the only one here that has passed on that same invitation.....this is true Montana.....

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I came here to the Big Snowy Mountains to visit an ice cave.....but I've been blessed with so much more.....

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