With 9,000+ foot peaks surrounded this untamed area that’s home to countless elk, moose, a smattering of wolverines, black bears, mountain lions, and the rumored grizzly. For those seeking adventure or solitude, the Little Belts are the place to be.
Two centuries ago when Lewis and Clark explored the vast land we now call Montana, they encountered a wilderness of some 93 million acres. Today, less than a tenth of this land remains wild and undisturbed.
It’s practically impossible to mention a winterkeeper’s position without thinking of The Shining, but aside from the wind sounding like people singing down the halls of the grand old hotel, David assures us it is far more grounded. Barely skipping a beat from his summer work, he had plenty to accomplish when the guests were gone.
The blast is unthinkable, impossible to understand in human terms. Still, there are some who are far enough away that they have a moment to try. They can see a flash that overtakes the horizon, and then for a moment, they see a black streak rising into space. The scale of it is enormous beyond reckoning.
The crucial role of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and other big mining enterprises in World War II materials production is widely appreciated. Less so is the contribution of Montana’s many small-scale mine operations.
They seemed oddly out-of-place in the landscape, as if they had been dumped out of the sky and onto the forest floor below. Their rusty color contrasted with the drab gray of the boulders lying outside the perimeter of the pile.
The name Montana conjures up cowboys herding cattle on the open prairie, and gunfighters hiding out in canyons to hide from rope-swinging vigilantes. But does Montana summon images of the lone sheepherder tending his flock and enduring days of solitude, bitter cold and the intense summer heat?
The team also found several artifacts that could be attributed to the Corps, including a blue bead, melted lead, and a tombac (metal) button. Most interestingly, the latrines they uncovered contained a not insignificant amount of mercury, a dead giveaway that the poop in the pit belonged to non-Native individuals.
Encompassing an area roughly 30 by 15 miles in size, the Crazies are Montana’s most impressive island range. With 23 summits that exceed 10,000 feet in elevation, the highest of which is Crazy Peak (11,214 feet), the Crazies also are Montana’s third-highest mountain range.
I spent time recently on a couple of sections of the CDT, finding out what makes this trail unique and why thru-hikers say this trail is by far one of the hardest to hike out of any of the long-distance trails in the U.S.
Montana is known for her majestic mountains in the west, and the dusty prairies in the east. As the beautiful craggy cliffs give way, however, the mountains taper down until they are little more than undulating hills with the occasional rocky outcropping.
Two jumpers are in the air – they make sure they stay a safe distance apart on their descent to the jump spot. The first jumpers land in the spot. The J-13 is now over the exit point, and the second two jumpers exit the plane.
Rappelling in, you arrive in a large room named the Cloak Room. It is here that you shed your climbing gear; it won’t be needed until you ascend back up the rope to your above-ground home. From here you have fourteen miles of known passages that twist, turn, split, dead-end, and squeeze under rocks to explore.
His heart rate jumped, and gooseflesh rose on his forearms, sending a shiver down his spine. His jaw went slack, and his mind raced as he stared south, baffled by four massive black rectangular objects, each with red lights on them.