Now on to the big adventure I talked about in my Billings posting.
I haven't added any updates for almost a week because for the last four days I was kayaking on the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River outside of Fort Benton and camping in the back country.
What an absolutely great experience!
I did a 48 mile stretch between Coal Banks Landing and Judith Landing which, while remote in its entirety, includes a 25 mile stretch considered National Wilderness--meaning that there is absolutely no access to it except via the river. Overall the public land in this area consists of 375,000 acres available for hiking and camping.
I started my float at about 10:30 Wednesday morning and I did not see or hear another person until I passed some fishermen at noon on Saturday.
I spent my days kayaking, hiking in the surrounding bluffs and, of course, camping. Although I didn't see any other humans I saw plenty of wildlife including the buck antelope in the pictures, deer, eagles and even a bull snake ( at least 4 feet long and 1-1/2" thick).
The weather was great. It drizzled a little on Thursday morning and on Thursday evening I paddled hard for about five miles to outrun a looming thunderstorm. Just as I arrived at the spot I planned to camp, it thundered and...that was it. The storm passed, the sun came out and I had a nice evening.
I bought a 10 day fishing license but had no luck. I lost one fish because I haven't fished in so long (probably 10 years) that I apparently forgot how to tie a knot because the knot actually gave way even though I would prefer to think that the line broke. In any case, I made sure I tied good knots after that but only had two bites and no results. Oh well!
In the coming week I am planning on heading to Glacier National Park and maybe doing some back country camping again. This certainly helped prepare me for that and it is clearly a highlight of my trip.