My Journey

pkripper

Member
Tremendous pictures and story as always. Just got back last week from a 2 week 5k mile trip to Montana as well as Yellowstone and the Tetons. Such a wonderful area. So sad for your neighbors to the south. Proenneke (Alone in the Wilderness) is one of my all time favorite films. Stay safe.
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
That area is beautiful. I would love to hike that ridgeline.

Too bad you had to turn back. Hopefully you were able to find another route.

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pkripper.....I carry a copy of Alone In The Wilderness in my truck camper. From time to time I'll browse the book.....in so many ways I envy & admire the man as he had the courage to live out his dream. Sometimes when I look back at my own life I wonder how different it could have been had I not made that choice to settle down and......

ITTOG.....I'm glad you took the time to view that short video and yea that knife ridge looks awesome ! It's not a place that I'd feel comfortable taking 2 dogs along but with a friend it'd be a perfect day in the mountains. If you didn't get a chance to watch Two Years On a Bike.....do it ! I wouldn't waste your time.....I don't much care for the videos of people with their smiling faces or with people jumping in the air and all that nonsense.....I would only recommend the good ones (I like to think).....



When we awoke the following morning I was amazed at the sight that I was to see.....along the ridgeline to the east where I hoped to see blue skies and a sunrise, I actually saw a line of grazing elk along the ridgeline.....

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I grabbed my binoculars (something that I rarely do) as I thought that I'd make a count of the elk on the ridgeline.....and it was then that I realized that the entire field was covered in elk.....they were in the hundreds easily.....

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I feel like there's nothing more relaxing & calming than finding oneself in a situation such as this.....I was in awe of my surroundings that morning.....

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Now I had previously stated that I came here for the solitude but the reality is that it wasn't solitude that I was seeking.....it was time away from mankind.....

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The dogs.....the elk.....the deer.....the coyote.....the antelope.....and all the birds.....the eagle too.....that's what I really wanted.....not to be alone but to be alone with the wilderness.....

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So we stayed here for a few nights.....& there was lots of rain.....

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.....which kept us on the roads.....

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But honestly, that was fine by me.....

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ITTOG

Well-known member
ITTOG.....I'm glad you took the time to view that short video and yea that knife ridge looks awesome ! It's not a place that I'd feel comfortable taking 2 dogs along but with a friend it'd be a perfect day in the mountains. If you didn't get a chance to watch Two Years On a Bike.....do it ! I wouldn't waste your time.....I don't much care for the videos of people with their smiling faces or with people jumping in the air and all that nonsense.....I would only recommend the good ones (I like to think).....
I did review those video's and liked them but I definitely liked the last video more. I am much more interested in hiking and mountain tops. (In fact, I am trying to have surgery on my other hip next month so I can get healed and do a trip next year.) I even read the link about Marc-André Leclerc. All of it was very good content. Thanks for sharing.
 
I hated to leave behind the southern peaks of the Crazy Mountains.....

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As we headed out we admired the Absaroka Range that laid to the south beyond the Yellowstone River.....

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But there's always more to see.....we drove north looking for drier grounds.....

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The back roads we drove are littered with buildings built decades ago.....

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And I seem to love just about everyone of them.....

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We stopped often to admire them, to take a photograph to share, and just as a way to pass the day away.....there is a certain pleasure to be had from something as simple as a weathered board.....hard to explain I know but it is what it is.....

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ITTOG.....I'm curious as to what's causing you to get these surgeries ? I started physical therapy, went 3 times, then hit pause, and here I am. The physical therapist told me that it's possible that I could end up with hip surgery as well but I've got a few more months of physical therapy before I explore that option (she says she's optimistic in my case).....like you I love bagging the peaks probably the best but my interests are really all over the place, so long as I have to work for it.....



We left early on our third day out.....we were now headed for the northern Crazy Mountains next.....

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The Shields River was running high like just about every other body of water in central Montana .....

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The smaller tributaries were much the same.....

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We were headed into Sunlight Lake and to possibly make a summit attempt on Sunlight Peak (10,090') as well.....

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The sky wasn't looking real good that morning.....

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But that turned out to be the least of our problems.....

