The DeTour Trip Report - As Told by Blackdawg

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein


Chapter 1: Well...********...

Welcome to The DeTour Trip report. This year for this story going to be doing something a little different. As some of you many be aware, and if you aren’t you will be now, our good friend @turbodb does very nice write ups of..well everything! And this trip, he took his own notes and did his own write up. We collectively decided to each do our own write up and post them simultaneously. This way we won’t influence each others memory and take on the story. Each chapter from his write up will be linked with mine so you can read a different perspective of The DeTour. I highly recommend check it out.

The De-Tour

Read the whole story from Monte's (the veteran) point of view:
[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10] [Chapter 11] [Chapter 12] [Chapter 13]

Read the story from Dan (the rookie) perspective.
[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10] [Chapter 11] [Chapter 12] [Chapter 13]

But onwards to the story!


This trip started as most trips do. With my dear friend Mike and I brainstorming and putting ideas together online in late winter. Before long it became apparent that Mike wanted to see some of the local sites around me he had seen so many photos of and heard me talk about. So the research began.


Naturally I chalked up many places I had grown up with. But I also found new places to go as there are 5 mountain ranges near me to explore. Before long a long plan was drawn up of trails, good food, amazing sights, high peaks, ghost towns, petroglyphs and more. All the many dots were connected to make…


The Tour.


Some of it was me just guessing on roads though that I wasn’t sure existed. Devin my girlfriend and I spent all summer checking the route and prerunning sections I had never been too. It made for a great summer, and I got to see some of the places that well...you’ll see…







I was working out of state and headed down on Sunday to where Frankenstein was waiting on September 17. Devin was working over an hour away but showed up late afternoon. Of course….the truck wasn’t as packed as I would have liked. We had spent the weekend before prepping for the trip..but wasn’t enough.


So, in good tradition, I left….


Late.


As usual.


The meeting point was Big Timber, about 2.5 hours away where I was to meet Mike, Dan, Dan and his father Jonathan, and Zane at Iron Star Pizza for dinner.

Original plan was to meet at 5pm.

Which I think they go there around then.

0004 - The De-Tour - Day 01

I…


Did not.

It was 7pm by the time I got there. Closing time for Iron Star. But there were kind enough to serve us a delicious pizza while we all got to know each other in the small restaurant.



Our faces stuffed with delicious pizza we now had the big problem of...where to sleep.

Originally, I’d planned to find a place after dinner…..when it was still light out. Which it now was not. Something Mike made a very good point to point out :luvya:

So we headed south and after about an hour of searching and going down a road none of had ever been to, we finally hit USFS land and were away from all the private land. A camp ground would have to do.

We wasted no time in taking over the largest spot, with the whole place to ourselves this wasn’t a problem anyways.

Montana was having one of the worst fire seasons to date(1,032,801 acres from 1,687 fires!) so there was fire ban. But its not camping without bullshiting around a fire. Mike came prepared and had the propane fire out in no time.

We laughed loudly(Devin was keen to point this out that I was exceptionally loud that night :anonymous:) and jeered each other late into the cool night. All VERY excited for the trip to finally be starting. It had been months in the works. I had never spent so much time planning a trip and I couldn’t wait for the memories to be made.

They just….weren’t the memories we’d expected….

The morning broke to reveal our camp, usually a fun thing to see if you roll into somewhere cool in the dark. But this was just a campground.





As we got moving, people started the morning routines and a little exploring.

Dan cooking up some great smelling breakfast for him and his Dad.



And Turbo Dan :p went all gourmet on us..



I just went and took photos of everyones trucks for breakfast :D



https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4490/37560144741_50ce5c54e2_h.jpg[/IMG[/URL]

Dan took special note of being in Grizzly country.

[URL='https://flic.kr/p/K8o5Xz'][IMG]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4694/28306865639_ce4903e3fb_h.jpg01044 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start
by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

Before long we packed up our truck and back tracked from East Boulder to get back on the highway south following the Boulder River valley.

It wasn’t long before we were at our first stop along the way and the end of the pavement. We pulled over into Natural Bridge parking lot to air down and check out the natural well..bridge :p



 
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Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein



While I wouldn’t call it a hike really, it is a nice short stroll that is paved trail to see the natural bridge.



As it was September, the water levels are very low this time of year. So the water dives down a hole and comes out the other side. But you can see that when the spring run off is in full force, it flows up and over. How those trees got there.




We all took in the info boards in and sights at our own pace.


DeTour-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


On the other side of the bridge showcases an amazing canyon and the true power of water erosion.


