Living simply in the wild

Up Bear Mountain

Hike One: The Invisible Falls

Hike Two: Bear Mountain.

Recap of hike one: We think the Falls are invisible. Read more here.

Onto Hike Two….

I’m pretty sure Ranger choose this one because #1 on his Ranger bucket list is “See a Bear”.  Ok, so i don’t know if this is number one per say….but it’s something he wants to happen. Badly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s leaving a trail of fresh salmon every where we go to entice these dear creatures. What better place then that of the one named “Bear Mountain” to try to get something crossed off the bucket list.


Junior had Monday off of school. So we debated whether or not to drive the 50 minutes to make a large grocery store run, or if we wanted to go hiking.

Needless to say the boys don’t care if we have a stocked fridge or not…at least in that moment.

So we piled the layers on, because it is cold and rainy here now…fall has arrived. We jumped in the car and headed up.

We wound up and around ‘Bear Mountain’, passing a few scattered homes with chimneys roaring. Fish tailed around some of the curves, not only because Ranger pretends he is Speed Racer but also because of the patches of snow we kept encountering.

We pull up along side an old cell town at the very top and piled out of the car, thanking the Mountain gods we arrived…in one piece.

We grabbed our pack and headed down. Seems kind ofsilly now, we drive up just to hike down, then back up again. Oh well.


We pass by old Cedar’s that bow to us as we go, the Ponderosas gloat as their bright bark is beaming among all the shades of grey. The green moss glows as it hangs from the trees.

photo 4We travel to a spot, with a ready made fire pit. It seems to be a popular destination among hikers here. There are logs for sitting, a cut up trunk for a table, and random sticks turned to tools all around.

We were surrounded by grey so we didn’t know the appeal. But we had a seat and started a fire anyways.

Somewhere between the boys shooting arrows, and the long process of starting a fire with zero dry material the fog slowly crept out.


We were left standing, awe struck, on a ledge, with a view of the valley and the lake below.












The boys spent the next few hours being just that…boys. They shot arrows. Used pine cones as targets. Threw sticks in the fire. Played follow the leader. Smashed rocks on other rocks. Roasted what ever they could find over the fire.












And I…i just watched. From the comfy fallen log that was a foot away from the fire. Did i mention it was cold? But i sure was toasty.


We let the fire die down as the sun was setting. And the boys found a fun way to put out some burning coals.

I’ll leave it up to your imaginations. But if you go to 12 Tips for camping in the backwoods and look at tip #8, you might have an idea. Boys. <shakes head>

We once again climbed back into our warm car and head down the mountain. Back to our home. Back to our leftover Chili and Cornbread. Back to school the next day.












And for those who are wondering…”See a Bear” is still on the bucket list. Soon enough we’ll be able to cross that one off…there are Bears around these parts.



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