I arrived in Bozeman in mid afternoon on a very sunny and warm day. As I approached I saw a building that read something about coffee and it was a funky building so I thought I’d stop. It turned out to be a coffee wholesaler. I started heading into Bozeman not knowing what I’d find. I’d completely forgotten that Montana State University is here – a college town. There are all sorts of funky little shops in town. “Hey Siri, I’m looking for a coffee shop.” She (it) pointed me to Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot which it pronounced as “jo-ez.” Amusing.
As I was grabbing coffee, my friend who helps me oversee my tiny little hosting service texted me to tell me that email was down. Luckily I have access to things from outside. A little troubleshooting and we got it fixed. He called me and we chatted for a while and suddenly it was 4:30 and time to find a place to stay for the night. I pulled up an app from recreation.gov that tells me where all the nearest campsites are, and it happened there was Hopewell Campground in Hyalite Canyon which is in Gallatin National Forest. OK, good enough. I have a senior pass. This is ok. I headed into the Canyon. As I headed up in there, the temperature dropped 20 degrees. The car was reading 43 degrees. That’s way different from the 70 degrees in Bozeman. I came around a corner and there was snow on the ground. Yikes. I kept going. I passed one campground that had people in it. I took note. I kept going up to the campground I’d chosen. I found a closed gate and the road was ice packed. Not good. The road was cratered just from rain, ice and snow. I headed up further and things were getting worse. I turned around and headed back.
I arrived at Lohr Creek Campground. A sign read that the campground was closed and to pack out what you bring in. Ok, then, free is good! There was also a sign reminding me about food storage and that there are critters here to whom I’m no more than just a snack. I camped in a site next to the creek. I walk a few feet to the creek and the first thing I noticed was that I needed to watch where I walked. There was bear scat just off the path. Hmmm. Getting up in the middle of the night to relieve myself made me a little nervous. I took a light with me.
I made myself dinner and settled in for the night. I woke up to 39 degrees. Brrrrr. I actually had to put on gloves.