Let’s go truck “glamping.” Our friend Dawn’s lake house sits smack on the shore of Echo Lake. The Beartooth Mountains surround this relatively small lake situated in the Flathead Valley. The area is also home to Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.
Dawn invites us to truck camp in her yard with use of her basement bathroom. The clear water of this spring fed Lake has no scent, so we do not need to use the shower at all.
This shallow lake with swim platform/dock makes for refreshing social distance swimming. “Echo lake is usually much busier than this,” Dawn says. “Many of the houses on the lake are owned by Canadians and due to the pandemic they can’t cross the border.”
Dawn serves up dinner on the deck as we watch the sun set. The cool weather makes for excellent sleeping in the truck. We wake to Dawn cooking bacon and eggs. We could get used to this luxury.
Let’s burn off some bacon with a respectable five-mile hike in the Jewel Basin.
We depart from Camp Misery, named for the place where a local tribe spent a horrible winter. Trek through wild flowers and mountains to Twin Lakes, where mosquitos attack. Let’s get out of here!
Thanks for your hospitality, Dawn! We are glad that we met a few years ago on a polar bear excursion in Churchill, Canada. Click on that link if you’re still reading and feel like visiting polar bears. You know, back when borders were open.
Time to meet another friend, this one from Phoenix, who spends summers in Whitefish fairly close to Glacier National Park. Susie and her dog Harry lead us up the Lion Mountain Trail in the morning.
And then take us kayaking on the Whitefish River in the afternoon. The seat in the back has some advantages.
Yes, Harry the dog came kayaking too.
Susie serves up a fresh appetizer plate and her husband Don treats us to his gourmet talents by grilling Coho.
We enjoy many, many, glasses of fine wine and share just as many laughs with these wonderful friends.
What better cure for a morning hangover than a long hike straight up Big Mountain? This huge ski resort opens for hikers and trail bikes all summer.
Hike up, have a craft beer, and take the ski-lift back down, or vice versa.
They will load your bicycle as well.
Or you could forego the hike and ride or bike up and down. But we hiked up to justify the beer reward. The views were so clear that we could see glaciers in Glacier National Park.
We would like to spend more time in the town of Whitefish and Glacier National Park, but it is swamped with people right now. Plus, a large part of the park is unaccesible due to Coronavirus and the closure of the Flathead Indian Reservation. “More people are flocking here than usual,” Susie explains. “Visiting National Parks and enjoying the outdoors is one of the few things folks can do these days.” Perhaps we will be back in the fall, but for now, it is time for us to get primitive. No more glamping for a while.
Hungry Horse Dam is one of the largest cement dams in the USA and created the Hungry Horse Reservoir. We find a dispersed campsite (free) off a gravel road and hunker down for as many nights of isolation as we can take, or until our food runs out.
On the pathway to the lake, the largest doe either of us have ever seen will not yield. She eats and stares at me as I walk towards her. Her head cocks sideways, and suddenly I look for an escape route just in case. Damn crazy deer thinks she owns the place. I guess she does.
After fishing and not catching (Skunked in Montana so far), we cleanse ourselves by swimming in clear lake water again.
We gather firewood, read, walk, pick huckleberries, and appreciate the silence. Then the silence is broken.
While sleeping in the truck bed with the tailgate wide open, we hear something eating in the darkness outside. I close the tailgate but leave the shell window open above it. Suddenly, Marilynn screams and I cannot believe my eyes. That monster doe sticks her head into our truck bed and sniffs before moseying on. That be one aggressive doe!
We love Montana. Been camping/glamping/moteling in this state for over three weeks now and cannot seem to leave. Hey, there is no hurry. Where are we going? What a privilege to be able to travel without time limits. The woods be the place to be.
Thank you, Abundant Universe.