We continued scooting across Montana as we drove another 115 miles west and pulled into the Park County Fairgrounds in Livingston, Montana. As we spoke with the lady in the office she directed us to a site with 50 amp service next to a water source so we have water and electricity for $20 per night. Also right behind us is a golf course with views of mountains all around us. We planned to stay two nights.
After we set up and ate lunch we lounged a bit watching the Summer Olympics but the mountains were calling me so I asked Sharon if she wanted to go for a drive. Off we went as we drove south toward Yellowstone National Park which was only an hour south of us. About 20 miles down the road I saw a road heading into the mountains and decided to take it.
After following the road to the end we ended up in the Absoroka Beartooth Wilderness Area. Fortunately for us we found a trailhead to Pine Creek Falls. The Pine Creek Trailhead hike was only about 2 and a half miles roundtrip so it was a perfect little hike to begin preparing us for the altitude changes ahead as we have been pretty much been flat-landers this past year. This hike in the Gallatin National Forest followed Pine Creek to the falls.
The trail was well marked and relatively easy even though it had us huffing and puffing at times (yes, we are out of shape for mountain hikes). We noticed the trail continued on to George Lake another 4 miles away but in that 4 miles there is a gain of 3,000 feet. Definitely not a hike we were ready for so we sat awhile to enjoy the falls before returning back to the car.
While Livingston is a neat historic town we also wanted to visit nearby Bozeman so the next day we drove the 25 miles over to the town to explore what it had to offer. On the way over we drove to see the Bridger Bowl Ski Area. It was located in a beautiful mountainous valley and had several ski lifts that would take skiers up to its highest points. It sure looked as though it would be fun in the wintertime.
We parked in downtown Bozeman to walk the many blocks. Actually we found it more interesting on our drive through as opposed to walking it as it consisted of mainly chic ($$) shops with a few restaurants and taverns scattered about. However, there were several people playing music for tips which made it a bit more interesting.
Next we drove over to check out Montana State University and also found it to be aesthetically uninteresting. We had hoped to spend some time walking around the campus but chose not to after our drive through. To make up for our lost urban hiking time we found a very nice little disc golf course at Rose Park. Although it was only 12 holes and basically in a field of grass this well laid out course was fun yet not overly challenging. Ground squirrels were everywhere and they would scurry off as we made our way from hole to hole.
Heading back to camp we stopped in at one of the local craft breweries, Neptune Brewery, and enjoyed some coconut shrimp and some cold samples of six of the brews. I loved their logo of "Drink like a god!" It did not any have any stand out beers but certainly all were decent enough to enjoy ending yet another beautiful day on our Road of Retirement…
NOTE: We are leaving this morning for Kalispell Montana where we will be staying for a month…