Big Bear Stampede

Participated in the Big Bear Stampede. I did the 5k. It was hard as I have only been doing hiking this year with no jogging. Just to add the the “way it is done in Montana” the start and end of the race were both up hill.

Jogged by a deer leg. All that was left from the bear eating it. Always interesting in Montana.

Beat part was getting to see Smokey the Bear! Takes be back. I had a comic book at a kid that was the “real” story of Smokey the Bear. I was and am a big fan.

Going camping

I have been in the woods a lot, but I have never spent the night in a tent. This is about to change.

I have my back county permit.

I have a full pack with food, water, sleeping bag, mat, tent and hammock.

Starting out on the trail. I found that more people want to talk with you when you have camping gear than when you just have a hiking pack.

Some nice views along the way.

This will be my home for the next 24 hours.

Nice view of the lake just a short walk from the campsite.

My bear bag is setup.

The hammock is nice. I am glad I followed the advice I received to not put it too high as I feel out of it once.

Watching the clouds go by.

This looked like a giant hermit crap to me. I expected it to start walking off.

Well all setup.

When I sent to make a fire my lighter that I had tested that morning before leaving the house would not work. I had to find dried moss and get a spark from the light to get the moss going to then get the wood going.

I got really dark. As it got really still I could hear what sounded like a jet plane going over. I finally realized that the sound was from the rushing water in the canyon. Very cool.


My view looking out of the tent after waking up. Well lets change that. After deciding to get up. I woke up every time I tried to turn over in my sleep which was about every hour. As it got cooler during the night I kept working the sleeping bag zipper up the bag. Of course it would catch on material and it would a fight to unzip and re-zip. That went on most of the night until it was full zipped because it got cool. I think it was high thirties.

One time during the night I was dreaming that I couldn’t breath. It was very vivid. I awoke taking big gulps of air. I think I must have had my face covered by the sleeping bag.

As I started to get out I heard a large gut sound in the distance. Can’t say it was a bear. It could have been an elk, but I did see bear scat. I waited a little while before leaving the tent to give what ever it was time to finish its’ business and move on.

The lake was lovely with the fog blanketing some of it. The animal sounds were plentiful as they were starting their day as well.

Well everything is packed up.

Ready to head out.

The morning light created some really beautiful colors in the canyon.

Electric Peak

Electric Peak is a 20.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail. Elevation gain is 5,282 feet. This was the hardest thing physically I believe I have done in my life.

I started on the trail just as the sun was coming up.

Looks like the bear had a head start on me.

Amazingly the NPS is not trying to get you lost on this trail.

Beautiful seeing the sun rise over me.

Our shadows tall as fishing poles.

My artistic shot.

The trail turns to the more serious hike.

The largest mushroom I have ever seen. This one really does qualify as a toad stool.

Starting to get above the tree line.

The trail is starting to go straight uphill. My pace has really slowed down.

Looking back from where I have been.

Looking forward to where I am going.

More straight up hill.

Well the NPS has no trail markings on the mountain. Took the wrong path and ended out on the rock side. Had to traverse this section hugging the rock.

Looking back.

Very odd trees. They were very bendy and had a pink color to them.

Backwards view.

The views are becoming more amazing. Minus me of course.

You can see the Tetons off in the distance.

Over in the valley is Gardiner.

All rock now.

This was a really cool view.

Well I walked a little more, but basically this was the end of the line for me. I couldn’t see a way onto the summit without free climbing with 1000+ feet drops. I spoke to nine other hikers that day and no one figured it out. One guy was really upset he didn’t make it to the official summit.

Either way the views were unreal.

Well a storm is coming so time to get off the mountain. They don’t call it Electric Peak for nothing. It gets struck by lighting about every day in the summer.

Well now to get back down.

Not so easy finding the right path.

I ended up on some animal paths where I had to get belly to earth and do some sliding. I don’t know if it was the elevation or the materials in the mountain but all of my location tools on my phone failed me. I could send texts and make calls, but it could’t get a read on where I was so I couldn’t use it for back tracking.

Adding a couple of videos for the “being there” feel.

Finally off the mountain and an 8 mile hike left to go. I had to do the last 1.5 miles in the dark.

It was a full moon and I had a light but it was still one of the scariest things I have done knowing I was in an area where bears are. The Salvation Army would have been proud of my bell ringing ability.

The next morning looking up at the mountain from my house in Gardiner knowing I was standing up there yesterday was a feeling of accomplishment.