Boondocking in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains

 Boondocking in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains

What a week it was. Nearly 100 Roadtrekers from across the country boondocked in a national forest about 12 miles southwest of the mountain community of Red Lodge, learning everything from night sky photography to taking photos of wildlife.

Along the way we hiked (a lot), made new friends, received a great gift of a solar cooker and learned how to prepare gourmet meals with the power of the sun and staged a Roadtrek parade of our various RVs up and down the main street in Red Lodge, complete with a police escort.

The Roadtrek Parade in downtown Red Lodge
The Roadtrek Parade in downtown Red Lodge

Jeff Martyka (one of our instructors) took the mountaintop view photo at the top of this post and it says it all: This has to be one of the most visually stunning places in the world, on the edge of the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem amidst some of the most pristine wilderness on the continent. And yes, those are Roadtreks you see climbing the mountain

Each day moose strolled through our campsites. We saw deer, elk, bear and mountain vistas, waterfalls and landscapes that make you weep from their beauty.

Larry Daniels took this photo of a black Mama bear and her two cinnamon colored cubs
Larry Daniels took this photo of a black Mama bear and her two cinnamon colored cubs

Besides Jeff, we had photo instruction from Laura Robinson and Joe Morales. Merv Coleman, who has been named as the Montana Photographer of the year and is well known as a wildlife and landscape photographer, taught us outdoor techniques and guided us on a long hike up to a beautiful mountain waterfall.

Award winning wildlife and landscape photographer Merv Coleman offered tips and took us on a hike to a mountain waerfall
Award winning wildlife and landscape photographer Merv Coleman offered tips and took us on a hike to a mountain waerfall

For many, this was the first time they boondocked – camped with no electric or water hookups – in a remote area.

We took up just about every site in three national forest campgrounds that are all within a half-mile of each other.

Here are some photos that show some of our activities. And yes, we will do this again next year.

We climbed 1,000 feet in the Beartooth Mountains to photograph this waterfall
We climbed 1,000 feet in the Beartooth Mountains to photograph this waterfall
Beautiful scenery
Beautiful scenery
m16 (1 of 1)
Joe Morales taught us about natural light
Laura Robinson taught photo composition
Laura Robinson taught photo composition
Rock Creek wound through and around our campsites
Rock Creek wound through and around our campsites
A typical campsite for ur group
A typical campsite for ur group

 

 

Roadtrek's Chris Deakins brought a trailer full of parts and helped folks with any issues
Roadtrek’s Chris Deakins brought a trailer full of parts and helped folks with any issues
Our meetings were in the open air in a great natural setting...that's Mike
Our meetings were in the open air in a great natural setting…that’s Mike
Another photo hike into the wilderness
Another photo hike into the wilderness
Joe Morales took us to a 9,100 foot mountain top and photographedf each of our Roadtreks against the snow covered peaks
Joe Morales took us to a 9,100 foot mountain top and photographedf each of our Roadtreks against the snow covered peaks
There were great vistas in every direction
There were great vistas in every direction
Awesome doesn't begin to describe this place
Awesome doesn’t begin to describe this place
Roadtrek even sent a new Zion for us to check out
Roadtrek even sent a new Zion for us to check out
Yan Seiner guided several hikes, including one for folks with dogs
Yan Seiner guided several hikes, including one for folks with dogs
Jeff Martyka taught us how to take pictures of the stars
Jeff Martyka taught us how to take pictures of the stars
Ice blocks are still evident behind this waterfall
Ice blocks are still evident behind this waterfall
Roadtrek President Jim Hammill gave each attendee a $300 GoSun solar cooker
Roadtrek President Jim Hammill gave each attendee a $300 GoSun solar cooker
Some of the amazing meals prepared with the GoSun
Some of the amazing meals prepared with the GoSun
Campskunk taught Boondocking 101
Campskunk taught Boondocking 101
Jim Diepenbruck got down low to photograph this flower
Jim Diepenbruck got down low to photograph this flower
This wildflower looks like a miniature orchid
This wildflower looks like a miniature orchid
Roadtrek Videographer  Jim Rawn did a lot of work chronicling the adventure of the weekend for some Roadtrek promotional videos
Roadtrek Videographer Jim Rawn did a lot of work chronicling the adventure of the weekend for some Roadtrek promotional videos
We even did rock climbing to get some shots
We even did rock climbing!

Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.

4 Comments

  • If anyone with a shore cord for 110v current that is interested in using a store bought inverter without having to run extention cords or risk burning 1 up by plugging their shore cord in to it, please feel free to contact me. I have designed a pigtail adapter plug that plugs into the inverter and the camper shore cord which prevents the destruction of inverters and enables the use of electronic devices from the house battery system without stringing extention cords.

  • Can I sign up now for next year?????? Please Mike!!

  • Where can I sign up and when is the next one?

  • Is it being done again in 2017? When!, where?

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