Dates: 8/8/22 – 8/14/22
Miles: 28.5 (backpacking)
Commentary: Last year my sister and I went to the Under the Big Sky music festival in Whitefish, MT. One of the artists I enjoyed the most was Billy Strings. Since then, I’d randomly look up his tour dates to see if any shows were scheduled near us. Back in March, I saw two shows scheduled near Missoula, MT! I signed up for the presale and eventually snagged tickets for the Wednesday night show.
Since I had to take time off to see Billy Strings anyway, I figured my husband and I might as do a little backpacking in Montana after the show. I wanted to backpack in Glacier, so I put in for a permit. I never heard anything back, and they never refunded me the $30 they were supposed to if I didn’t get a permit. Instead of reaching out for my refund, I considered it a donation to my favorite national park.
I set my sights on the Bob Marshall Wilderness, affectionately known as “The Bob”. I found a decent hike near a stream that supposedly had good fishing. A week before our trip to Montana I got an email from Glacier telling me to get ready for my upcoming trip. What upcoming trip?! I replied to the email and asked if they could resend my itinerary because I hadn’t received the first one.
Apparently the initial permit emails tend to go to spam. That would have been good to know when I applied for the permit… I put in for four different itineraries. The first three were trips I really wanted to do. The fourth one was a last ditch effort to backpack in the park, and it was the one that I got.
The trip involved spending the night at two different lakes, and the second and third days weren’t short hikes. Although my husband prefers shorter distances, he was still happy to go because I was happy.
The Billy Strings show was AMAZING! He isn’t exactly an incredible performer, as in he simply sits on his stool on the stage and plays. But damn is he talented! Their bass player wasn’t there because of a family emergency, so he asked if anyone in the crowd could play upright bass. He actually brought up a fan to play a song with him!!!
The venue itself was also amazing. Red Rocks was my favorite until this place. The Kettlehouse Amphitheater in a small venue that accommodates a little over 4,000 people, which is more my style. Instead of the city lights in the background, the Kettlehouse is nestled next to a river with rolling hills behind the stage. Next summer I’ll be keeping an eye out for concerts there.
Thursday we made our way to Glacier and picked up our permit. The hike into our first campsite was steep. We got a late start, so it was also hot. Snyder Lake was well worth the hike in. It’s not a big lake, but it was beautiful, and the fishing was good. Another couple was there when we arrived, but after they left we had the lake all to ourselves for three hours.
On Friday we got an early start to try to beat the heat. It almost worked. Most of the hike was through a burn scar, so the dead trees offered no shade or respite from the blazing sun. Thankfully, a large root ball from a fallen tree gave us a cool spot to take a break. Along with the blazing sun, the majority of the trail was overgrown. The constant bushwhacking and scratches from branches mentally wore us down.
By 2pm we reached our new home for the night, Lincoln Lake. Another guy already had his tent set up at the primo campsite and was beyond antisocial. He was heading towards us as we hiked towards the campsites, and he actually turned around and went back to his campsite!
The fishing wasn’t as good as Snyder, which was basically catching, but the fish in Lincoln were bigger and more fun. We kept one of the fish to go with our dinner. While on the lakeshore, it looked like a storm was rolling in. We grabbed all our gear and hightailed it back to the tent. We got back just in time for the rain to start.
I was pretty annoyed by the storm because I was starving! I wanted to make dinner! The rain didn’t stop, but it lightened up enough for us to head to the kitchen area and start cooking. As soon as the fish and rice side were finished the rain started coming down harder. I didn’t care. I sat there in the rain and enjoyed my fill.
Our itinerary might not have been the greatest, but we basically had two lakes to ourselves. Both nights an empty campsite remained. I can see why neither spot is popular, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to either.
Endlessly seeking adventure.