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Now I'm guessing that the trailhead that we camped at the past few nights wasn't closed cause it was on private land.....but this letter posted at this gate basically says that the Crazy Mountains are closed until further notice.....

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Plan A had failed (Beartooth Highway, pass thru Yellowstone & the Tetons, & then onto Jackson, Wyoming), now Plan B had failed (Crazy Mountains).....now it was time to hit the road once again and implement Plan C.....the only problem was that there was no Plan C.....

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We had a 15 mile drive back out to Highway 89.....

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.....and we needed a new plan.....

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And then I got to thinking that maybe I don't need a plan.....I thought that I'd just wander around Montana and see what crossed our path.....

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So Plan C is to wander.....and to wander is actually what I like best.....

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So we just drove north through the Shields River Valley along Highway 89.....

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Three adventurers.....looking for an adventure.....

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At the intersection with Highway 294, we turned right and then drove in a northeasterly direction.....several years ago we had traveled the same route and I recalled a small town, Lennep, Montana, which we had passed by without a stop and I had regretted not stopping.....but this time we did stop.....and we visited that small town.....

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I wondered what the story of Lennup, Montana was.....

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Lennup, Montana appeared to be an abandoned town.....

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Only the small church.....a small distance off the main road seemed to still be used.....

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The small sign along the roadway caught my eye so I checked my road atlas and thought that we might give it a go.....

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We chose to go left..... Castle Town & Cumberlin Mine were now the new goal.....the road looked OK at best.....possibly doable but eventually it would wind its' way up a mountain.....

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Things were going really well until we reached the next road sign.....from here on the road became somewhat treacherous.....we made it a mile or two.....but eventually we had to turn around.....we slipped around on that muddy road and man was I was ever glad to return to the paved highway.....safely.....

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That night we found ourselves a beautiful spot filled with song birds & we camped there along the northern banks of the Musselshell River.....

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Foy

Explorer
Thanks for the preview of Lennep, Castle Town, etc! We'll be there next month as we wander around the Little Belts, Castles, and Big Snowies. Because of your expert suggestions, we'll spend a few days at Crystal Lake (assuming we can get a campsite) and take a shot at the Cascades trail. I fear the 2,200' gain up to the ice caves may be "a bridge too far", but we'll see about that.
Foy
 
Foy.....thanks a lot.....I've decided just yesterday that central Montana is definitely my favorite part of the state. I love the gently rolling hills, the skies that seem to go on for forever, the various smaller mountain ranges covered in forest and wild grasses. And probably the least important to me, yet still important, the type of people that live here. There are places here that have changed so little over the years.....and I just love living in the past.....I hope & expect that you'll enjoy all of these things just as much as I do.....BTW, very little traffic (humans) this year in this part of the state.....



We had now gone 5 days mostly without speaking a word.....things were to change this morning.....

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We were here nearly 2 years ago and it was a wonderful experience.....

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I recalled how it was last time I was here.....the people initially were extremely standoffish (?) but they quickly warmed up to me.....and this visit was the exact same. It's interesting to experience that initial distrust which transforms so quickly into the most friendly, genuine people you'd ever want to meet.....

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This group of ladies (shown above) made me promise no Facebook (as the same ladies did nearly 2 years ago.....apparently they just hate Facebook.....as do I). Radishes are the vegetable of the day.....

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The fields were full of happy children tending those massive gardens.....

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This lady took me to the freezer room to check things out.....she says "where's your woman ? You need one. I remember you alone last time too.".....

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She went on to say that I was just too good looking to be alone (I said give me 6 more jars right about then.....what a salesperson she was !).....

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I would imagine that a person that lives their entire life in a colony could never understand a man like me.....the stop was brief.....maybe even too brief.....but the road was calling.....

