Monday, August 2, 2010

Fifteen Minutes From Montana

I have an acquaintance who likes to refer to Bozeman as 15 minutes from Montana. Unfortunately, I tend to forget this as I usually run into friendly people no matter where I am in Montana. Today was an exception, and I will take responsibility for my part in the whole mess.

Today, I decided to go to Humbug Spires. Well, I had some directions that brought me in around the back way along a bunch of forest roads, but I thought I'd get lost doing that, so I decided to take the more direct route. (It'd help if our topo map was a little easier to read.) Well, I got lost doing that. I should have gone with my first instinct and scrapped it for Maiden Rock. I went by the road to it 6 times trying to find the other spot.

When I finally figured out what I was doing wrong, I was met with a road closed sign. One of those huge barricades with the sign in the middle, striped orange and white. Normally this would deter me, but I was frustrated by having driven an hour and half for nothing. The sign wasn't completely blocking the road, so I decided to see what the brown sign behind it said. You can read that below.

Had I been thinking, I'd have realized that the brown sign meant exactly what the semi-polite gravel truck driver told me. The road is closed for the next 3.5 miles which is all of it. There is no more. I looked at my map and thought, oh, they've closed the road past the parking lot for the hiking trail. Granted it didn't show much road beyond that point, but what do I know.

Like an idiot I started driving up. Only to be met by the previously mentioned gravel truck clearly parked to block my way. The semi-polite driver stepped out and wanted to know if I saw the road closed sign. I said I did but I read the other sign to mean that the road wasn't closed until 3.5 miles ahead which meant I could reach the trail. No, that means the first 3.5 miles are closed. Um, OK. Well, you can't really argue with a gravel truck, so I turned around and headed back down. On the way there, I decided I wanted a picture. I just wanted to make sure I had read it wrong. I got one off, but it's no good, all washed out. Nothing, but I can feel him back there getting antsy. I adjusted my lighting (grumbling under my breath) and took another. He yelled Get Outa Here! So I did.

Click on the above photo to read what's written on the duct tape.

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