DeTour-15.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-17.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-16.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-19.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


I’ve never seen the falls flowing over the high mark. Will have to make it a point to see it do that someday. You can see where the water flows, its WAY higher than where it comes out now.


DeTour-18.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-20.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


With our morning walk done, tires down to dirt pressure. We set off to run our first trail, Independence Pass. With an old mine and potentially a 11,000’ peak to summit we were ready for the adventures to begin!!






Right up until about 5 miles in…


Where we hit..


Construction…



DeTour-21.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

01055 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


:frusty:


Can’t be that bad though. I mean, right? Just road construction.


“It’ll be about 30 minutes until the pilot car comes back” the flag lady informed me.


Wow, I thought, well that sucks but isn’t terrible.


“Hey guys, so looks like it’ll be about a 30 minute wait till we get a pilot car”


“Kksssshhh, Yeah so we are gonna go ahead a put the collvert in, gonna be about 2 hours until we can let some vehicles by” rang out her radio as she stood by my window.


Oooookay. Thats...not gonna work.


The flag lady went on to tell me and hand me a form showing me the schedule for the road when it was closed and when the pilot car was running. Which was only 2 hours at a time and 2 hours fully closed.


Well...********..


With this information I got out of the truck and we had a pow wow. I knew of a potential other trail on the way to where we were originally going anyways as well as a place to camp. Would mean turning around and getting back on the Interstate for 30 miles and headed back south to another section of the Beartooths.


It being 11am already, this became the new plan and we reluctantly refilled our tires having just aired down.


DeTour-22.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

01056 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

01057 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


We stopped in Big Timber to top off our tanks before hitting the interstate. Dan and I couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw that ethanol free premium was 10 cents cheaper a gallon. Supercharger life!


So we hit road to get to Columbus and head south to the mountains again. We had only been going for maybe 3 miles when Dan came up on the radio.


“Hey Monte, can we pull off at the next offramp?”


“Yeah sure man think there is one in just a few miles”


With no explanation as to why or anything we pulled off the interstate on an offramp to nowhere.


I jumped out of the truck once I saw Dan out of his rig.


“I gotta go man!”


“What?!”


IMG_3287 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Turns out he had checked his phone and had been called back to work by surprise to go check on a damn somewhere in Idaho.


Well..********..


So we said our farewells to Dan and his father on the side of the interstate


IMG_3286 by mike digirat, on Flickr


“Have a good time guys! And don’t check your phones!” Dan said as he headed back west.


I felt awful. Had things gone how we had hoped we would have been in the back country at least for one night and no cell service could have pulled him away. Didn’t even get to hit any real trail miles. He came all that way after waiting all summer watch me post photos from pre run trips. Prepared for it and made it out here. Only to get turned away.


Sorry man, ************ deal. We will hit some real dirt soon though @drr


With Dan headed back West we continued East to Columbus. We hadn’t been on for long with Mike at the back of the pack interrupted the conversation


“Guys we’ve got a Po po coming up on us!”


Now..that shouldn’t be a big deal. I mean all of our trucks are road legal and registered.


However, I had had bad luck in the past due to Frankenstein's very wide tires. Apparently that is frowned upon in Montana, even if you’re out of state registered which Frank was.


“********” i replied, “Im gonna gun it for the rest area”


We had just passed a rest stop in 1 mile sign and I floored it to get up the the 80mph speed limit which in low geared Frank was a whopping 3500rpm..which is why we were going 70 before as I was leading :p


I could see the highway patrol car making his way closer and closer...and just as I got to the off ramp he could definitely see me. I pulled off anyways and everyone followed.


“Whew, dodged that potential bullet!” I said


We didn’t even stop and just got right back on the Interstate and a few uneventful miles later we were in Columbus. Devin used this time to find exact directions to our next trail via Googlefoo. As we had just refueled there was no need to stop other than taking the opportunity to refill the propane tank for the fire. I took this moment to touch base with my Dad who had mention possibly joining us.


“Dude you know what the weather report is right?” my dad said.


“Yeah, so? Should still be fun!”


“No..I don’t think so. Im gonna pass probably.”


He was referring to the huge weather system that was moving in on to the area expecting to snow almost 2 feet over the course of about a week. You know, the whole time we planned on being there.


Great..


Still, the sun was out for now and god damn it, we had already been turned back once and I’d put way to much work into this to let a little snow ruin my trip. I was determined.
 
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Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Off we went to the mountain, to a totally new area and trail I’d heard mixed things about. Nothing concerning though. After some driving through some lovely scenic highway we made it to the trail.


DeTour-23.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-25.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


The BenBow Jeep trail.


Was actually a pretty long trail network back here but we didn’t really get to find out..


