Day two—near Butte, Montana

I made my lazy way north today, stopping whenever the mood suited me. I have to say that I-15 through Idaho and Montana has almost no traffic. And it has the best rest stops I’ve ever seen (except for the ones in Germany).

The campsite I selected is about 25 miles south of Butte, and it’s accessible (I use that word loosely) three and a half miles down a dirt road off I-15. The directions said to continue on the road past the trailhead parking lot to the campsites, but it only took me a few hundred yards to realize that’s impossible. If I had a 4W-drive vehicle, maybe I could have managed it. But not with this van and its low clearance. The road is completely washed out in places, with deep, deep grooves. I went up a way and then had to back down. Yikes. There’s one shaded spot in the trailhead paring lot, and that’s where I am. 

It’s beautiful here, though. Really beautiful and completely secluded. I passed two cars coming up; most of the road is only wide enough for one car. Going around tight bends I slowed down to about 1mph, worried about someone coming the other direction. The temperature is 70 degrees, so it’s nearly perfect. 

Where I slept last night.
The impassable road.
It wasn’t very light when I took this photo this morning, but these are the kind of rock outcroppings that were all around me. This is a popular hiking/climbing area.

After the last hiker left, I saw a woman in a 4W-drive pickup buzz up the road I couldn’t get up. So I’m sure there are some nice campsites up there. If only I could get up to them. Ah well. I’m all alone here in the parking lot, surrounded by trees and beautiful rock formations. I’m not going to complain.

II was just settling in for the night when I saw a large brown object moving past my van. Cows! Three huge ones. They decided to graze around the parking lot, and they were incredibly loud. They didn’t stop mooing until well after dark. 

This morning I’m proud to say that I washed my hair with cold water with an outside temperature of 38 degrees. I don’t now what was colder—washing it that way or washing it in the fjord one time in Norway. Either way, I have clean hair.

I’ve decided to trash my plans for tonight and instead head over to Hell’s Canyon. I have no idea where I’ll camp tonight, but that’s what adventures are all about, right?

I had no cell service there, but I’m parked at a rest stop now, using my phone’s hotspot to upload this.

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