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Not the typical Anniversary for us.

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This last weekend was our anniversary. Normally we go out of town and stay in a motel somewhere. Don't know about anywhere else but motels around our area have gotten absolutely ludicrous.  I'm not paying $300-$400 a night for a room.  Even though it's late in the year in our area we decided to go camping. At 1st we weren't going to take our machines but had to come back into town for a funeral, so got up early and went home to get ready and decided to grab the machines. Our temperatures are already in the low to mid thirties at night in the mountains. So we just made sure the propane tanks were full. After the funeral we went back to our camp site and relaxed, then grilled some steaks then headed out for an evening ride. It wasn't very long but we had never been on this trail this late in the day so we were looking forward to see what the sun was going to do with shadows and lighting. We weren't disappointed, this is one of our favorite places to ride. We've found it's very enjoyable to ride the trails at different times of the year and times of day.  We had received about an inch or so of rain down in The Valley last week so the mountains were drenched. It was great to be up there and not have the trails be dusty and to actually be dodging mud puddles that were foot well deep. The higher elevations have snow on them already so that made our views that much more amazing along with the colors of the changing leaves of the deciduous trees mixed in with the pine trees. In another week the leaves should be spectacular as far as colors go.  It would be fun to go backup there this weekend but we are heading over to another area Saturday morning.  After the ride Saturday night we went back to the camper and had a great desert and played a little cribbage. 

We slept in a bit Sunday morning then had a great breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and sausage, then headed out again.  We don't normally road ride but I wanted to ride a road that I thought connected up with one of our trails that we normally ride. I was right, and it was a beautiful road that wound back-and-forth up the mountain through a lot of old growth timber that that opened up to some pretty spectacular mountain views. After connecting up with the trail we normally ride, we rode to a "Y"  and turned onto a different road and followed it for about 10 miles.  I suspected where this one ended but had never taken it before. We took some new trails that we had never been on that cut off and looped back connecting up with the road. Some of the trails looked as if they hadn't been ridden for years. I know that's not true but there were areas of several miles where there wasn't even any dirt showing, just grass.  These trails opened up to multiple wide open views of the Fire tower look out  that we had taken my new friend PROV  from Minnesota to back in August. A lot of the pics we took have the fire tower cabin in them but it hard to see and is a long ways away at the top of the mountain.  We followed the road til it dead ended then got off and walked a trail to the back side of a rock formation called Castle Rock. This is a popular destination of hikers but is fairly challenging climb of 5 miles or so from the bottom of the drainage. For us was an easy walk of less than an ⅛ of a mile from where the road ended. I hadn't been there for over 15 years and forgot how cool it was up there, and the view of the Gallatin Canyon and the road that heads up to Yellowstone National Park was definitely worth the ride to see it again. Bonus of not having to walk 10 miles to enjoy it. 😁 After a ½ hour of soaking in the snow capped mountains and 70° temp, we head back to the Atv's. I checked the odometer, we had to pretty much go back the same way to get to the campsite, 22 miles. It was already about 2 o'clock so figured if we just stayed riding on the main roads, and a late lunch stop, we'd be back by 4:30 or so. We headed out and maintained a pretty constant speed stopping only a couple of times for lunch and to take a few pics. We pulled into the campsite right at 4:30, hooked the trailer to back of the camper, loaded up the wheelers and headed home. Was a great little  getaway and really only cost us the fuel for the truck and the machines. Campsite was free because it was in the dispersed dry camping area and there aren't any hookups of any kind. Rolled into the drive way about 5:30, got things unloaded, pulled Camper and trailer to my brothers and back home by 6:30. Amazing we can leave our house and be up in the mountains  with campsite set up and relaxing in less than an hour and a half. I think this may become the new normal for anniversaries to come,  not worth the time to drive out of town then spend a fortune on the room, and the fancy dinner out. My wife was happy as a could be. Here's some pics to share hope you all enjoy them.










Edited by Freedomflyer
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Wish I would've stopped on the drive out, the late day sun was incredible shining through the foilage next to the road. 






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Well Happy Anniversary looks like your wife was having fun, and you right the cost of going out here lately is pricey. Thanks for sharing your camping trip and pictures.

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Wife finally sent me a few pics of our weekend. She stopped on the drive out and snapped a final photo. Sure it looks completely different this last weekend. Trees down here in the valley are changing fast. Wanted to go out again but rained all weekend,  plus had a work day at my Mom's place,  getting it ready to sell. We'll see what the weekend holds.









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