For the second time that day we aired down our tires and prepped to finally hit some trail.


DeTour-24.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

01059 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

01060 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

01061 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


Finally, we were off on a trail. Was bumpy rocks but nothing technical.


Allow Zane to be our model here for a minute..


DeTour-26.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-27.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-28.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-29.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Felt good to be on the dirt after all we’d been doing so far. The highway to dirt ratio was already backwards. The clouds did start to look more and more ominous in the distance. But for now we were still in the sun.


DeTour-30.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-31.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-32.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

01062 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
I had heard this trail was tight and narrow, but it really wasn’t. You could tell that the trees here have a hard life with wind and heavy snow. Really was nice to see it cleared and had well cared for by the local Magic City 4x4 Club. Bet some years it takes a lot of chain sawing!


01063 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

DeTour-33.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-34.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-35.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-36.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-37.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-38.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-39.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


The trail just kept climbing, eventually I knew it was supposed to hit a mine or two. But I had no idea where or when.


01064 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

IMG_3288 by mike digirat, on Flickr

DeTour-40.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


“SNOW!”


We had hit our first traces of snow. To be expected a bit, but not what we wanted either. Still it was minimal and we thought nothing of it and continued on up the trail still climbing with the trees now wrapped around us tight.


DeTour-47.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-48.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-41.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-42.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-43.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-44.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
But at last we got a break in the trees, not sure if due to a fire at some point or extremely hard winters and wind. Either way, it was nice to see where we were going.


DeTour-45.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-46.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

01066 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr

IMG_3289 by mike digirat, on Flickr


After this the clouds broke a bit and the mountains came into view. I stepped to capture a shot of the view like so:


IMG_3293 by mike digirat, on Flickr


But never got around to it. Instead, I smelt an all too familiar smell…


Diff oil..



********.


Fearing the worst I looked under the front of the truck to see oil dripping rapidly off the front skid plate.


01069 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


Luckily nothing seemed broken and it appeared the small 4’’ piece of tubing from the diff to the hard line of the breather had just slipped off.


IMG_3297 by mike digirat, on Flickr


On top of that, after opening the hood, the second battery I had was venting at a constant rate. It had ruptured a cell..


Double ********..


IMG_3294 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Barely on the dirt and Frankenstein was already acting up.


Well...********


01068 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


Sadly, this meant that i had to drop the damn skid plate..


Well at least it was a nice place to break down


01067 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


So, without anything else to do, the peanut gallery setup shop and got comfy.


01071 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


The tools came out and I started to get dirty.


01070 - The De-Tour - Day 02 - Off to a rough start by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


A while later and all was well, however the weather was starting to roll in, we could see it coming over the mountain. Not knowing where the trail went or how the conditions would change. We decided to bail and head to camp to a place I knew.


DeTour-49.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-50.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr



We drove steady on down the mountain and the crossed over into the next drainage to a place called Mystic Lake. Sadly, the main place to camp was closed. Which I was shocked by as it seemed a bit early to be doing that..


But we found a nice place with room for all our rigs in a now constant drizzle of rain.


DeTour-51.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-52.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-18 - 00002 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan Battagin, on Flickr


“Well, at least its not snowing!” I said with a grin around the campfire after a hot soup dinner. As we all laughed and enjoyed the fire and each other.



Not yet….



Not..



Yet..



To be Continued:

Chapter 2: Out of the fire, into the frozen pan


Enjoying the De-Tour story? There's more - @turbodb also wrote up a version. Check out his version of this chapter here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...ort-as-told-by-turbodb-september-2017.562116/
 
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Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein


Chapter 2: Out of the fire, into the frozen pan

We awoke the next morning after a fairly peaceful nice of drizzling rain, the sun…



Didn’t break. But at least the rain had stopped.


2017-09-19 - 00001 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


Temperatures were low though and we reluctantly went about packing up our wet gear.


2017-09-19 - 00004 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


Around the time I seemed to have finished it started to drizzle again. Which turned to rain.


2017-09-19 - 00003 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


Which turned to snow quickly.


DeTour-53.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00007 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

DeTour-54.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-55.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00008 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


Needless to say, we all quickly got our ******** together and got the hell out of there and all pitched in to help Mike stuff his tent into the tarp after which we hit the road to get out of the canyon. We made it to Roscoe to stop and air up the tires.


DeTour-56.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00009 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


From here we continued with our plan to go to Red Lodge to eat lunch and where we had hoped to take the Beartooth Highway to Cooke City. But that wasn’t looking good. Either way, we jumped on highway 78 to Red lodge to get lunch and I hoped also a new battery.


But first. Lunch!


