M-A's Musings and Travels

A place where I can ponder and remember wonderful trips, camping excursions and hiking adventures.

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Location:Whitefish, Montana

Friday, April 22, 2005

Day 20 - last full day out

Big Horn CanyonSince we hadn't explored the northern part of Big Horn Canyon itself before stopping for camp the prior day, we did so before leaving the area. To reach the canyon, you pass through the Crow Indian Reservation, which now is beautifully green with lush hills and grazing cattle. We were much more impressed with this part of Big Horn Canyon, and the scenery from the end of the road coming in from the north was much more magnificent - a miniature Grand Canyon.

We wasted an awful lot of time in Billings, trying to find Rimrock Mall and J.C. Penney, all for naught since I couldn't find the jeans I wanted, but shortly before noon, we were finally on our way to the last campground of our trip. Again, we were counting on some forest service campground being open and had our sights set on the Little Belt Mountains.

We noticed someone had made little artificial red-headed woodpeckers and put them up in the cottonwood trees along the highway between Ryegate and Harlowton. There must have been two dozen of them and they were really a neat addition to the roadway scenery.

Last campsiteAgain, we were disappointed. Instead of open campgrounds, we found lots of snow in the mountains, and the roads into them impassable. Finally down from the mountains, we found Sluice Boxes Primitive State Park along the Belt River, an oasis for us since it was really getting late and we were tired. We were able to enjoy a brief stint in the sun as this was the most pleasant afternoon of the entire trip without the everpresent wind.


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