Mounting Up for a New Adventure


Don on horse MVC-004F

From several years ago on a Wagon Train trip in the Grand Teton Mountains

My new adventure to another National Park (Yellowstone) begins Thursday, July 31, 2014. 

Much like the photo above, this year a part of my wilderness experience will also be on horseback.

Bozeman, Montana is the starting point for this trip. I plan to take 3 days to travel to Bozeman, with anticipated stops near Page, AZ (or Kanab, UT), then near Salt Lake City, UT, and finally arriving in Bozeman on Saturday, August 2.  I will travel leisurely and stop to see the sights as time permits. The evening of 8/2 the group of 6 hikers and 2 guides will meet for an orientation to discuss packing our backpacks, backpacking in bear country, bear awareness and avoidance (or escape from) bears, and use of bear spray which the outfitters will supply to each of us. I have not met any of this little group, but know that we all will have a great experience. 

As I have said to several of my friends, the only real concern (FEAR) that I have on this trip is an entanglement with bears. However, I am confident that, being in a group, my chances of any real dangerous encounters with a bear is minimal. 

But, then, I got to thinking…hardly a night goes by that I don’t have to get up and “use the facilities”. What is to happen if I get up, go outside my tent and happen to come face to face with a bruin? 

I guess I could piss on him, but that might cost me - big time! 

Oww, I dread the thought! 

Making a lot of noise to make any critters know I’m up and about would probably only tick off my fellow campers and that would not be good either. Or maybe I should mark my territory each night leaving my “scent” all around my tent. 

Do you think that would work? 

Ummmm, I’ll have to see what the guides suggest and get back to you all on this. (Yeah, I know, more information than you cared to hear from me).

So, meanwhile, back to my schedule.

Here is my planned itinerary:

Thurs, 7/31, leave by early afternoon, drive to Page, AZ (or Kanab, UT)

Fri. 8/1, drive to Salt Lake City, UT (or nearby)

Sat. 8/2, arrive in Bozeman, MT.

Sun. 8/3 - 8/8, backpacking hike on the Bechler River Traverse, with the Wildland Trekking Co. 800-715-4453. This puts me out of reach by any electronic means.

Fri. 8/8, return to Bozeman, MT, spend the night there.

Sat. 8/9 - 8/12, exploring, camping. day hikes at various, yet undetermined places within Yellowstone National Park.

Wed. 8/13 - Sun. 8/17, Horse Pack trip into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in NW Yellowstone N.P. with Yellowstone Mountain Guides, 406-646-7230. Again, out of reach.

After Sun. 8/17, I may explore more in Montana but will soon thereafter begin a southward journey, to Jackson, WY and the Grand Teton Mountains. I may do several day hikes in that area.

As I continue southward, I hope to stop at Flaming Gorge in lower WY., then continue on the Moah, UT and spend a few days in Arches National Park. After that I may go off road and explore areas like Dead Horse Point State Park, a Base Camp Ranch, Canyonlands, Muley Point, Valley of the Gods (all in Utah). That will bring me into Arizona with possible revisits to Monument Valley, Lake Powell and whatever other places intrigue me and pull me in their direction.

I have yet to complete all my packing, but will have time in the morning to complete that and load up my truck too so that I can set off by late morning, early afternoon for an approximate 300 mile first day drive.

Bear with me and look out for some grizzly tales…

Don