Road to the North 40

Hiking Mountain View Trail

Spending time at the North 40 is a bit bittersweet. We have this entire wonderful place and Phil still has to work and cannot enjoy it. He rode with me on the trip out and stayed here for 20 hours before flying out to go back to work. 🙁

So, as I walked the Mountain View Trail Loop today, all I could think about was that I wished he was here too. If anyone in the world deserves to enjoy the wide open beauty of Big Sky country, it is him.

Pictures below:

Blanket Flower, Blue Flax, and Pingue rubberweed (I think).

The last picture is the road leading to the North 40. Our house is the little brown house on the right.

Pingue rubberweed

Pingue Rubberweed

I am not sure I have this correctly identified. I is everywhere on the roadsides near White Sulphur Springs in Montana. The leaves don’t look exactly like the pictures I have found online but they are similar and no other flower I can find comes closer to the characteristics of this little clump of flowers.

Hikes/Walks where I photographed Pinque Rubberweed:

Road to the North 40

Hiking Mountain View Trail

Spending time at the North 40 is a bit bittersweet. We have this entire wonderful place and Phil still has to work and cannot enjoy it. He rode with me on the trip out and stayed here for 20 hours before flying out to go back to work. 🙁 So, as I walked the Mountain … Continue reading Hiking Mountain View Trail

Coon Tree Loop

Coon Tree Mountain Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Today was a very short hike up the right fork of the Coon Tree Trail.  We only hiked to the ridge junction and turned around and hiked down.  Nice day in low 40’s.  The trail was muddy and there were a lot of trees down after the wind and ice storms last month.

We passed several women on the trail. Only one man and his wife were finishing up as we got started.

The creeks were up.  There is a lot of water running out of the mountains right now. The ground is real squishy.

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Coon Tree Trail

Daniel Ridge Loop

Daniel Ridge Loop

Finally! A sunny day on a weekend!

Daniel Ridge Falls

Daniel Ridge Falls

We finally got some good weather to go hiking.  The high today was in the mid to upper 40’s and the sun was shining.  That is my favorite hiking weather.

Last year, our logged hiking miles were abysmal. It was a rainy year and we had a lot of family and health issues that got in the way. This year, I will strive to do better.

Today’s Hike

  • Distance: 5 Miles
  • Elevation: 827
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Today, we hiked the Daniel Ridge Loop near Brevard, NC.  It is a gentle trail without a lot of elevation gain. You walk around the creek for half of the hike and it is one of the more beautiful creeks in western NC. It is actually the north fork of the Davison River.  But, it is actually creek sized.

Swoon Quilt

Swoon Quilt

  • Pattern: Swoon by Thimble Blossoms  By: Camille Roskelley
  • Fabric Collection: MODA, “Over the Rainbow” Collection By: Edyta Sitar
  • Thread:  Auril 2370 for piecing and quilting
  • Batting: Quilter’s Dream 80/20


  • Before Quilting: 95″ x 95″
  • After Quilting:  92″ x 92″
  • After Washing and Drying on low in dryer:  85″ x 85″

So, I had a total of 10″ shrinkage in each direction (roughly 10.5 %).  I’m not happy about that.  I actually pre-washed and dried the batting before it was quilted. Maybe I should have pre-washed all of the fabrics.

These pictures were taken before the binding was sewn on.

Swoon by Camille Roskelley Thimble Blossoms

I took the scraps and made a cover for my 2019 Quilter’s Planner.

Sacajawea Peak

Sacajawea Peak in Bridger Range

A Personally Challenging Hike

Stats (Per my AllTrails tracker):

  • Distance: 5.3 Miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,011′
  • Difficulty: Difficult


From Bozeman, MT take Highway 86 N toward Bridger Canyon.  Drive approximately 20 miles and take Fairy Lake Road on the left.  The trailhead is approximately 7 miles. Be advised that Fairy Lake Road is rutted out badly. You will need a vehicle with a lot of clearance and 4WD is advised.  Some of the ruts are over a foot deep and as wide as the road so there is no getting around them.  You have to go through them.  The road bed has washed down to exposed rock.  It is like driving on a river bed. It took us 40 minutes to drive the 7 miles on Fairy Lake Rd.

