Montana – Saturday hiking


Saturday, 12-June-2021

Turns out, Google is smart.

Strange start to a post about a race day, but… bear with me, this is a good one.

The night before, we needed to figure out when to leave the house, so that Clara would be at the race on time. We plugged the addresses into Google Maps, and punched in the arrival time – 8:15am. It spit out our departure time – 8:30am.


We had a nice rental car, to be sure, but we’re not talking a Delorian here. This thing could drive on gravel roads, but not through the tumult of time, right? We did a few double-checks, and Google kept spitting out the same thing – leave 15min after you need to arrive, and you’ll get there on time.

Finally, we noticed something – the race wasn’t actually in Montana, it was in Idaho! Across the state line… which also happens to be the time zone line! When we drove into Idaho, we went back an hour… leaving at 8:30 out time was, effectively, leaving at 7:30 race time.

Smart play, Google Maps.

Anyways, Clara also noticed some small print on the race flyer, reminding us that “all times are in mountain time”, meaning that we did actually have to leave at 7:30, instead of 8:30… but still. Interesting.

We got to the race on time. Clara started, and Brian and I read for a while. I napped a bit, and we generally relaxed and enjoyed the soft patter of rain on the car’s roof.

Soon enough the race was over, and Clara had finished her first high-altitude half-marathon! We celebrated, ate and drank, and appreciated the sunlight finally breaking through the drizzly clouds. It was nice – the energy around a race is always really positive, and I very much enjoyed soaking it in… especially while eating an exceptionally delicious bratwurst.

Our goal after the race was Jerry Johnson hot springs – one of the joys of this part of Montana is that it’s quite geothermically active, and many of the rivers and streams have natural hot springs pouring out into little pools. Most of them are, most likely, kept as family secrets or something… but we were able to track down a public pool that looked to be just far enough off the beaten path that we wouldn’t get mobbed by people.

We hiked in, found the pool, and slithered our way in!

There weren’t as many people as I’d expected, which was a nice bonus. The pools also weren’t quite as deep as I expected, which wasn’t so much of a nice bonus. The two bonuses kind of evened each other out though, leading to some gloriously relaxed times just luxuriating in the warm silty water.

After a while of soaking, we started feeling the need for food… and so headed back into town to rustle ourselves up some BBQ.

Along with the many hike details we’d looked up ahead of time, we’d done our research about places to eat. Brian, specifically, if I remember correctly… though forgive me if that memory isn’t quite as accurate as it should be. We had a place in mind though – the Notorious P.I.G., which both has an amazing name and an amazing location, being set up in an old oil-change garage.

We ate, we ate some more, and then we ate the rest of what remained. It was amazing.

After rather copious amounts of eating, we had some spare time… and slightly messy faces… so clearly the only course of action was to head back to the cabin and take a nice relaxed evening to enjoy some facemasks, pore strips, and a Disney movie or two.

It was a very good day.

As before, many thanks to my guest photographers! I now have some pictures of myself!

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