2017-09-19 - 00010 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


We ate some lovely tacos at Mas Taco before splitting up to find things we needed. Me to Napa to look for a battery, Mike to find Propane for the fire pite and gas for everyone else.


I pulled into Napa and went inside and asked for a yellowtop battery.


“Sorry we don’t have one, looks like the nearest ones are in Columbus or Powell” the clerk informed me.


Damn.


We had just gone through Columbus yesterday and going to Powell wasn’t really in cards...or was it?


The incoming storm that the weather man had been warning us about in the week prior to the trip was becoming relaity. They had Closed the highway due to snow fall. Which meant the only way to get to Cooke City was over Chief Joseph in Wyoming.


And Powell was on the way.


After telling the guys on the CB what was going on, Mike said,


“Well, looks like we are going to Powell.”


Everyone agreed we should just go there as some other odds and ends needed done. So off we went.
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Not without some nice stops on the way. As we came over the pass out of Red Lodge the view was too good to pass up and we stopped off the highway to take it in the ominous clouds covering the mountains well.


DeTour-2.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-3.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-57.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-58.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00011 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

IMG_3298 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3300 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Few poser shots always necessary for the pavement pounding overlander group we are :p


DeTour-59.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_3304 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Next down the road I told the guys of another cool stop just a few miles down the road,


“There is a cool old mine down the road too. Some kind of explosion happened years ago, think like 7 people died”


Well, I was right...and very wrong.


DeTour-4.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-5.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


70 people died. Not 7.
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
While you can’t go explore the mine as its closed its still a big mine and very cool to look at.


IMG_3312 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3313 by mike digirat, on Flickr

DeTour-8.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-6.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00014 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

DeTour-9.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00015 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


We did not linger too long though with plenty else to do in the day and jumped back in the trucks to get to Powell.


DeTour-10.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


After a journey through the desert we arrived in Powell and Lead the group to the parents place where they all popped open the tents to let them dry out from the night before. Igor my trusty DD amoug them.


IMG_3314 by mike digirat, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00016 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

IMG_3318 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3319 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Tacos hiding everywhere..


IMG_3320 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Mike set about making a hole bigger on his swingout and Zane went about fixing his tail lights.


2017-09-19 - 00018 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00019 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


In this time, I had returned $200 lighter and setup in the back with the tent open and got to work swapping out the battery.


IMG_3321 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3322 by mike digirat, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00017 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

IMG_3328 by mike digirat, on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Mike took an interest in Frank’s fenders while poking around.


IMG_3324 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3323 by mike digirat, on Flickr


My dad was out of town at work for the time being, but to the evidence was clear that he was THE Ham radio guy.


IMG_3329 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Our chores done, we now had to decided what to do next. You see, originally we were supposed to be camping north of Cooke City where our friend Ben would be rolling in very late at night to join us. He wouldn’t get off work until 4-5pm and had to drive from ID. I didn’t want to believe it was snowing yet and so we packed up the tents again to set off.


Not before one of the neighbors came out and started chatting us up a storm about...I don’t even remember. But a long time.


Finally we left though and headed West to Chief Joseph Highway.


“Dang, that looks super ominous” sad Dan


“Kind of hard to believe we are going into that” I replied.


The mountains were covered in big dark clouds. But up we went.


Once at the top of Dead Indian pass however, we were pleasantly surprised that no snow had fallen and it didn’t look like any snow had fallen in the valleys below.


IMG_3336 by mike digirat, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00020 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

DeTour-11.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

IMG_3332 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3334 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3335 by mike digirat, on Flickr


However, far of up Sun light Basin, another destination of ours, just a hint of snow. Damn.


DeTour-12.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Far to the north where we were headed, there was definitely snow


DeTour-13.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Dead Indian pass is named after a rumored dead indian scout during the Nez Pierce’s flee.


2017-09-19 - 00023 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


However, the wind was howling and cold. So we did not linger long. We decided that we would go to Cooke City to see what the snow levels were like before bailing on camping there.


DeTour-14.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00024 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Needless to say, it was wishful thinking. There was several inches of snow down at Cooke City. Not looking good.

We decided to check the weather before totally giving up on camping there. Which was easier said than done as there was no cell service.


There was however free wifi at the chamber of commerce however. We just needed the password. After peering into the windows I thought I could just make out the sign on the desk for the password. I thought I could make out the words..but when I tried what I thought it was, “lamavalley”, and it didn’t work. I had to come up with another way.


I jumped out and grabbed the camera and zoomed in and used manual focus due to the low light and too a photo.


DeTour-15.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


But using the built in zoom on the camera to zoom on the sign, it is obvious that it was lamarvalley.


