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

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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!