Prune Creek / Bighorn Mountains
One of the best things about this lifestyle that we live is the opportunity to be flexible…….
Rising early last Thursday, we left Glacier National Park for points southeast. Bob had warned me for the previous few days that we would need to make up some miles if we were going to get across Montana in time to meet up with his “Brother from another Mother” Neil. With most of our pack-out done the night before, we had the slides in and the motor warming by 7am. The next 11 HOURS we spent tooling down the highway. Most all of it was interstate miles, except the road south from Glacier around Flathead Lake, but still, it was a lot of driving for Bob. We arrived in Sheridan, WY about 6pm and it was 103 degrees HOT HOT HOT. We found a local store parking lot for the night and set our chairs out in the shade of the motorhome, had an adult beverage and I turned and said to Bob, “Isn’t this where we took the boys last summer up into the Bighorn Mountains?” and the seed was planted.
After a couple phone calls we pushed our plans with Neil ahead a month and set our eyes on climbing the mountain range in the morning. We had unhooked the Jeep, and I traveled up the mountain quickly ahead of Bob. We wanted to try and get into the same campground we stayed with the boys last summer, Prune Creek. Not able to make reservations online on such short notice, it did show there was one “walk-in” available, and as luck was running our way, we got it.
A week later;
Now firmly settled along the gentle running water of Prune Creek we watch as moose travel daily from the thickets of willows across the stream to our side of camp. Keeping an ever-close eye on me, Bob worries when the opportunity to get a good picture outweighs my sense of boundaries with these huge beautiful creatures.
A national forest campground, the rustle in the wind of lodgepole pines and giant spruces intermingle with the hummingbirds fighting over the feeder Bob has filled and hung by our table. The campground is run by a concessioner - and our camp hosts, natives to Wyoming, Bob & Beth, are in their early 80’s. This is their 14th year here and they fill us with tales of moose and bears, trails to hike and summers long past.
No cell coverage unless we go up to what we refer to as our “phone booth” at 9430’. While neither of us likes the lack of contact with the kids, we are enjoying the quiet solitude of no internet and our in-house library is being depleted by a book a day as we catch up on our reading. We travel up to the top every few days and check in and read the news. That is how we found out that the exact area we were hiking in Glacier just a few days before was now under mandatory evacuation. It is so sad to see the fire damage that this latest lightning strike has caused.
We have taken a few hikes, with Porcupine Falls our favorite so far. 440’ descent in less than a mile, meant 440’ back up also, but it was worth the view of the falls at the bottom. The altitude has taken some getting used to, especially on a hike like that, but every day my lungs feel stronger. There are well worn trails right from camp that follow the creek for miles and most mornings that is where you will find me. I walk in solitude listening to the creek as it changes from calm waters to boulder filled small waterfalls.
Once again, we have found a little peaceful place on this earth that we could spend our summer months. The old cabins that line parts of the creek down the road are leased through the Forest Service, most are still in the same family’s names that settled here a over a hundred years ago. Perhaps we can find one that needs a new tenant.