turquoise lake

Ask Liz / Do you just do day trips or do you spend the night in the woods?

THE SIMPLE ANSWER: Both. I go on day trips or spend the nights in the woods, depending on what I'm feeling up for.

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Here's the full question: "Hi Liz! Long time listener, first time caller... Seriously tho. Do you do just day trips or do we spend the night?"

First of all, whoever you are, you CRACKED ME UP. Thank you for that.

Well First Time Caller, I do day trips if I don't feel like spending the night outside, but still need some wilderness rejuvenation. Sometimes even hiking a couple miles will satiate me. But if I want some extended time in the quiet, away from technology and away from the voice of comparison that invades my head when I hop on social media, then I go backpacking. I spend the night in the woods. I can usually tell when I really need to go.

Honestly, it's way easier to just stay at home where there's a comfy bed already set up, running potable water available at a flick of my wrist, and no pack on my sweaty back that I'm carrying for miles. (And often times, I prefer it.) But I think some deep part of us knows we want -- no, we need -- the challenge of carrying a pack, hiking miles and miles, and immersing ourselves deep in the wilderness. Our souls need it.

I'm curious First Time Caller, what inspired your question? 

xo

Montana | Turquoise Lake

It was supposed to be a beautiful fall day. Instead, it was really cloudy when we woke and even cloudier as we drove northeast into Flathead National Forest. While googling "turquoise," a hit caught my eye. It was for turquoise lake in Missoula County. My investigation turned into a must, and at 11pm that night, I suggested to my husband that we go hiking the next morning.  

He agreed and we were off the next day. 

The hour and 45 min drive from Missoula was stunning, especially when the fog started lifting. When we finally pulled off the main highway onto Kraft Creek Road, I wasn't sure if we were headed in the right direction, but the views kept my attention. We followed the dirt road up and down the Mission Mountain Wilderness until I thought we were surely lost. But just at that moment, we reached a trailhead (with a bathroom)! There were other cars parked there and I felt immediately relieved we weren't alone.

From there, we hiked mostly uphill for the first half, then mostly downhill on the way back. It wasn't as steep as I had expected, but still a good climb. You can see some pics and get gps data here.

Total miles: 12.6