I’ve added a new feature to 3Up Adventures! You’ll notice a new button on the menu for “Map.” As our archives have grown, I wanted to figure out a way to display all of our travel posts on a map (because I love maps).
I’ve been woefully deficient in the adventure department lately (out to fix that today!) so I’m going to share a little glimpse of our life as it is right now.
Since we don’t have internet at home right now, we’re sitting in the library using the internet. I’m here on our computer while Forrest is using a public computer. (We’re totally gChatting across the building.)
Tabs open on my computer right now:
Google Search: “Dogs on Abrahms Mountain?” Looks like a short jeep ride, a long ridge hike, and a great day with my boys.
Pretty CJ-8 on Craigslist. $40K is a bit much but it’s quite pretty. (What happened to me?? Oh that’s right, Forrest. ♥)
It really makes me wish I had been able to explore canyon country “back in the day” before it became a major tourist attraction. (Um, I mean, how cool would it have been if Ed Abbey was your park ranger at Arches National Monument and you gave him a beer and talked over your campfire?)
This is Part 2 of our 4th of July adventure in Montana. (Part 1)
I woke up snuggled between Forrest and Sprocket and not too horribly cold at all. The sun was shining and we had the whole day for adventuring. We let Sprocket out of the tent as we emerged from the tent. It took him about thirty seconds to hop into the river. We pulled the tent into the sun for the dew to dry and ate our breakfast of bagels and cream cheese. Our plans to hike off of Vermillion Pass sort of got trashed when we had to head lower to find a camp so we decided to make up the day as we went along—especially since we didn’t have a map for the Kootenai National Forest and were functioning only with the bleed from our Lolo and Idaho Panhandle National Forest maps.
Forrest picked out Silver Butte Pass (4,272′, Pass #3) as a likely destination. Down the Vermillion River we went to the junction with the Vermillion River road. We took a quick look at Vermillion Falls and then branched off the main road to the Pass. As we wound our way up the mountain, I realized, “Hey, I’ve been here before!” And then, “Oh dear, I think this road only exits the mountains to the east.” (I totally had been there in Fall 2010 on my first Cabinets adventure). The east side of the mountains was a little further than we were planning on going but by the time I was sure I knew where we were headed we decided to go for it anyway.
Sure enough, we popped out of the woods on Highway 2 about thirty miles south of Libby. Although we didn’t have a map, we knew that most of the Cabinets were either official wilderness or a designated roadless area so we either had to go back the way we came or head up to Libby. We figured that Libby would have some sort of 4th of July festival so we headed that way. Turns out, Libby doesn’t have much of anything.
We bought some fruit and chips and decided to head back into the mountains to BBQ the rest of our hot dogs. We stopped to hike down to Kootenai Falls—pictures just can’t do justice to the amount of water moving through that canyon! Leaving the falls, we looped back south on Montana Highway 56 back towards Thompson Falls. We stopped to let Sprocket swim in Bull Lake but there were a lot of people around so we decided to continue on. Just south of the lake we started to get some amazing views of the Cabinets and then we spotted a Forest Service road heading up towards them. Based on the edges of the area we could see on our maps I guessed that it was a loop that would bring us back to the highway in about 10 miles so away we went.
We detoured up a spur road that seemed like it would give us some views. The maps even showed a lookout on top. The road ended in a buggy area with some decent views but we were hungry and decided to cook the last of our hot dogs before deciding what to do. Although we weren’t sure how far the lookout was (it was either a mile or 3 miles…) we decided to go for it. When we spotted the lookout, it was over on the next ridge, about two miles away, and since the bugs were really bad, Team 3Up made the call to settle for our views from the parking area.
After we made it back to the main road, going over Snake Creek Pass (3,604′, Pass #4) and then back to the highway, it was time to get ourselves home. The drive home over Thompson Pass (4,862′, Pass #5) and Dobson Pass (4,235′, Pass #6) was all pavement and uneventful aside from getting an ice cream cone in Prichard.
This is states been to in the purest sense. We’ve been to them because we drove through them. (I DON’T count airport stop overs. And if you want my real opinion, I haven’t been to South Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware*, and Ohio because I didn’t do anything notable in them.)
We sat down with a map of the US and started planning about how far we’ll go each day. We’ll certainly be refining our plans as we go along but having a pretty good outline of where we’ll be will help us start picking out cool things to see.
Sprocket was quite happy to help us with the whole mapping bit!