September 17, 2018 Hike Description:

Sacajawea Trailhead

The hike begins near Fairy Lake with a walk through the forest and a quick left detour out to see the lake. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead.  Take advantage of it because there are very few places for potty privacy on this trail.

Fairy Lake

Just a few hundred yards from the trailhead is a left detour to Fairy Lake. It is only a few yards from the main trail to a great viewing area of the entire lake.  We have not taken the time to circumnavigate this little lake, but plan on doing it in the near future.  It is aptly named and minerals cause the water to have an ethereal hue that almost glows.  It is truly beautiful.

Pomp's Peak

Pomps Peak

Bridger Ridge (South)

Bridger Ridge South

Then, you begin switchbacks while you are still in the forest.  As you near the bottom of the ridge, you can look up and see Pomp’s Peak on your right (North) and the knife edges of the Bridger Range (South) to your left. In the hottest part of the summer, this section of the trail is inundated with horse flies. They bite. It hurts!  Wear bug spray and/or protective clothing.  On a previous hike in July, I was bitten over 30 times and suffered with nausea and dizziness by the time I got to the summit and had to cut my time on the summit short.

View of Sacajawea Gap from Summit

So, after you get out of the trees, you hike up to where the trail begins to switch back and forth up with swag that leads to the gap between Sacajawea and Hardscrabble Peaks. The picture at the right is taken from the summit looking down at where the switchbacks begin down from the gap. 2018 has been a very wet year and parts of the trail in this area has been washed out.  I had to get down on my hands and knees to crawl up in a couple of sections.  Conversely, coming down, I was on my butt sliding down the scree to get to the next section of the trail. There is no large vegetation going up to the gap but in the right season, it you pay attention, you can find the most beautiful little wild flowers.

Sacajawea Gap

Walking up the leeward side, the wind can take you by surprise when you reach Sacajawea Gap. It blows in from the west and is magnified in the gap by being “squeezed” between the peaks.  The gap is marked with cairn constructed one rock at a time by previous hikers.

Leaving the Gap to Peak

Turn left at the cairn. This will take you up the west side (the windy side) of the Bridgers just behind Sacajawea Peak. From this vantage point, you can see for miles and miles both east and west. If you don’t think you can stand the exposure of the heights to go the rest of the way on this hike, the views from the gap is worth the work. Leaving the gap you begin to feel a bit more “exposed.”  The ground is covered in small loose rock and it is like walking on ball bearings. This year, 2018, there was a lot more scree because of the rain.


As you get to the back side of Sacajawea and start up to the summit, the trail gets steep. There was a lot of scree and I felt a bit tentative in my footing. As with the trail below the gap, there were sections that had washed away. It was really hard for me to get over these sections because you are on a very steep incline covered in scree that is totally exposed.  I was again on my hands and knees going over these sections and on my butt coming down. I’m surprised I didn’t get a blowout in the seat of my shorts!

Phil on Summit

The summit, however, is awesome.  I’m a bit nervous every time so I just stay seated. To me, it feels like a big accomplishment when I make it. Phil walks back and forth close to the edge without batting an eye.  I think he is part mountain goat sometimes. He is also a walking google maps.  He sits on the top and names all of the peaks, towns, valleys, rivers and river drainages…in excruciating detail.

View from top of Mt. Pisgah

Mt. Pisgah

3 mi round-trip

Tread Condition: Moderately Rough
Climb: Climbs Moderately
Lowest Elevation: 4980
Highest Elevation: 5730
Total Elevation Gain: 750
Configuration: Out-and-back
Starting Point: Mount Pisgah Parking Area, Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 407.6

Pisgah Inn View
Pisgah Inn View

View Downtown Asheville
View Downtown Asheville

Bear Poop
Bear Poop

Tower on Mt Pisgah
Tower on Mt Pisgah

View of Cold Mountain
View of Cold Mountain