It was my 4th visit to the front. With anticipation of it being my last for the season I agreed to travel even further. Friday evening after work I did the usual trek from Bozeman to the other end of the state. I arrived to the Wind Mountain Campground in the shadows of prominent cliffs and peaks. As usual the Front does not disappoint. My partner flagging me down to an awaiting and nicely set up camping spot. It was nice to see her again.
The next day was wide open. We never discussed what we would do that day. As I mulled about the camp during “Bill Time” I began to come down from the work week stress buzz. And by the time she woke up and joined me I was fully relaxed.
“Lets go for a ride”, she announced. Music to my ears. We mounted up and took off.
After much pedaling and poking around to see which trails were open to biking we came to a perfect little waterfall. To get there we encountered some gravel roads, snakes, eagles, a partly eaten carcass dragged behind a bush, and Pine Butte. Which I may add took some time to grasp. What a huge rock. The waterfall marked the turn around point.
Turning around is hard for me. So I have to trick myself by promising food or a reward for succumbing to surrender. I mean to turn around is to surrender isn’t it? As we re-approached Pine Butte it looked angry. As if to say, “go back you trader … quitter”.
As we crossed the Teton River it spoke a different language. The setting sun glistening on the ribbon of water. It was getting darker and the river whispered, “Better go home … it can get quite scary out here”.
OK, rivers can not speak. But I had just read a sign that basically stated that grizzly bears ruled this land.
I stopped to take a photo of a beaver pond that was so crystal clear it looked like I was staring out a window into another world. Just then I heard the bushes move. I jumped back and into the middle of the road.
Reason for my sketch was not that the river spoke of scary things. No. It was actually all the signage around. And for good reason. This was prime grizzly bear habitat. And the signs were doing more than the usual warnings. They actually had step by step instructions on what to do. I tried to remember what I read but drew a blank.
My partner rolled up.
“What is it?”
“Not sure … let’s get back to camp”