Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 13

I woke up with very cold toes this morning, but slept comfortably through the night.  There was a dusting of snow across everything.  I had hot water to wash dishes in, but rinsing dishes and washing hands in cold water would make an excellent torture method, especially with that wind!  The forecast had been low in the 20’s.  We set Jeremiah’s alarm clock that had a thermometer on it on top of the car before we left camp a couple days ago, so I can’t even brag with specific numbers.  
The water bucket was frozen shut.

And I roasted a couple marshmallows last night. :)  Shared with Emily.

That poor fellow must be hard up!
We had oatmeal with dried apricots for breakfast.  After cleaning up most of the dishes, we walked down to a pine grove next to the West Boulder River that Mom had found.  It is questionable as to whether it was still on National Park land or not.  Jeremiah brought his stove pipe and gathered fuel.  There was an old downed spruce tree across the river in a knee deep swift spot.  Mom dared me to cross it.  She should have known better!  ;)  

Once I started that direction, she begged me not to because I might get wet and I might drown my camera and I might get cold and there was a bridge up there!  I looked at the log again, got scared, and decided I needed to do it anyways.  All the picture I’ve seen of DM wilderness crews crossing the river with great trepidation on fallen trees floated through my mind.  Standing up or crawling?  If this thing was on the ground I would certainly walk across it.  And probably wouldn’t fall off.  But over that cold water on that cold day with one pair of heavy clean pants, one pair of boots and one pair of wool thermals to my name, the stakes were a little higher.  Falling off would be really inconvenient.  

I kneeled down and inched my way across the first few feet.  I found that my toes on either side of the log worked well to catch my balance … most of the time.  I almost fell in more than once.  Sheer willpower kept me on that log.  It was a skinny log.  The worst part was that I kept catching the loops of my shoe laces on branch nubs.  So there I am holding the log with my hands, one knee under me, and the other leg almost fully extended trying to shake my boot lace free.  Yoga ain’t got nothin’ on me.  :)  But I made it 100% dry.  And with my pride 100% in tact, which may not be a good thing.  

I found some cool rocks on the gravel bar which I chucked across the river to Jeremiah who made a pile for me.  I entertained the thought of carryon them back across the fallen tree, walking this time, but quickly decided I’d had too many close calls the first time. 

With my confidence slightly increased, the trip back across the log went slightly more quickly as I  experimented with mental games to help my steadiness and concentration.  I only almost fell in once.

Out to gather stove fuel

In her favorite spot

Back to camp for some van reorganization and stowing some things up top that haven’t gotten used at all or enough to earn their space in the trunk.  

Spent some time reading in Isaiah and Colassians.  It was interesting how similar much of the wording is in Isaiah 60 and 61.  I’ve been working on memorizing Isaiah 12.  I also updated my orange map dots and my trip notes.  

We left around 4:30pm and I piloted the drive to Livingston, MT.  We spent most of the time on Swingley Road which was absolutely gorgeous!!!  A lot of really nice houses and properties there, and breathtaking scenery!

Swingley Road

And Swingley Road

Yep, Swingley.

Coming into Livingston
In Livingston, we stopped at the health food store, a thrift store (bought a down vest and a coat for the dogs and I found a pretty orange and red striped bandana), vacuumed out the car at the carwash, got ice, and sat at the Rib and Chop House to pirate their wifi to find our next campground.

It would appear that the smart thing to do would be to find a campgrounds a couple days ahead.  I started out doing that at the beginning of the trip, only we always wanted to make it further than we did and the researched ended up being for naught.  I think the most practical is to have half an idea if things go as planned and then when we know we’re going to head out, find a campground in the vicinity we’re willing to drive to.  

So that’s what we did.  We camped at Skidway in the Helena National Forest off Highway 12.  Again, no trash or water, not even a creek, but open vault toilets.  We’d been snacking most of the day and got in late so we opted to skip dinner and got in bed around 9:30pm.  It was a balmy 40 degree night.