Beartooth Wilderness, 2011
Winter Camping in July!

After the last two debacles which featured automobile problems (x2), mammoth blisters, combined with an extremely balky right knee, I wasn't sure there would even be a trip for Rainman in 2011. Add getting one kid ready to head off for college and attempting to get our current home ready for sale and I really wasn't sure if I'd have enough time to get everything done AND Yumi's blessing to be gone for 10 days. Further complicating things was not knowing exactly when #2 son needed to report to school for preseason soccer practice which pretty much meant I'd have to cram this trip between his college orientation and move in day. In essence, I was limited to the last week in July IF I were to go anywhere.

Sierra Creek was on our short list of places to visit

Luckily, my knee started to feel better in late March, I managed to get a lot of those stupid little jobs done around the house done during May and June and Yumi asked me WHEN I was going west, not IF. Excellent, I didn't even have to beg, though at the time I still wasn't 100% certain if the knee would be able to handle another hike. Still, I gave fellow geezer, Ward, a call to let him know I was thinking about heading back west for one last rodeo if he was interested. He was and wanted to bring his son Morgan along as a college graduation gift. That gave me the idea to bring my eldest son, Todd, with us as he would soon be shipping out to US Navy basic training.

With "permission" granted, I began looking for the easiest hike I could put together that would still uphold Rainman's lofty standards of beauty, epicness and remoteness. I am not exaggerating when I say I had at least 6 possible destinations and itineraries ranging from old standybys like the Winds, Bighorns and Beartooths to new possibilities like Idaho's Sawtooths and Yellowstone.

Ultimately, the decision to go back to the Beartooths was fairly easy to make. Bob and the two youngsters hadn't been there and I wanted something without a lot of elevation gain because even Ward admitted that age was starting to catch up with him. Knowing my son was inexperienced and Bob was old, I figured hiking off trail in the Beartooths would entail a lot less rock hopping this July after all the snow the area received. It turns out I was correct on that.






Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness
The Hikers
The Drive West
Trip Map
T Lake
Wright Lake
Alp Lake
Jasper Lake
Night Lake
The Hike Out
The Drive Home
Final Thoughts
Trip Photos
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