Stillwater camping trip

Last weekend I took Anders and Finn camping. Without a second adult. I know, brave of me. Other than a few minor episodes, it went really well.

We drove about 2 hours from Livingston to the Stillwater River in the Beartooths. We were at the base of the Beartooths, but it sounds more hard core if you think we were up in the mountains.

It was so beautiful. This is the second weekend in a row when I thought, “Why haven’t I been here before?”

That’s the thing about living here–there is always another amazing place to discover. I was struck again by how lucky we are.

I high school I was voted “most likely to be poor, but happy”. It’s true, look it up in the 1991 NPHS yearbook. That has basically turned out to be true. We live pretty hand-to-mouth, but look where we live.

We stayed at the Woodbine Campground at the end of the road. It’s a big campground, but the sites are spread out and we scored a spot along the river.

Woodbine campsite. Yes, I set this giant tent up alone, in the rain, with a baby crying and a 2-year-old “helping”.

Finn plays with the barralitos in the tent. I bought them in Argentina last year and they have become one of the most popular toys we own.

Anders playing with a shoelace. I like to spoil the boys with high-end toys. It’s just what I do. (We could have brought the train table. It wouldn’t fit in the car, but it would fit in the tent–with room for us to sleep.)

We played in the tent a little until the rain stopped, then got out and played in the dirt. Anders “made” a campfire and Finn chewed on pine cones. I made dinner. We tried to go to bed, but that wasn’t really working.

Me: Anders we have to be quiet so Finn can fall asleep, then you and I will read books.

Anders: Mommy, we have to be quiet. No talking. Be quiet. Mommy, no talking. Mommy, I am not talking. I am being quiet. Finn is not tired.

Me: sshhhh

Anders: I am sitting on Finn. He is crying. He wants his mommy.

So, plan B. Put them in the car and take a little drive. I swore I’d never drive the kids to sleep. it is a total waste of energy. Desperate times.

After 10 minutes or so they were both asleep and I enjoyed the view from the steep dirt road.

Looking back down the valley from whence we came.

Looking up the valley toward where we camped.

The campground is just past the Stillwater Mine. (The only US producers of palladium and platinum.) Fortunately, the campground is upstream from the mine. I really don’t know anything about it except that it is in a beautiful area and men, wearing hard hats, drive golf carts around.

Stillwater Mine

After they fell asleep I carried them into the tent and slipped them into sleeping bags.

The next morning we went for a hike up to Woodbine Falls. It was just .75 miles. Easy. Anders walked about the first .5 mile, then refused to walk anymore. I considered giving up my agenda of getting to the falls, but we all know that wasn’t going to happen.

So I carried Anders the last .25 mile up (and all the way down) and Finn rode in the back pack. It was worth it.

(There are a lot of flower shots in here. If they bore you, do like Henry and scroll right past them.)

Trailhead to the falls. Only .75 miles.

Anders hiking.

Watching Woodbine Creek.

Do you wish you were here? You should.

Finn in the backpack, as usual.

Ponderosa pine

View from the trail.

Taking a rest stop.

Wild onion.

Larkspur–one of my top two favorite flowers.

Anders makes a rock hat. He wanted Finn to wear it, but I thought that might not be a good idea.

Anders keeps talking about the “river fall” we saw.

I know there is a hair from the photographer in the shot, but it is the only one of all three of us. Ignore it, if you can.

I have been enamored with the little maples this year.

Here is the waterfall from the road leading to the campground.

More pictures…I take a lot of pictures and if I don’t post them here, they get lost in my computer.

The (not so aptly named) Stillwater River.

Anders makes a campfire. This consists of stirring around the ashes, getting covered in black soot and then rubbing his hands on my pants.

Yeah! The mini-beach by our campsite.

Part of the Stillwater. We got to listen to this whenever we were in our site. Lovely. I wish I could sleep by rushing water all the time.

Finn transitions from eating pine cones to eating sand. Keeps his gullet clean.

Who knows what this fungi(?) growing on the maple is? I see it all the time.

Anders splish-splashed in the river despite its frigid temperature.

Lichen. or is this a bryophyte?

Tree lichen.

Cute foal we saw on the way home.

I took the scenic route home and was happy to see the road got much better at this point.

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