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ITTOG

Well-known member
ITTOG.....I'm curious as to what's causing you to get these surgeries ? I started physical therapy, went 3 times, then hit pause, and here I am. The physical therapist told me that it's possible that I could end up with hip surgery as well but I've got a few more months of physical therapy before I explore that option (she says she's optimistic in my case).....like you I love bagging the peaks probably the best but my interests are really all over the place, so long as I have to work for it.....
I have multiple problems with my hips. What I was experiencing was burning that turns into pain on the outside of the hip. As it became worse, I would sometimes get groin pain and numbness in my feet. Laying down was the only way to mitigate the pain so every day I would wake up feeling good but by bed time I was in a lot of pain. The diagnosis was hip impingement, hip dysplasia, bursitis, tendonitis, and a torn labrum. What they did to resolve the pain was shave down the bone on the head of the femur so it would stop impacting my labrum, repair the torn labrum, remove the bursa, and a ligament plication, which means they folded the ligament over on itself to tighten it. I am almost 10 weeks out from surgery and feeling pretty good. So good, that we are doing the other hip on July 12.

Have they said anything about your SI Joints? If you have pain in your glutes and groin you may have SI joint problems.

Good luck. I hope you get your issue resolved soon.
 
ITTOG.....your situation seems to be a bit more complicated than mine. My pain begins each morning in the left groin area, moves to the exterior of the hip as the day progresses (much like you). I feel like I'm so early into the diagnosis. My medical doctor friend & the physical therapist have suggested that I commit to physical therapy for at least 2 months, if I get no good results, try periodic steroid shots, and as a last resort, try surgery. It's a bummer.....



Now one would think that someone with as much experience as I, would have better sense than to head back into those mountains that just a day before had caused me to drive in reverse in 4 wheel drive for nearly a mile to get out of a somewhat treacherous situation.....nope.....

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I guess I was thinking that things might be a bit different on the north side of the mountain.....

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My goal here was to check out a little known climbing crag.....we dropped the rig at the Y in the road and hiked up the steeper of the two roads (which also was the road to the climbing crag).....

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The road had an excellent covering of gravel and it seemed more than doable.....but first I decided to explore the lower road (without walking any of it).....we passed a Forest Service cabin along the way.....

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.....and a small well house.....

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We drove through a fairly tale like forest covered in Spring flowers.....

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We passed by an enormous Evergreen tree (probably 6 feet in diameter).....

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We were cruising along in 2 wheel drive.....no real concerns.....then like the switching of a light switch.....things got challenging like real, real fast. I stopped and engaged into 4 wheel drive low.....the rear tires swung to the right nearly sliding over the steep incline. I don't recall over my many years of travel having been so scared.....I thought right then that if I believed in God that I would have prayed right then. Inches away from going over the side of the embankment, the front wheels caught and off we went.....very, very slowly.....

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It was touch & go for maybe a half mile.....I turned around at the first spot available.....

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We hiked from that point on.....and the road was actually pretty darn good.....from that point on.....

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Foy

Explorer
Foy.....thanks a lot.....I've decided just yesterday that central Montana is definitely my favorite part of the state. I love the gently rolling hills, the skies that seem to go on for forever, the various smaller mountain ranges covered in forest and wild grasses. And probably the least important to me, yet still important, the type of people that live here.
We had a first look-see at what geologists call the "Island Ranges" of central Montana back in 2020 just before or after you were there for the ice caves, the Colony, etc. We passed through part of the Bear Paw mountains and had good up-close looks at the Highland Mountains and more distant views of the two Moccasin ranges north of Lewistown and the Big Snowies further out. Your pics and stories about the Big Snowies and the Martinsdale Colony set the hook. We'll spend a week in the Little Belts and 4 days in the Big Snowies if everything goes as we hope it will.

Foy
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
ITTOG.....your situation seems to be a bit more complicated than mine. My pain begins each morning in the left groin area, moves to the exterior of the hip as the day progresses (much like you). I feel like I'm so early into the diagnosis. My medical doctor friend & the physical therapist have suggested that I commit to physical therapy for at least 2 months, if I get no good results, try periodic steroid shots, and as a last resort, try surgery. It's a bummer.....
I went through pain management shots first. That may have been because of my back issues and I am always getting shots? The shots were no help and then I did PT. After the PT, surgery. Have you had an MRI? That is what finally revealed surgery was required. Given your mountain hiking I would be surprised if you have labrum tears. It can happen when you take high steps and push off. I wouldn't call it common but would call it a direct link based on my conversations with the doc's. As before, good luck and hopefully they will get to the bottom of it asap.
 
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