:facepalm:


Of course it was. The North East entrance to Yellowstone was just down the road and goes right through Lamar Valley. Should have known.


Either way! I logged in and sent Ben an Email to Ben telling him we would be camping in Sun light. I also checked the weather and it didn’t look good either with just more snow on the way. Amazingly, Ben responded quickly before we left the WiFi and acknowledged the change in plan. I looked up the weather too..up to 12’’ overnight with more falling all week. Damn.


Still, I refused to give in to Mother Nature and said,


“Lets go check out the trail head!” trying to sound optimistic thinking maybe we could do an in and out trip tomorrow.


It was obvious that everyone else knew it wasn’t going to happen...but they let me live out my dream and went up to the trailhead with me.


The road was not in good shape.


DeTour-16.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00026 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

IMG_3337 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3339 by mike digirat, on Flickr


Made for some cool photos though.


DeTour-17.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Didn’t take long to find the trailhead. But was obvious no one had been down it recently unlike the main road.


DeTour-18.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00027 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

DeTour-19.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


But was only about 4-6’’.


“We could do it!” I said


There was a resounding no from everyone else though. So once again, we were turned back from going where we wanted. And headed back to the highway to go to Sunlight Valley.


The clouds made for some very mysterious views. Winter was here, already.


DeTour-20.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-21.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-22.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

DeTour-23.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
Alas we hit the highway again to turn around and go to Sunlight Basin. By the time we got there the sun light (ha!) was fading fast. The dirt road was smooth though and easy going and as we made our way through the private land and the peaks showed themselves in their glory.


IMG_3342 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3343 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3344 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3345 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3346 by mike digirat, on Flickr

IMG_3347 by mike digirat, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00029 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr

DeTour-24.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr



With the light fading fast we were desperate to get to camp.


DeTour-25.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Thankfully, I’d prerun this area before hand and knew the first place we could camp and it was the same place Id refered Ben too. Just had to hope that no one else was In the spot..


There was. But only in the upper area. The lower area had plenty of room for all of us plus Ben when ever he happened to make his way there.


We pulled in, setup tents and all started making dinner. I got the fire going and we all started making our way to it with our nice dinner. Sadly there was about 3’’ of snow here too. Hopefully it wouldn’t snow more..


Wishful thinking with the storm that was in the area..it started to snow.


Meh, so what. Right?


DeTour-26.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr


Then it REALLY started to snow.


DeTour-27.jpg by Monte Nickles Photos, on Flickr

2017-09-19 - 00031 - The De-Tour - Day 03 by Dan , on Flickr


It started coming down so hard that I couldn’t even keep the fire going. We all abandoned hope and huddled under out tents awnings to eat. In about 30 mins it dumped around 4’’. It then lightened up a bit but still came down a slower rate.


I was a little worried Ben wouldn’t find us as I had told him the turn off was only 200 yards past the large Trailhead parking lot. It was closer to a half mile though.


I walked up to the main road and with a shovel drew a few arrows and wrote a message in the dirt hoping he would see it. Mike left his APRS running as well hoping Ben would pick up the packets after coming down the pass.


With nothing else to do..I broke out the extend a broom to everyone to allow us to sweep off the 4’’ of heavy wet snow, and we hit the sack.






Around 2am, Ben’s LED bro bar blasted through the trees and the rubble of exhaust woke us up.


Mike was first out the tent to greet him followed by me.


“200 yards my ass!” he exclaimed with a grin.


“Sorry! Did you see my sign in the road?” I asked.


Of course he hadn't. It had snowed 3’’ or so since then. Ben had had a long drive to get here too as he had planned originally to drive through Yellowstone, only to get into Yellowstone and find all the roads closed. So he had to backtrack swing up north and all the way around the mountains and up the route we had come instead. Exhausted, and it being late and freezing, we didn’t mingle long and went back to bed.


Our plans in tatters, I can’t say I was upset though. We were out in the muck and in the mountains. We were going to have fun one way or another. Snow or not.



To be Continued…


Chapter 3: Everything is Finnneee!


Enjoying the De-Tour story?
There's more - @turbodb also wrote up a version. Check out his version of this chapter here: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...-turbodb-september-2017.562116/#post-18416698
 

Blackdawg

Dr. Frankenstein
@Blackdawg Even for one of your threads, this one is an adventure! I wished I still lived close enough to try one of these trips with you.
Thanks man! Trust me, we are just getting started. This trip is pretty crazy.

I did just read your little report on here the other day. Glad to see you can still get out a bit and explore there! Not sure id trade those views for these ones though :p

As always, another great trip report.
Thanks! Lots more coming!
 

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