We have driven the Bull River Highway in Western Montana at least once a year for as long as I can remember.
Its incomparable beauty---with jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Cabinets, its lush and expansive fields of grass and that crystal clear river slowly meandering through the area will awe anyone any season of the year.
Yesterday's unusually hot early June afternoon was no exception. Before we left, Bill had jotted down a few geocaches, so we had three or four places to stop if we so desired, but we also left the door open for diversions which looked interesting.
We took two. One had a geocache near the highway but also a lane running downhill through a wooded area for about half a mile. Yes, Bighorn Lane, home of Bighorn Lodge, had taken my eye several times over our adventures through Bull River, but I had never taken the time to stop and check it out.
Well, we did yesterday, and both of us were truly amazed and almost regretting that we'd never seen this place before.
The only live soul we met once we arrived at the lodge told me the folks here must be nice: I'm pretty sure the wiggly little greeter was a Border Collie pup. Our new friend checked us out, smiled and then headed back to a house nearby.
We first stood in awe of the lovely setting, adorned by one huge flower bed with azaleas, iris and other colorful shrubs and other smaller flower attractions strategically placed on the deck and around the lodge.
Once we opened those two huge, artistically crafted doors, both of us were even more amazed. Whoever designed the place has an eye and an appreciation for beautiful art and history and, of course, the natural wonders of the area where the lodge is situated.
After yesterday's visit, I think both of us have added a stay at Bighorn Lodge Bed and Breakfast to our bucket list. http://bighornlodgemontana.com/
After strolling around the main floor and deck area, we left, went up to the highway, parked and Bill walked to the geocache, which happened to be a cute little bird house with a micro-container inside. Then, we headed for a second geocache up the East Fork of Bull River. Both of us had gone to that area for respective forestry-related work experiences.
In addition, I'm guessing the geocache was located at a trail head which could have been Willie and Annie's first major hike, a long, long time ago. I remember positioning them in a moss bed with the sun shining down on them through the big trees.
It was a lovely picture but it probably burned with our fire because I have not seen it for years. Still, the image came alive yesterday when Bill and I arrived. His geocache was located on the other side of the East Fork, which required walking a log over a fast-rushing stream.
"Balance" had been emphasized in the geocache instructions, and the possibility of losing one's balance and landing on any of those boulders in cold, cold rushing water made Bill think twice about going after the cache.
Also, when I mentioned seeing a fish jumping up into the waterfall, he decided a fly rod seemed more enticing than his GPS.
So, he caught a couple of small cutthroat, and then we went on our way, bound for another cache near the Ross Creek Cedars. Upon passing the road to the South Fork, Bill asked if I'd ever gone there.
No, let's do it, I said. With Ross Creek just up the road, we drove there, found the cache and then came back to the South Fork.
The flat, grassy area with water flowing through and more vistas of those Cabinets added some more scenes to our afternoon overload of sheer beauty.
Twas a great drive which provided us the opportunity to beat the heat, taking it on in abbreviated segments.
And, those side trips were something else. Love that country over there in Western Montana.
Of course, we don't have it so bad here either. Today is lawn mowing day at the Lovestead, and it's gonna be hot. Not looking forward to that, but with my lawn covered with yet another coating of cottonwood fuzz, it's time.
|Dedicating this lovely, fragrant symbol of LOVE to our Precious Pilgrim in Spain.|
|This amazing wood carving is embedded in a coffee table at the lodge.|