Here's an artsy shot on the way driving in -- the location is too great to mention.
Let's get started with a few establishing shots of the pure awesomeness of the place. (I love that awesomeness satisfies the spellcheck, but Missoula does not.) Here's our first night's campsite.
It may have seemed like a guys' trip from this shot
But thankfully Gillian came along.
BTW, any time is the right time to rock the vintage (real) 80s xc hat.
Some larger awesomeness.
Sam stayed hydrated.
The second night we found an amazing campsite right under a mountain that was basically our own private island complete with a fishing hole and some small waterfalls. It provided the best white noise for sleeping I've ever had (give or take one spot in Lassen National Park ...).
The spot called for an epic whiskey.
The forest fires nearby were the only downside to a cushy trip. Ash literaly rained down on us and blocked the sun.
We fished a bit, too. Sean wrestled with one mighty beast and won. (Look closely.)
The next day brought a new and drier terrain -- still with plenty of lakes and mountains though.
Here we are deliberating (near a beautiful lake) whether to cut the trip short one night and put in an epic hike back to the trailhead. Well, it wasn't so much a deliberation ... we always make this decision once we start talking about beer ... and Sean always leads the march.
The last shot on the trail. No sunglasses ... as in, it was getting late.
Then we made a beeline for town.
Ok maybe not a beeline. The road was indescribably bad, much worse than it looks here.
And here was the pure elkyawesomeness payoff.