Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I like to be outside. As much as possible. When I'm not outside, I'm reading about routes and trails and trying to figure out how we can get there.

Somewhere along the way, I don't remember when, I read about Black Canyon Lake in the Beartooths. I remember seeing a picture of a beautiful blue lake that was supposed to be full of fish. That's all I needed.

Steve and Sarah picked me up from work on Wednesday afternoon and we headed to the trailhead, which is 9 miles south of Red Lodge, MT. It took about 3 hours to get there, with the construction and the winding Beartooth Pass, but we finally hit the trailhead around 4:30 p.m.

We hiked along a creek for 5 miles,

until we came to Lost Lake, where we set up camp.

We even had time for a fire before bed.

The next morning Steve got up first (surprise!) and fished the creek until he got me up and moving. As we were getting ready for breakfast a huge snowshoe hare ran through camp, and was promptly followed by a pine marten who'd been chasing it. It was the first pine marten we'd ever seen, and we watched him for a while and he watched us before scampering off.

Sarah and I hung our packs and we set off for Black Canyon Lake. There's no trail to the lake, and after 30 minutes of wandering we finally figured out which way to go. That was UP, with an intense bushwhack through the forest as we climbed. We finally came to an opening in the trees/canyon.

All that stood in our way was a huge boulder field.

Every time we got to a rock shelf we thought that we'd see the lake. But we didn't. So we just kept scrambling.

And then...finally, there it was. With Beartooth and Grasshopper glaciers visible as well.

Steve didn't waste any time and pulled out his fly rod. He pulled in huge trout after huge trout. He even caught 2 at once. And his last fish was his biggest--not a bad way to end the day.

It was 7 miles back to the TH, and down we went. We found an easier way back down through the boulder field, and then found a semi-trail that led us back through the forest, minus the scratches and bruises from the way up.

Tomorrow we head to Glacier to backpack Gunsight Pass. I have us camped at two lakes along the way, but I fear the fishing isn't going to compare this...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


We just got back from a backpacking trip in the Beartooth's (more on that later), and we had a package waiting for us when we got back here...a box of homemade jam from my friend, Amy! Can't wait to dig in, once Steve and I can agree on which jar to open first.

schumachers take wyoming: part II

On Day 2 of Niki and Adam's trip we went looking for wildlife in the Lamar Valley.

Though the wolves weren't out, we did see (thanks to Adam's eagle eye) two large grizzly bears hanging out on the far side of Soda Butte Creek. A little further down the road we saw a black bear crossing a hill. The mama bear was quickly followed by two small cubs bounding after her.

With the sun starting to set, we rigged up the rods to give Adam a fly casting lesson on Soda Butte. He got the fly cast down with no problem but the previous day's rain had made the river too muddy for him to catch anything.

The next morning we were up early to hike up Mount Washburn. It was beautiful day for a walk and soon we were passing people (and pikas)

left and right as we climbed to the fire tower on top of the mountain.

After making it to the top we had some time to relax

before we decided to head back down where it was warmer and less windy.

After we dropped Wendie off at work, we hiked into the Gardner River canyon so that Adam could get back on the water. It didn't take him long to get his casts going again, and was soon fishing like a pro. Sadly, though he hooked three fish, my instructions about landing a fish weren't up to snuff, and all three got away before we could get them in hand.

Though we didn't want to get skunked, when the wind started picking up and the sky clouded over we decided to get out of the canyon before it started pouring.

Since the weather held, we decided to try one more spot, a small pond behind our house. Just as we were going to get out of the car and try some casts, a small black bear popped out of the woods about 15 feet from the car. Instead of fishing, we snapped some photos and let him have a run of the pond.

After we picked up Wendie from work, we headed down to the K-Bar for some burgers and beers. Luckily, they had a couple of Team Chicago's new favorite Montana beer, Bent Nail, chillin' in the fridge, which was a perfect way to end the day.

Hopefully the lure of Bent Nail will get the Schumacher's back to Wyoming again!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

schumachers take wyoming: part I

Niki and Adam flew in from Chicago last Wednesday, and day 1 found us in the middle of the bison rut in the Hayden Valley,

and a stop a Mud Volcano.

Lunch at the Lake Hotel Dining Room (mixed game sliders for me and Adam, yum),

where Niki discovered her new favorite beer.

Then we hit the Storm Point Trail.

We stopped at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for a few photo op's at Artist Point.

When we pulled back into Mammoth that night the elk were relaxing in front of the chapel--I think this one's giving Niki the eye...

As we left for dinner we ran into this small cinnamon bear across the street from our house.

And then we chowed down at the Raven Grill.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010